You could be a quant.
As reported by the BBC program More or Less, mathematicians known as quantitative analysts, or “quants” for short, now dominate the financial markets. These mathematicians work for hedge funds and banks, designing complicated algorithms for computerized trading. Typically, they are paid a percentage of the money that a mathematical model earns for an employer. Those who develop successful models can earn millions and live in luxury. The work requires a willingness to take risks, and it’s not for the faint of heart: Flaws in these models can cause major problems in the international financial markets.
In recruiting likely prospects at the hedge funds, hiring decisions depend in large part on raw mathematical intelligence, and some funds employ many quants who are autistic. When interviewed, a hedge fund CEO described his hiring practices as follows:
David Harding, who heads London-based hedge fund Winton Capital Management, recruits top mathematicians from all over the world.
"In today's world there's a good market for social skills. We do not necessarily require that," he says.
"We just require people to be clever and obsessively interested in research."
Here’s a New Year’s hurrah for Mr. Harding and others like him for being sensible enough to hire the best people for the job, without discrimination. Let’s hope that employers in other industries will also realize that it is in their best interests to make more opportunities available to qualified autistic workers.