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Entry-Level Quantitative Jobs on the Horizon

Entry-Level Quantitative Jobs on the Horizon

John Rossheim: Monster Senior Contributing Writer

September 08, 2009

How important is “the quant” for your entry-level job?

By quant, we mean not just quantitative analysts, those brainiacs of finance who drive many a hedge fund’s oversized returns — and occasionally help set off market crises like the recent mortgage-backed securities meltdown.

No, for this new class we have the entire range of creative workers who excel in the logical and mathematical in mind, for they are in intense and increasing demand in fields like systems design, electronic engineering, accounting and, yes, finance.

Read on to see how your corner of the economy may fare in the months to come.

Finance and Accounting

And speaking of quantitative analysis, for financial number crunchers, the globalization of business means the internationalization of the war for their talent.

“The demand for accounting and tax professionals is outweighing resources, across the US and in China, the UK and Russia,” says Eileen Raymond, executive director of experienced-hire recruiting at accounting firm KPMG. “Next year will be consistent with 2007; we plan to hire several thousand employees. We’re looking for CPAs and professionals with advanced degrees, law degrees.”

And as demand for these services rises, new American entrants to the field are dwindling. “There are fewer and fewer students obtaining these degrees,” says Hope Wilson, a vice president at Snelling Professional Services.

IT Programming, Systems and Databases

Offshoring of some programming work notwithstanding, prospects for information technology employment are basically strong.

“The mortgage industry and related businesses are taking a beating here in South Florida, but commercial property hasn’t been too bad,” says Steve Kalisher, executive vice president at recruiter Steven Douglas Associates, which places IT professionals ranging from programmers, database administrators and network administrators to CIOs. “There’s a lot of action in the service sector, and healthcare is big down here.”

Data warehousing and mining, IT security, networking, virtual computing and VOIP should continue to be hot specialties Kalisher says.

Says Helene Cruz, interim employer relations manager at Pace University, “I see an increase in the need for entry-level programmers and auditors. I don’t see offshoring hindering the requests we receive for these candidates.”

Engineering

Another profession that’s suffering from a lack of new graduates will be sought after in the years to come. “Engineers across the board are in high demand, and engineering grads are harder and harder to find,” says Theresa Carol, business unit leader for Kelly Engineering Resources. “Our customers in civil and petrochemical engineering are hiring well.”

The medical devices sector is also hot, and there’s great demand for product designers and mechanical and validation engineers, according to Carol. “We’re also seeing the need for the buyers, planners, schedulers and project managers who work in support of these engineers.”

Even in the embattled Detroit auto industry, engineers will be needed. “We’re still seeing a lot of demand for quality and process engineers,” says Ed Hurley, business unit leader of Kelly Automotive Services. “Anything to do with more fuel-efficient vehicles is hot.”

Manufacturing, Construction, Retail and Service Sectors

So for the tens of millions of us who still assemble products, build buildings and sell and service stuff, the future holds uncertainties. Even the quants can’t tell us which statistical categories of employment each of us will fall into.

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