(Original post by math1234)
Yes, it is true but only if you want to work as a quant or an atq. And it is also true that only quants are getting higher salaries as they work on floor as trader.
But it is not an ordinary maths that is used in high school or even in undergrad. Since, 70's the finance has gone more mathematical, and those who says that IB use only elementary maths is true to some extent because such people have made this assumption on the basis of such analysis which doesn't include quants or atq. And it's completely false that traders use only excel etc one needs highly quantitative skills in order to make changes in the mathematical model on which the client's portfolio is based on.
Normally, a quant is an expert in pure mathematics mainly in applied probability, topology, measure theory & stochastic analysis. But he also knows the programming to some good extent in any OOP (preferred languages are C++, C#, Java etc) so that whatever equation he has made can be tested instantly and for that his algorithmic skills should be good. And normally quant is good at stock, fx options, bonds, rates, options, and pricing. But at this date, as per my knowledge only very few banks such as BOA, GS etc are using mathematical models though others are working towards it therefore it will not be wrong to say that maths is the future of investment banking.
On the other side, atq is an expert in discrete mathematics, he understands the complexity of any system in extreme depth therefore he's too good in making & using algorithms. And normally atq works on high frequency trading, structuring etc.
Both quant & atq are very well mathematically matured, they just don't know that how to solve the mathematical problems in-fact they also know that what is the theory behind that problem (or subject in which they are expert). Though the maths which is applicable in finance or economics is very limited at this date as compare to the whole pue maths or discrete maths
The non-maths people for example the people from economics or finance (even though they study subjects like black-schole, econometrics, etc) work on order processing thus they are paid less as compare to quant. Sorry in advance if the finance or economics students don't like my this statement, I remember that recently one of the very senior quant (a phd in pure maths) came to my University and the students from financial maths asked him about the quant opportunities, his answer was very harsh "don't apply otherwise you will be wasting your time". The reason is very simple, the fin maths only teaches very limited maths whereas pure maths gives a very broad view & strong skills in order to understand the structure of world or anything. It doesn't mean that a msc fin maths guy can't be quant, of course he can be but only on one condition if he has studied something like pure maths, theoretical physics, engineering such as signal processing, or CS such as machine learning.