SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

 
User avatar
stealthspy
Topic Author
Posts: 13
Joined: March 1st, 2011, 5:11 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 2:06 am

I am interested in knowing how the salary and growth (salary) in technology positions in financial firms compare and contrast against that in conventional technology firms.By technology firms, I'm referring to the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo!, Amazon, Nvidia, Netapp, VMware, Apple, Qualcomm, Oracle, etcThe financial firms (technology/IT position) I'd like to see these tech firms benchmarked against are: Citadel, Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley, SIG, liquidnet, DRW, etc | UBS, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, etc If a hypothetical CS grad's sole interest is maximization of compensation and does not care so much about location, work-hours, work-environment, work content, etc .. which route would make him/her more money in the short and the long run - developer in tech company or tech position in finance firm?P.S: Are the oft-talked about 'large bonuses' in big banks extended to their IT/Technology staff as well?
Last edited by stealthspy on March 2nd, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
nwhitehe
Posts: 20
Joined: March 3rd, 2006, 6:57 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 3:12 am

I would never hire someone that didn't care about work content, work environment, or work hours. I'm on the tech side. Just a data point.
 
User avatar
stealthspy
Topic Author
Posts: 13
Joined: March 1st, 2011, 5:11 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 3:32 am

double post - deleted
Last edited by stealthspy on March 2nd, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
stealthspy
Topic Author
Posts: 13
Joined: March 1st, 2011, 5:11 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 3:32 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: nwhiteheI would never hire someone that didn't care about work content, work environment, or work hours. I'm on the tech side. Just a data point.I am interested in understanding the compensation levels and I added that point to create a hypothetical situation to isolate compensation from other factors and also to protect against replies "it depends ... etc" Obviously work content, work environment would be very important factors to consider .. but these are subjective parameters and I added that line to isolate these factors from what I was trying to get at.
Last edited by stealthspy on March 2nd, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
ArthurDent
Posts: 1166
Joined: July 2nd, 2005, 4:38 pm

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 3:48 am

glassdoor.com has all the answers you need.You can also look at the H1 database published every year by dept of labor for salary, employer and city/state of all H1/greencard applicants.http://www.flcdatacenter.com/CaseH1B.aspx
 
User avatar
lexington
Posts: 321
Joined: November 16th, 2008, 5:04 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 6:07 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: stealthspyQuoteOriginally posted by: nwhiteheI would never hire someone that didn't care about work content, work environment, or work hours. I'm on the tech side. Just a data point.I am interested in understanding the compensation levels and I added that point to create a hypothetical situation to isolate compensation from other factors and also to protect against replies "it depends ... etc" Obviously work content, work environment would be very important factors to consider .. but these are subjective parameters and I added that line to isolate these factors from what I was trying to get at.Compensation levels are almost same in both. Also, very few in IT get huge bonuses.
 
User avatar
demha
Posts: 182
Joined: January 27th, 2011, 8:01 pm

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 9:09 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: stealthspyP.S: Are the oft-talked about 'large bonuses' in big banks extended to their IT/Technology staff as well?Absolutely not.
 
User avatar
traderjoe1976
Posts: 1544
Joined: May 19th, 2006, 9:50 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 10:30 am

IT people in IBs are in a support role. If you complain about your low salary and zero bonus, your manager will remind you that they can easily get the job done in India for half of what they are paying you. You will be treated like s**t by the FO people.In the tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, the tech people are much more highly skilled and valued. The salary you get will be similar but after 10-12 years you will find yourself sitting comfortably on a nice chunk of company stock. The IBs are never going to issue stock options to the IT people.
 
User avatar
DominicConnor
Posts: 11684
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 3rd, 2011, 10:47 am

TJ is cynical, but mostly right.However we are comparing a bank with an IT firm and the point about the work being outsourced to Indians applies far more to IT companies than banks.The customers of a computer business are mostly not in the business itself but in other firms, so the disconnect between IT and customers is perceived to be more acceptable, since it is not that much larger.Most bank IT is for the bank itself, and outsourcing internal IT often goes badly, and sometimes goes terribly terribly wrong. One olny has to look art the repeated crashes, outages, wrong prices and generally shittiness of the London Stock Exchange to see why you want your IT people to be working for you, not far away managed by clueless intermediaries.So awful is the LSE IT that Accenture actually come out of it looking good, when Accenture are in a project and they aren't the root cause of every single problem, every politically-driven stupid choice, every $ of cost over run, and the fact that the system is designed to do the wrong thing, but doesn't matter because it's never delivered, when that troupe of monkeys look good you are crap,.Bonuses for most IT in banks are relatively small compared to banking but high compared to most non-banks. They also are effectively random, having only accidental correlation with the contribution you make to the business, often that correlation is negative. That's why banks typically have good IT people but surprisingly shoddy IT, one data point being that in my last job at one point each of my staff was forbidden by me from touching some of JP Morgan's equipment because I felt it to be dangerous. Not just misconfigured, or buggy, but there was a serious risk of physical harm to them personally. JPM are the worst, but not uniqely bad.IBM used to treat it's technical people well, and it was a world dominating firm, alas it has the worst HR department of any large firm in the world, and actively tries to fuck with techies now. It may be a coincidence that it's decline is close to monotonic.Oracle seems to have a remarkably IB style culture fo techies, but not anything like IB style pay.Cisco used to be great with huge opportunities through spin outs and the general growth of the firm, the stock options could be very sweet.Now it's just another IT firm with OKish growth.MS is doing a bit of an IBM with sales & marketing being a better route to good pay than technical excellence, that is comparatively recent, but once that process starts, nothing will stop it.Looking at the pay of equivalently skilled people, there is better money in investment banking than working for a large IT firm, and the hours frankly are often not very different.IT startups do sometimes pay off really really well, but be aware that if you don't have shares or options from day 1, then the ones you will get as the firm grows will be very much 2nd tier and may never arrive even if the firm doesn't crash & burn.
Last edited by DominicConnor on March 2nd, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
stealthspy
Topic Author
Posts: 13
Joined: March 1st, 2011, 5:11 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 6th, 2011, 6:39 am

Thank you for your replies.I've heard that promotions and progressions are generally much quicker in the technology line of the financial services sector when compared to the conventional software companies. Is this true?
 
User avatar
capafan2
Posts: 924
Joined: June 20th, 2009, 11:26 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 6th, 2011, 11:32 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: stealthspyThank you for your replies.I've heard that promotions and progressions are generally much quicker in the technology line of the financial services sector when compared to the conventional software companies. Is this true?I don't think so. But others might have another point of view. They may throw a VP in your bag but that does not buy you much and then you may not see anything for years assuming you last the years. Technology in wall street is not a greatest place to work. Money in absolute terms may be better but by NYC standards not spectacular. Work would make you feel more like a consultant not a permanent employee - consultant to the business. In the end unless you are fairly lucky u won't make it to a manager level where the better levels of comp are- work is of such housekeeping nature you can hardly distinguish yourself based on your tech skills. So posturing plays a huge role. Job may not be outsourced to India but do not count out outsourcing to remote locations in the USA.Seriously your tech skills will deteriorate in tech groups in finance- and in the medium to long run you may not be able to get a job outside wall street in technology firms. Atleast get good tech exp outside wall street before going to tech of finance. At the very least u stay flexible to move out if you want to. Remember lot of money is relative. If you and your spouse make like 120k each outside nyc/nj area, it beats making 300k in nyc and having your spouse stay home coz your work pressure is nasty-it is also better risk management. And you wont make 300k unless you become a manager (and thats just today - you never know what tomorrow might bring). A lot of good tech work is being taken over by the business side these days with the slew of MFE's coming out. IT fin is the bottom of the pile and it feels painful and insulting.Love to hear other peoples point of view on this.
Last edited by capafan2 on March 5th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
demha
Posts: 182
Joined: January 27th, 2011, 8:01 pm

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 6th, 2011, 4:21 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: capafan2Seriously your tech skills will deteriorate in tech groups in finance- This is true to an extent. Depending on the group you land in a firm, you may find your original skill set diminishing as time goes on. I've seen this happen to a lot of people. Your only chance of keeping up will be self study, but you won't have much time for that due to the pressures of work. These days, there isn't even much of a budget for training, so can't even count on that. Even if you could, it will be limited to a couple of courses which isn't much.
 
User avatar
capafan2
Posts: 924
Joined: June 20th, 2009, 11:26 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 6th, 2011, 8:48 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: demhaQuoteOriginally posted by: capafan2Seriously your tech skills will deteriorate in tech groups in finance- This is true to an extent. Depending on the group you land in a firm, you may find your original skill set diminishing as time goes on. I've seen this happen to a lot of people. Your only chance of keeping up will be self study, but you won't have much time for that due to the pressures of work. These days, there isn't even much of a budget for training, so can't even count on that. Even if you could, it will be limited to a couple of courses which isn't much.Something else can happen- I have seen it happen- Because your role has such little respect in the people around you, people in IT who do not see themselves on the fast track tend to start thinking less and less of their own skill. Some will drift towards and MBA, others towards and MFE. In anycase unless you are coming from the outside I have seen insiders sneer at trying to learn anything new in technology emphasizing more on understanding the "business" (which in IT is the knowledge of various internal processes such as when a particular file arrives-how and to what database it is loaded-what each field means in the database, all important but very group and organization specific- I do not see this as transferable skill). But then again I have become very cynical.Lastly if you get in late with outside exp you will be disillusioned by people who were "born" in finance IT looking down on you - as if saying my knowledge of business is worth than your "current" knowledge of programming/IT. If you get in early (i.e are born in finance IT) your skills will most definitely rust and you will be institutionalized if you do not move to the business side.No one knows what role finance IT will play in the long run. It is a role where exp does not count. They need bodies who can work long and hard. Young college kids fit that bill. Just know what you are getting into. The money is not worth it. Take that from an insider. 150-180k in NYC/NJ is shit if your spouse stays at home. 120k elsewhere wins by a margin in terms of standard of living and overall quality of life.
 
User avatar
stealthspy
Topic Author
Posts: 13
Joined: March 1st, 2011, 5:11 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 6th, 2011, 9:17 pm

Thank you for your insights capafan2.The gossip among classmates is that compensation patterns, bonuses and job satisfaction vary greatly across front office technology roles and middle+back office technology roles. Is this notion correct? Also, what exactly is "front office IT" and how is it different form "middle/back office IT"?A friend's cousin works on algorithmic trading systems and another acquaintance of mine works on high-frequency trading systems. From what I hear both the individuals in question are making "truckloads of cash" (much much more than their CS classmates who took up jobs at Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo!, etc)
Last edited by stealthspy on March 5th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
capafan2
Posts: 924
Joined: June 20th, 2009, 11:26 am

Compensation: Dev. position in technology firm v/s Technology position in a financial firm

March 6th, 2011, 9:37 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: stealthspyThank you for your insights capafan2.The gossip among classmates is that compensation patterns, bonuses and job satisfaction vary greatly across front office technology roles and middle+back office technology roles. Is this notion correct? Also, what exactly is "front office IT" and how is it different form "middle/back office IT"?A friend's cousin works on algorithmic trading systems and another acquaintance of mine works on high-frequency trading systems. From what I hear both the individuals in question are making "truckloads of cash" (much much more than their CS classmates who took up jobs at Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo!, etc)Definition of truckloads of cash varies with age. At 25 100k is truckload , at 35 180k is not that massive. Secondly there is not much difference depending on 180k in NY and 120k say in chicago but california is another story. Compared to california NYC is better I think.If you must work in finance IT - back office risk IT is best. They use better technologies, skills are more valued (math and monte carlo is used more often). Front office IT is seriously housekeeping. Yes-you stand a better chance of not being outsourced to some remote US location but its not the greatest place to be. If you love finance- then in front office IT get into reporting, you do that long enough you will be enough finance knowledge with out own reading. You can do an MFE and then maybe jump or just grow into the a manager if you are lucky. But the rest of front office IT work is very very housekeeping. So my call is choose RISK IT if you can but also be careful - it all depends on your specific role and that is a roll of the dice when you start. Then choose front office IT reporting and last front office IT housekeeping. And the notion that front office IT makes more money then back office IT is totally false and seriously amusing. IT is IT no matter where you go in the bank
ABOUT WILMOTT

PW by JB

Wilmott.com has been "Serving the Quantitative Finance Community" since 2001. Continued...


Twitter LinkedIn Instagram

JOBS BOARD

JOBS BOARD

Looking for a quant job, risk, algo trading,...? Browse jobs here...


GZIP: On