Quants often come from physics, engineering or mathematics backgrounds rather than economics related fields, and quant finance is a major source of employment for people with physics and mathematics Ph.D's. Typically, a quant will also need extensive skills in computer programming, most commonly C++.
This demand for quants has led to the resurgence in demand for actuarial qualifications as well as creation of specialized Masters and PhD courses in financial engineering, mathematical finance, computational finance, and/or financial reinsurance. In particular, Masters degrees in mathematical finance, financial engineering and financial analysis are becoming more popular with students and with employers. London's Cass Business School was the pioneer of quantitative finance programs in Europe, with its MSc Quantitative Finance as well as the MSc Financial Mathematics and MSc Mathematical Trading and Finance programs providing some leading global research. Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business, which created the Masters degree in financial engineering, reported a 21% increase in applicants to their MS in Computational Finance program, which is on top of a 48% increase in the year before.[when?] These Masters level programs are generally one year in length and more focused than the broader MBA degree. The largest quant training program is the Wilmott Certificate in Quantitative Finance, directed by Paul Wilmott.