Programming, Database Skills Top Wall Street Hiring Wish List

Wall Street is looking for IT skills as a top priority, particularly programmers and database experts, according to eFinancialCareers.

If you are looking for a job on Wall Street, IT skills are the way to go, particularly programming and database expertise, according to a recent study conducted by a leading career site network for the financial services industry.

eFinancialCareers, a global career site network for professionals working in the investment banking, asset management and securities industries, recently released its top 10 skills searches on Wall Street, and programming and database skills come out on top.

eFinancialCareers has been tracking the rise of the "quant" on Wall Street, and the signs are everywhere. A "quant" is a quantitative analyst, which is a person who works in finance using numerical or quantitative techniques. Quantitative analytics jobs comprise the second-largest group of jobs on eFinancialCareers, and it is up 30 percent year-over-year. However, IT is the largest group.

Moreover, IT skills not only dominate in terms of job postings, but also in terms of the search for talent. Over the last three months, Wall Street talent scouts who have been scouring the talent pool have been looking primarily for workers with IT talent. Indeed, programming languages and technology skills have dominated the search for talent on eFinancialCareers by a large margin.

Whether big data, "algo" jockeys, high-speed trading or client service, Wall Street craves tech skills, as revealed by the top skills searched for on eFinancialCareers.

At the top of the job search list is C and Java programming skills. On Wall Street, these languages support speed of execution, supporting large quantities of data and enabling firms to do real-time simulation and modeling. Next is SQL skills. SQL is the most searched-for skill for querying and manipulating databases.

The next four skill sets on Wall Street's "buy" list are fixed income, risk, project management and business analysis. Technology pervades these jobs, as well.

For instance, an investment bank and securities firm hiring for a fixed-income quantitative analyst is looking for candidates well-versed in matrix-oriented programming languages such as MATLAB, R, Python, or GAUSS, and a working knowledge of Ruby, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), SQL and database programming. Another investment bank recruiting for hedge-fund administration requires knowledge of SQL server and Visual Basic. And a world leader in insurance and financial services requires strong development skills and especially programming skills with C++, C# or Java for an associate director in product valuation.

In addition to the programming languages and database, fixed income, risk, project management and business analysis skills make up the top five searches on eFinancialCareers from June through August 2012. Rounding out the top 10 are accounting, operations, financial planning and advising, compliance and quants.

These are the weapons that firms are wielding to manage risk and extract profit in a tighter and trickier environment, eFinancialCareers said.

A recent study conducted by IBM and Broadridge Financial Solutions shows that financial services firms are being challenged to deliver innovation and efficiency by new regulation and customer demands. The firms are looking to technology for help.

"Regulation and operating efficiency have always been concerns for securities firms, but the growing demands and sophistication of today's financial services clients are requiring firms to innovate, not just in the products they offer, but also in how they adapt and run their businesses," said Ron Lefferts, financial markets industry leader for IBM Global Business Services. "Leading firms have looked at their own ecosystems and are embracing new operating models as part of their organizational DNA to get closer to their clients and create a differentiated experience."