So I'm thinking about doing a phd in statistics, and want to go into quantitative/high freq trading as a researcher/developer role. But it's hard and requires a lot of years of programming skills, and I've only taken 1 intro course to programming lol.

I want other career options if this doesn't work out. Will doing a phd centered on general probability/risk, without too much relation to finance, give a good skills/opportunities for mid-high salary jobs? I know most of you will go "OMFG don't waste time on a phd go get a job now". Thing is I prefer a more research & development role, but I'm definitely not going to go into academia. And I'm ofc going to do a lot of social networking and learn programming during my phd.

Any help appreciated. How much stats & programming is required for quant trading anyway? How many years of exp?