Finance | May 26, 2017 10:08 am

College Jocks Are Fast Becoming Extinct on Wall Street

As the finance industry gets increasingly analytical, the quants are now taking over.

College Athletes Are Swiftly Becoming the Dinosaurs of Wall Street
(Patrick Murphy-Racey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The college athlete is quickly becoming the dinosaur of Wall Street. According to the Wall Street Journal, finance jobs that once required a certain mindset and mettle—even a certain physicality on the trading floor—are increasingly being automated.

Previously, these high-pressure jobs were well suited to athletes, as they could better face adversity of constant losses and draw parallels between the heat of competition to the job at hand. But that all changed when the nerds took over (read: the quants).

In fact, the extinction of the finance jock has been a long, slow one. Per the Journal: “The industry started to shift away from athletes in the 1990s as derivatives grew in number and complexity. That necessitated a hiring spree for Ph.D.s who could understand and price them. More recently, the advent of electronic trading and quantitative investing called for many more recruits with math or computer-programming skills.”

But there may still be room for the finance jock after all. One former college athlete turned Wall Streeter argues that “It’s hard to replace [the mettle of a college athlete] with artificial intelligence.” And he may just be onto something … as long as the robots don’t learn to feel.