EPAT, Quantra or Both! What Should You Take Up and Why?

13 min read

By Chainika Thakar

Providing a wide range of courses, QuantInsti understands that you need to know what exactly the EPAT and Quantra courses offer and how they differ.

While trying to find the best course for yourself, there can be several questions such as the benefits of doing a particular course, placement related queries, the type of learning platform and so on.

Here in this article, we aim to eliminate all the confusion and provide almost all the necessary answers to make your decision easier.

This article covers:

What is EPAT?

EPAT® is a comprehensive 6 months’ virtual classroom programme  covering essential modules of Algorithmic Trading, such as:

  • Market microstructure
  • Financial instruments
  • Statistics
  • Data analysis
  • Portfolio management
  • Basics of coding in Python/Matlab/Excel
  • Use of machine learning
  • Trading, tech, infra and operations
  • Live trading strategy building

Market microstructure

It is the study of financial markets, mainly about how they operate and function. In this module you will learn all about the financial markets.

Financial instruments

Financial instruments like options, futures, forwards etc. are covered in the EPAT programme. You can learn all about trading in these financial instruments.

Statistics

With this module, you will be able to learn about the use of statistical information for building the quant strategies in algorithmic trading.

Data analysis and modelling in Python

This module will help with the implementation of concepts like Object-Oriented programming with Python in the live trading environment.

Portfolio management and risk optimisation

This module looks into risk management and portfolio optimisation. Hence, it helps with identification and management of risks involved in different strategies.

Basics of coding in Python/Matlab/Excel

One of the key things of Algorithmic Trading is back-testing your strategy, and you need a certain level of programming skills for the same. This module will help you understand the application of Python concepts required for writing and back-testing your trading strategies.

Use of machine learning

This module helps you to implement the trading strategies in the live trading environment. Machine learning models such as logistic regression, support vector machine etc. are included in this module.

Trading tech, infra and operations

This module helps you to learn about the needs, requirements, advantages and the applications of algorithmic trading. Also, you get to be knowledgeable about the infrastructural requirements such as hardware, network related etc. as well as the business environment while starting an algo trading desk.

Live trading strategy building

This module aims to help you understand the implementation of your strategies in the live trading environment and will introduce you to platforms like Interactive Brokers using Python programming language.

In the EPAT project work, you build your own strategy from scratch under the guidance of an assigned mentor. In total you get 300+ hours of learning material, 100+ hours of live lectures, 41 lectures, 19 faculty members from 7 countries and participants from 70+ countries and a verified certification in association with Prometric at the end. You get to interact with faculty and get the required help for all the doubts. Also, EPAT offers support with internship, placement and starting the trading desk.

The Executive Programme in Algorithmic Trading at QuantInsti is designed for professionals looking to grow in the field or planning to start their careers in Algorithmic and Quantitative Trading. This course ends with a proctored exam, and after completing this course, you get lifetime access and support to help you anytime throughout.

It inspires traditional traders towards a successful algorithmic trading career, by focusing on derivatives, quantitative trading, electronic market-making or trading related technology and risk management.

Next, we will find out what is Quantra.

What is Quantra?

Quantra® is an e-learning portal by QuantInsti® that specialises in short courses on Algorithmic & Quantitative Trading. Quantra offers bite sized self-paced and self-study courses that are a mix of videos, audios, documents, presentations, python notebooks, multiple choice questions and highly interactive exercises. There are 30+ courses on Quantra platform, 10 authors, 200 hours of training material including 30 hours of free training material in the form of videos and PDFs. Each can be completed in a day or two. Moreover, Quantra has specialisations available, namely NLP (Natural Language Processing) and Reinforcement Learning. Also, Python language coding for different topics is taught with some hints and solutions to help you practice the codes. There is something special about learning a trading strategy by starting with one line of code and building upon it step by step!

You get to experience instructional techniques with live trading assistance to move you forward with the important concepts.

Also, it gives you an unmatched practical hands-on learning experience, empowering you to learn and implement complex concepts easily.

The best learning tracks on Quantra are:

  • Algorithmic Trading for Everyone
  • Machine Learning and Deep Learning in Financial Markets
  • Automated Trading using Python
  • Advanced Algorithmic Trading Strategies
  • Equity Markets: Automated Trading
  • Options Trading: Quantitative Approach
  • Sentiment Analysis in Trading

Algorithmic Trading for Everyone

This learning track is useful to learn different trading strategies including Day Trading, Machine Learning, ARIMA, GARCH, and use Options Pricing models in your trading. The bundle of courses available is perfect for traders and quants who want to learn and use Python in trading.

Machine Learning and Deep Learning in Financial Markets

This is a highly-recommended track for those interested in Machine learning and its applications in trading. From simple logistic regression models to complex LSTM models, these courses are perfect for beginners and experts. With these courses, you will learn to tune hyperparameters, gradient boosting, ensemble methods, advanced techniques so as to make robust predictive models.

Automated Trading using Python

This learning track is a complete end-to-end learning programme to implement popular algorithmic trading techniques in live markets for day trading and low frequency trading. This learning track is highly recommended for you if you wish to multiply your portfolio and include historical data back-testing and discipline in your trades.

Advanced Algorithmic Trading Strategies

For traders who want to improve their trading outcomes by using statistical analysis, this track is the best. It includes a series of courses where you will learn more than 30+ new strategies such as Momentum, Mean-Reversion, Index Arbitrage, long-short, breakout, seasonal trading strategies and portfolio management. Moreover, you get hands-on training in Python and live trading deployable models with the courses in this track.

Equity Markets: Automated Trading

If you are a trader looking to apply quant techniques to improve and automate your trading in the equities market, then this is the right learning track for you. Learn to use 25+ trading strategies including Day Trading Strategies, Machine learning, Quantitative techniques, Short Selling, Portfolio Management and many more in this track.

Options Trading: Quantitative Approach

With the courses in this learning track, you get to learn to create option pricing models, option greeks and various strategies such as Dispersion Trading, Sentiment Trading, Box Strategy and Calendar Spread. Use ARIMA and GARCH models, Machine Learning techniques and Momentum trading strategies.

Sentiment Analysis in Trading

Learn to quantify human sentiments expressed in news and tweets using machine learning techniques with this learning track. You will be able to use sentiment indicators and sentiment scores to create trading strategies after completing this learning track. Also, you will learn to implement the same in live trading. This is highly recommended for traders who want to harness alternate sources of data.

Let us move forward and find out the curriculum of each programme.

Curriculum

The structure of each programme is unique to the kind of learning it provides to its students. While you can choose either of the two, i.e., EPAT or any of Quantra’s courses (or Learning Tracks), if you are new to the algorithmic trading domain, you can benefit from choosing the beginner’s courses first from Quantra and then move to the EPAT.

Alright! Let us see the structure which will help you understand the concepts better.

EPAT®

Executive Programme for Algorithmic Trading (EPAT®) helps the students in a stepwise manner, as follows:

  • Learning
  • Automating
  • Trading

Moreover, it is a six-months’ online part-time course in which you get access to the following concepts:

The above mentioned modules provide a thorough knowledge into the concepts like Statistics, Python, Market microstructure and so on. Also, in the end, you will get to utilise the hands-on project in which you will be able to build your trading strategy from scratch with the assistance of an assigned mentor. Afterwards, an exam is held, which is to help you determine your level of understanding of the concepts.  

Quantra

Quantra provides the Learning Tracks with various courses under each track. Once you go to the page, you get to select your learning goal based on which you are suggested the learning track with relevant courses for you.

Below you can see how to navigate to find the best suited learning track for yourself based on your learning goal:

Let us now find out what sets us apart from other courses available online.

What is Unique?

Both EPAT and Quantra courses are complementary courses and provide you with significant benefits. As a beginner, you can opt for the beginner’s courses under learning tracks on Quantra such as Algorithmic Trading for Everyone and then move to EPAT.

With Quantra, you might have never coded before or never created any trading strategy and you can start from scratch with the basic courses and move on to the advanced ones. Because of the learning curve, we recommend that you commit to the learning and practice regularly on the hands-on learning exercises given in the course. With various authors such as Dr Ernest P. Chan, Laurent Bernut, NSE Academy, FXCM, Dr Thomas Starke and others, Quantra ensures knowledge from the experts.

Since both EPAT and Quantra are unique in their own ways, here we have put forth those points which help you be knowledgeable about what both these programmes offer. Moving forward, here is the list of how each is unique in their own ways:

EPAT

At QuantInsti, we realised the need for providing the power to individuals to tap into this massive spurt of Algo Trading. And that gave rise to the Executive Programme in Algorithmic Trading (EPAT®).

Industry Experts, Stalwarts, Academics, Traders and Market Practitioners are onboard our faculty bandwagon. Our associations with Dr Ernest Chan, Dr Gautam Mitra, Rajib R. Borah, Dr Yves Hilpisch, Dr Euan Sinclair and other eminent personalities open up a global opportunity for all participants and also entails them to have exclusive guest lectures and events.

Our EPAT programme is exclusively designed to make sure that the most important topics to become an algorithmic trader are covered for the students within a short span of 6 months. Each topic covered under EPAT programme provides you with the required knowledge step by step for helping you automate your trading strategies.

Now, to discuss the unique points in EPAT, we have a list ready for you here which goes as follows:

  • Dedicated support manager and lifelong support/learning
  • Career cell
  • Live Lectures
  • Alumni Community
  • Guest lectures exclusive
  • Industry recognitions
  • Platform to learn from experience of practitioners

Dedicated support manager and lifelong support/learning

With the EPAT you will get a dedicated support manager who will guide you through the entire learning process and help you solve all your doubts with programming, strategies, platforms and ultimately with the theory and practice of quantitative and algorithmic trading.

Career cell

Career cell brings best Algo and Quant Trading job opportunities to EPATians from all over the world. They also assist in interview preparation and resume building. Below you can see the stepwise journey as an EPAT-ian:

We provide you with the alumni support and help you be placed quickly as the placement is available from the start of the batch and not only after completing your EPAT course.

Live Lectures and lecture recording

With our live lectures, you will find a similar comfort as you do in a classroom with a lecturer teaching face to face. Moreover, for all your queries, we have a dedicated and active support team so that all your queries are answered in the community support. Also, we provide lecture recording facility so that you can record the lectures and watch them whenever you find time.

If you need further assistance with regard to a concept, our subject matter expert also goes on a call with you to make sure that you are satisfied with the answers and get your support as soon as possible.

Alumni Community

EPAT’s alumni community helps you be connected throughout for any assistance post the course relating to career assistance and training or intimation with latest EPAT content. As a part of the alumni network privileges, we also offer special discounts on Quantra and Blueshift portals for the alumni.

Guest lectures exclusive

With the global network of quants and algo traders across 155+ countries, we provide you with the exclusive guest lectures. These guest lectures are taken by the industry stalwarts and thus, offer you the best knowledge for your endeavours in the future.

Industry recognitions

Once you do the EPAT course, you get the industry recognition for all your experiences and progress in the industry in the coming future. Since you become familiar with the core knowledge for algorithmic trading, it is a huge step forward.

Platform to learn from experiences of practitioners

EPAT is a platform where you will gain the knowledge from a number of practitioners and their experiences. Our practitioners from across the globe can help you gain exposure to the world best practices with regard to algorithmic trading. Furthermore, you can practice live trading after learning the algorithmic trading strategies and techniques.

Also, we are proud to have catered to the different needs of students with different requirements and preferences and below is the reference to one of the EPATians as such:

Quantra

The Quantra courses are exclusively designed with the learning tracks specific to your requirements. Each learning track consists of courses meant for you to learn the concept from basic to advanced level. This way, you get a set of courses provided under each broad concept.

For instance, the Learning Track known as Algorithmic Trading for Everyone consists of the following courses which need to be finished step by step for a combination of knowledge regarding the concept. The suggested courses begin from foundation level to proceed to beginner and finally intermediate level.

Here is a glimpse of one of the learning tracks:

Some of the unique points of Quantra courses are as follows:

  • Specialisations available
  • Implementation in live markets
  • Complete at your own pace

Specialisations available

Specialised learning tracks and courses such as Advanced Algorithmic Trading Strategies, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning and Deep Learning in Financial Markets are available.

With these special platforms, you get to exploit the significance of statistical analysis and machine learning in trading.

Implementation in live markets

After finishing the selected Quantra course, you can begin with the live trading implementation. As you will learn to implement the strategies for live trading, you can apply your preferred approach for live trading consequently.

Complete at your own pace

With Quantra courses, you are not bound by lectures or training and can resume your learning any time you want. Moreover, there is no time limit and thus, it allows you to complete the courses at your own pace.

Learn more about the Quantra courses and the learning experience with the same in this video:

Further, let us find out what is best for you, depending on various factors.

What is Best for You?

Since both EPAT and Quantra offer you “thorough knowledge imparting” courses with all the important concepts covered, we would like to help you decide what suits you the most. Depending on various factors, we have listed down these points and they are as follows:

Opt for EPAT if:

  • You want a comprehensive training of 6 months’ programme
  • You want to gain maximum exposure and knowledge
  • You require support post completion of the course for implementation in your own practice
  • You want to remain in touch with our experts for getting the answer to any queries post lectures and if you need ongoing support through a dedicated support manager during the programme
  • You feel that interacting with faculty members will help you gain knowledge better
  • You want to explore the wide range of placement partners since we have 150+ placements partners to offer you the best placements
  • You are a committed learner and want to gain the maximum out of your learning

Opt for Quantra if:

  • You are looking for a specialization in the trading domain such as Machine learning implementation in the financial market and Natural Language Processing and its implementation
  • You do not want to be bound by time and wish to complete the course at your own pace
  • You wish to practice Python and its applications in trading
  • You want your trading strategies to be automated and implemented on the trading platform
  • You understand the financial markets at least on the basic level
  • You prefer self-study

Watch this lockdown story of an EPATian as well as an avid student of Quantra courses, Mr Kevin Gaughan, from New York and find out about his experience:

Further, you can go through the quick comparative analysis of EPAT and Quantra courses.

Comparative Table - EPAT and Quantra

Course Features

EPAT

Quantra

Course curriculum

40+ live lectures

30+ courses

Course duration

6 months

Each course has its own duration

Study at own pace

No

Yes

Type of learning

Blended or a mix of learning practices

Self study

Comprehensiveness

A structured course of 6 months

Learning tracks with optional courses 

Opting for specific topics

No

Yes

Faculty

15+ faculty members

10 authors

Part- Time

Yes

Depends on your own pace

Live lectures

Yes

No

Lecture recording

Yes

No

Verified certification

Yes

Yes

Faculty interaction

Yes

No

Career assistance

Yes

No

Lifelong community support

Yes

Yes

Mentored Project work

Yes

No

Conclusion

With all the courses available at QuantInsti, we aimed to provide you with a brief overview of what EPAT and Quantra courses offer and how they are beneficial for you. In their own contexts, and with their specializations, both the programmes are specially designed for helping students learn to automate their trading.

Since our students range from beginners to professional traders, we have segregated the programmes, that is, EPAT meant for seasoned traders looking for a quantitative view and automating their trading strategies.

On the other hand, Quantra’s courses are designed with the Learning Tracks suited best for all depending on the kind of pace you want to pick. For beginners, there are courses which will give a detailed knowledge of the topic, and if you are a professional, you can skip the beginner’s courses and learn from the advanced set even in the same learning tracks. Quantra’s courses will give you the benefit of learning at your own pace with interactive features.

Disclaimer: All data and information provided in this article are for informational purposes only. QuantInsti® makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.