While quantitative finance is a long-established specialization, the number of universities that offer dedicated quant curriculums is still very limited. So when I finished my PhD in statistical modeling, I knew that I still need to address the knowledge gap between academia-oriented scientific computing and quantitative finance. Only a handful of opportunities to do so exist; I was lucky to meet an employer who understood the problem and knew the solution.
The CQF program is challenging, but fair. There's a lot to learn and the deadlines are tight. But it changed my perspective, reinforced my professional identity, and propelled my career. The successful completion made me eligible for an internal relocation within the company, so I was able to move to dxFeed Solutions DE GmbH, Germany, within a year from the CQF final exam.
I truly enjoyed the mathematical deepness of the material, this got me engaged from the very first lecture. At the same time, this was never math for the sake of math -- the assignments were well-designed and practical. They also gave freedom of choosing between programming languages, thus focusing on the end result rather than teaching specific code snippets.
I am absolutely certain that the CQF experience is one of the defining moments of my career path in quantitative finance.