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When Education and the Markets Intersect

“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.Working together is success.”
– Henry Ford

In and of themselves, schools, students and markets often fall short of transforming talent into marketable skills. While each is invaluable, one without the others will typically fail to produce success.

Current employment trends among recent graduates support this. Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported that 53% of college graduates under age 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.

While the economy deserves its share of the blame, a closer look shows that those students who obtained degrees that were in demand were less likely to be unemployed or underemployed than those who chose to study subjects that were not in demand. Graduates with degrees in nursing, teaching, accounting or computer science fared much better than those who majored in zoology, anthropology, philosophy, art history or humanities.

Considering today’s job market, both academia and industry can benefit from a closer link between education’s source (the university), its subject (the student) and its objective (gainful employment).

The Premise of TT’s University Program

 
Photos provided by Tulane University

It was in this spirit of collaboration that Trading Technologies began its University Program nearly 10 years ago. The presumption that cooperation between students, schools and industry could be mutually beneficial had us reaching out to schools that were like-minded. Through our efforts to educate students, expose them to the markets and equip them with the knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace, we’ve found that the students, university curricula and corporate recruiting have all benefitted.

The University Program’s primary goal is to equip schools with our trading software through corporate software donations. Universities, in turn, apply the software to their curricula as they see fit. Some use the software during classroom instruction, some install it in labs to provide students with hands-on training, and some do both. We’ve even seen the software used for inter-scholastic trading competitions.

Our experience has shown that through our software donations, universities and their students benefit from TT’s innovations while we benefit from their feedback and application of our software.

This program also helps participating schools produce graduates who are familiar with our industry and our products. These graduates have an advantage in the marketplace because they are further along the learning curve than those who may have studied the principles of trading, but never had the opportunity to practice those principles using real-world software like ours.

Today, more than 40 universities around the world participate in our program. The schools that benefit most are those that have a vision for bringing the marketplace to the classroom. They understand that our software’s applications go beyond just trading. Applications include:

  • Risk management and hedgingIn a world where risk management is a keystone for success, many of our partner schools have employed our X_TRADER® software to expose their students to hedging strategies and the tools to employ them.
  • Financial engineeringTools such as TT’s ADL™, Autospreader® and Autotrader™ enable students to develop algorithms and experiment with automated trading. The liquidity and flexibility of today’s futures contracts make them ideal for creating algorithms that can be applied to multiple asset classes.
  • Computer science applicationsAn application programming interface (API) is important for interacting with and expanding the functionality of the software. TT API, which we launched this past summer, gives developers the ability to write applications that communicate with TT gateways. Students get experience creating applications that can submit orders, receive fills, pull prices and more.
  • Market analyticsExperience with technical analysis gives students a good foundation in understanding the implication of historical market data on today’s markets. Our charting application, X_STUDY®, gives students the analytics tools to do just that. X_STUDY incorporates a comprehensive suite of charting and technical analysis tools and is fully integrated with X_TRADER, free of charge.

The Roles of Businesses and Students in Education

Many contend that higher education is responsible for educating the “whole” student, not just training them for a specific occupation. But university curricula typically cannot keep up with the demands of the marketplace. If universities want their curricula to always be current, and companies want graduates who are always well equipped to succeed, then the two entities need to work together.

This is the core reason why TT’s University Program exists. By developing strong relationships with the schools that participate in our program, we can enhance a school’s curriculum and contribute to each university’s efforts in many ways beyond simply donating our software. For example, we take on classroom speaking engagements, we participate on advisory boards and we provide curriculum feedback to professors.

This brings us to the students themselves. Despite the best efforts of universities and the companies that support them, a college degree no longer guarantees that a graduate will find a job commensurate with the cost of education. A university’s resources, including its corporate partnerships, mean nothing if students fail to diligently consider how their skills and passions might fit into the workplace. Students must honestly consider their skills, passions and workplace opportunities when assessing universities and career paths. Students who do this are more likely to choose universities that are best equipped to prepare them for rewarding careers in industries matched to their skills and passions.

While it’s no great revelation that the coordinated efforts of students, schools and industry produce successful results, it is still common for them to operate on their own. TT’s University Program continues to seek those schools that provide us with a platform to mutually promote each other and provide value to the student, the school and the marketplace.

In future blog posts, I’ll share some real-world examples, focusing on schools that are successfully harnessing the power of our software to enhance their students’ learning. In the interim, if you’re an educator or a student and you’re interested in learning more about how our program can benefit you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by completing our inquiry form or submitting a comment here on our blog.

Posted by: Leo Murphy, TT CampusConnect™ Program Manager

One comment

  • Fantastic post and really hits the nail on the head regarding providing students with marketable, real-world skills. We are grateful at the J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities at the University of Colorado Denver to have Trading Technologies software in our Finance and Commodities Lab. With access to the critical tools used in the industry, our students will walk out the door with world-class skills.
    Bette Smith
    Director, J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities

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