Industry Insights

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Flash Survey Results Part 1 – What Motivates Quants to Change Jobs?

February 24, 2014

We’re midway through the first quarter and the analytics hiring market is heating up – organizations are evaluating their business goals and hiring needs, and candidates are evaluating their career options for the coming year. As a follow up to my blog post with my predictions for the analytics hiring market, I decided to conduct another “flash survey” of my connections to see what motivates them to make a career move and how they found their last job. I’ve read studies about how Quants are most motivated by intellectual curiosity, and was interested to see if this would translate to their career aspirations. I received 216 responses to my quick survey, the first question being:

1.) What would be your top two motivating factors if you were to change jobs?

Key Insights

  • Overall, salary and opportunity for growth were the top two motivators for respondents, with 47% and 44% respectively.
  • Challenging work was third with 38% of respondents choosing this in their top two motivators.
  • A change in company (16%) and industry (11%) were the factors least likely to inspire a job change.

 ConclusionsQuantitative candidates are more in demand than ever, and if the results of this poll are any indication the talent pool is ambitious and hard-working. Their focus on salary is interesting, and reflects what I found in the Burtch Works Study last year – that Quants changing jobs can expect a 14% pay increase. When compared to the average 2-4% yearly increase they can expect if they stay at their jobs, it’s no wonder the hiring market is humming with activity and that salary is a top motivator.Opportunity for growth was a close second, and it seems that analytics professionals are evaluating “promotability” when considering new roles, compared to the opportunities available in their current organization. For my analytics job seekers, I wanted to offer a word of warning here – although you can realize an increase in pay, I usually don’t see candidates substantially improve their title when changing jobs. It’s much more common to see a candidate make a lateral title move when changing companies, knowing that there is a greater possibility for a promotion down the line in their new organization because it is in a growing field or expanding.In another blog post we’ve also posted the results to our second question, “What was the source of your last job?” Follow Burtch Works on Twitter or LinkedIn to get the best quantitative career news and blog updates delivered right to your news feed, and check out our YouTube channel for access to all our latest salary information and webinars!