How Goldman Sachs is teaching its analysts about data science and programming languages

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Citi made headlines last year when it introduced classes in Python programming into its training curriculum for incoming analysts. Goldman Sachs has been doing something similar for a few years now, only with less media attention.

The bank published a blog post earlier this week detailing its Securities Knowledge Exchange (SKE), a relatively unknown interactive learning platform launched in 2015 for analysts and associates within its securities division. The post highlights one of the recent focuses of SKE: to introduce tech skills and knowledge to incoming analysts who work outside of its engineering department. Plus, the bank is now offering access to the platform beyond employees who work in securities.

The videos, case studies and modules cover five different subject matters: valuation, programming, derivatives, capital markets, and macroeconomics. But when asked about the vision of the platform moving forward, Kerryann, a vice president in Goldman’s learning and engagement group, immediately pointed to introducing and developing tech skills. “The vision for SKE is to leverage this platform to offer new and exciting modules that relate to skills and knowledge that analysts want to learn such as data science and more programming languages,” she said, adding that the platform is now offered to analysts globally. “The firm’s leadership agrees that analysts outside of the securities division could benefit from deepening their level of knowledge on these core financial topics.” She added that stakeholders in sales and trading are in “constant dialogue” with her team on evolving the content for SKE.

Like Citi, it appears Goldman has put an impetus on at least introducing its traders to computer programming. With the constant automating of trading, that’s certainly not the worst idea for any employee who wants staying power. “Several analysts who completed modules have leveraged the platform as a way to prepare for internal mobility,” she said. Goldman declined to comment further on SKE and its focus on computer programming and data science.

Since launching its Python training program last summer, Citi has recently formed a new group known as the Markets Acceleration Lab. Second- and third-year analysts from across both its markets and technology teams can apply to the group, which will utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to help solve problems across Citi’s trading business.

“The intersection of quantitative, technical and markets knowledge is critical,” Deirdre Dunn, the bank’s regional head of markets for North America, told Bloomberg. “This is something we’ve been trying to foster in many different ways.” Citi is not alone in that thought.

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