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Every year a place like Goldman Sachs hires dozens of new strategists (quants) and the same can be said about many other firms. Some of those quants become managing directors and are set for life. But what is a typical career trajectory for a quant like? Does it depend on whether a person has a PhD or not? Even as a VP in NYC you do not really become a high net worth individual, even though you can probably afford a decent life there, so I am curious what happens to most of these people that enter the industry but are not quite in the top 1% that earns the big bucks.

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More a comment than a proper answer, with low rep I can't comment. By the way, I would say that a PhD isn't a requirement in order to do a quant job - look at Citadel, for example: most of their hires don't have a PhD. What they do have, indeed, is the capability to formulate well-posed problems, and to deal even with ill posed ones.

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