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As comp in IB continues to disappoint, I was wondering what industry paid as well as IB, and had the potential salary upside of IB for an associate / VP - any ideas? Does corporate pay as well? How much would a Business Development director earn at a Fortune 500 company?

How about consulting? Pros/cons?

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Comments (226)

  • J.'s picture

    Bus Dev especially starting off in bus dev is definitely not as high.

    I would say (top 3) consulting, (including perks) is very comparable, and depending on who you are, the job is quite interesting.

  • ChicagoIBD's picture

    IBD is a good way to ensure relatively strong earnings.

    Real wealth is derived from owning companies (true equity, not somebody who has 20 shares of KO).

    That's why there were so many bankers to be who ran off to the tech scene in the 90's it was another potential shot of get rich quick.

  • In reply to J.
    Audio's picture

    J. wrote:
    Bus Dev especially starting off in bus dev is definitely not as high.

    I would say (top 3) consulting, (including perks) is very comparable, and depending on who you are, the job is quite interesting.

    Agreed that starting job in bus dev not only pays poorly but sucks too. But if you get in at director level (basically running the thing - something a 2nd or 3rd year VP could do), how much could you make?

  • In reply to morgan90
    GentlemanJack's picture

    morgan90 wrote:
    Consulting...

    Yes, but you'll earn it. Tons of travel. And most consulting companies highlight in their contract that they DO NOT pay for personal time on travel. That means that if a contract requires you to fly on Sundays (common) or stay the weekend (not so common but it happens) then that's on your clock, not theirs. That shit gets old REALLY fast.

    Of course, you can say that IBD is tough work too and I agree. But I'd much rather do 80 hours in IBD and sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, than 80 hours of consulting, 20 of which are my own time, while connecting through God-forsaken Denver on my way to Ames Iowa to sleep at a Hampton fucking Inn.

  • UncleMilty's picture

    Well, Big Law can achieve the same level of pay (~$160,000 in NYC), but you're coming in after three years of law school.

    "When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
    - Oscar Wilde
    "Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
    - RagnarDanneskjold

  • bullbythehorns's picture

    a somalian pirate....they fucking rake

    Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

  • In reply to GentlemanJack
    B4A23's picture

    GentlemanJack wrote:
    morgan90 wrote:
    Consulting...

    Yes, but you'll earn it. Tons of travel. And most consulting companies highlight in their contract that they DO NOT pay for personal time on travel. That means that if a contract requires you to fly on Sundays (common) or stay the weekend (not so common but it happens) then that's on your clock, not theirs. That shit gets old REALLY fast.

    Of course, you can say that IBD is tough work too and I agree. But I'd much rather do 80 hours in IBD and sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, than 80 hours of consulting, 20 of which are my own time, while connecting through God-forsaken Denver on my way to Ames Iowa to sleep at a Hampton fucking Inn.

    This is very misleading:

    1) Rarely do you fly on Sundays. It does happen, but a good manager isn't going to let that crap happen, because it's that person's time too.

    2) Compensated for personal time? Is this a union job? You charge everything to either your client or to internal for all the time you're busting your ass traveling. Regardless, you're salaried, so it's all about what your charge time is and metrics come review season.

    3) Hampton Inn? (I really hate myself for being a points snob at this point. But really?)

    I'm incriminating myself.

  • In reply to GentlemanJack
    djfiii's picture

    GentlemanJack wrote:
    morgan90 wrote:
    Consulting...

    Yes, but you'll earn it. Tons of travel. And most consulting companies highlight in their contract that they DO NOT pay for personal time on travel. That means that if a contract requires you to fly on Sundays (common) or stay the weekend (not so common but it happens) then that's on your clock, not theirs. That shit gets old REALLY fast.

    Of course, you can say that IBD is tough work too and I agree. But I'd much rather do 80 hours in IBD and sleep in my own bed, eat my own food, than 80 hours of consulting, 20 of which are my own time, while connecting through God-forsaken Denver on my way to Ames Iowa to sleep at a Hampton fucking Inn.

    Pretty much everything you just wrote is false. Except the hours - that's legit. Smaller operations, particularly off-brand IT consulting shops are going to fit your description because they are far more price sensitive - they have much lower bill rates simply to get business, and live in fear of charging clients too much for expenses. Any of the shops talked about in this forum (McK, Bain, BCG, LEK, Monitor, OW, Deloitte, EY, PwC, Accenture, etc.) are going to be as follows:

    (1) Most consulting shops - at least the big name ones worth their salt, are M-Th travel, home (or in office) on Friday. Probably quite a few wfh hours on Saturday afternoon as well, but at least you're at home. This can change during crunch time or for very specific projects (see #3), but is generally the rule.

    (2) At these same consulting shops, you are generally salaried + bonus (or maybe K1 if you're a partner), so I'm not sure what contract you're talking about regarding payment for personal time. Also not sure where you're getting a contract that requires someone to travel on Sunday. That's all project specific, and you rotate on and off projects with no "contract". You're an employee of the firm you work at.

    (3) If you do land on a project where weekend stays are requested or expected for a long period (i.e maybe client wants everyone there 8am Monday -> 5pm Friday), or you really are just working around the clock 7 days a week, a few things happen that generally don't for the M-Th folks: corporate hosing comes into play, so you might get an apartment on location for however long you need to be there. Additional cost of living expenses enter as well: laundry service, and other things they generally wouldn't pay for if you're only on-site M-Th. All of this is paid for by the client, and not your problem.

    (4) Firms are generally very flexible with mixing personal and work travel / time. For example, it's almost a universal perk that if you, say, live in Chicago and are on a project in Dallas, instead of flying back to Chicago on Thursday night, you can fly anywhere you want, up to the cost of your ticket home. Maybe you go visit friends in Denver for the weekend, etc.

    (5) Location: So many projects are going to be in major metro areas that, while yes you could get stuck in Bum Fuck Iowa - that's unlikely. Most people I know spent their entire careers in Chicago, NYC, DC, San Fran, LA, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, etc. Rarely did I know of, or hear of people having to spend months on end in the middle of no where (even though it does happen on occasion - it's just not the rule) .

  • GentlemanJack's picture

    1 - I am writing about my experience with IBM not some risky dink little consulting shop.

    2 - you guys are only thinking about domestic assignments. If you're good - and I was VERY good - you get sent overseas. So, 9 hour flight to Colombia and the client wants you there Monday, 8 am. Guess which day you're flying out? And it's a three week contract. Guess how many weekends you're spending in Colombia?

    3 - It doesn't matter who you work for EVERYONE is cost conscious now. The days of the client footing the bill for anything you want are over. Most clients stick by GSA rates and I don't have to tell you how much those suck.

    4 - my its was not so much about the scheduling & expenses as it was about the personal time away from home. Unless you've been there, as I have, it's hard to appreciate what it means to sleep in your own bed. Both of you knuckleheads made references ti that without really appreciating what it means.

    I stand by my previous statement. You're better off slaving in ib than consulting.

  • KingHasReturned's picture

    although it's a front/middle office role in working with the S&T team, how is Equity Research as a career for a few years before moving on?

  • Achiral's picture

    I like how this website denies the existence of the medical profession.

  • s2tn6at's picture

    Or engineering and architecture (granted the earnings potential is far lower unless you start your own firm).

  • Audio's picture

    OK, a bit more about myself - I am a post MBA associate in a BB, so most of the options that are mentioned are not options (law, consulting, etc) are not options for me. What other jobs provide comparable pay checks for an associate?

  • kmess024's picture

    engineer

    The Four E's of investment
    "The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet

  • In reply to Achiral
    UncleMilty's picture

    Achiral wrote:
    I like how this website denies the existence of the medical profession.

    If you're smart enough to be an MD, you're smart enough to be an MD. The question is how ruthless and practical you are.

    "When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
    - Oscar Wilde
    "Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
    - RagnarDanneskjold

  • obscenity's picture

    Engineering doesn't pay nearly as well as finance. Starting salaries may be comparable, but there's much less advancement.

  • Relinquis's picture

    Looking at my friends and removing family money and entrepreneurship from the equation...

    Alternatives careers that pay well:
    - A few friends (surgeons) do well for themselves.
    - Real estate investments/acquisitions can be lucrative (although very cyclical and finance related sector).
    - I don't know how well advertising pays (Ogilvy, Publicis, etc...) but a friend of mine is a director at a similar firm and does well for himself.
    - Certain areas of legal work pay well.

  • BigBucks's picture

    no one is going to mention the oil industry in general?

  • neanderthal's picture

    Petroleum engineering. I know kids from our school who graduate with $110K+ starting salaries.

  • In reply to neanderthal
    kmess024's picture

    neanderthal wrote:
    Petroleum engineering. I know kids from our school who graduate with $110K+ starting salaries.

    JOb requires alot of hard work and is quite hard to get qualified for

    The Four E's of investment
    "The greatest Enemies of the Equity investor are Expenses and Emotions."- Warren Buffet

  • ERGOHOC's picture

    Equity Research pays pretty well in Asia (Japan, S.Korea) Entry research assistants make around 70-80K. Once you become an associate it jumps up to 100-120K and make it to Analyst, you're looking at around 300K. Get 7~8 years of exp under your belt, you can make close to 7 figures.

    Of course it's nowhere near hundreds of millions you IB monkeys are probably aiming for, but considering you have almost zero risk of losing your job in ER, great work-life balance, and decent exit opps, it's definitely a good life. You do however have to be bilingual in Japanese/Korean and English and you'll find yourself doing a LOT of translation work in your first 2-3 years.

  • In reply to UncleMilty
    vid's picture

    UncleMilty wrote:
    Achiral wrote:
    I like how this website denies the existence of the medical profession.

    If you're smart enough to be an MD, you're smart enough to be an MD. The question is how ruthless and practical you are.

    Could you elaborate? Not sure what you were driving at here...

  • In reply to GentlemanJack
    Powerpoint Jockey's picture

    GentlemanJack wrote:
    1 - I am writing about my experience with IBM not some risky dink little consulting shop.

    2 - you guys are only thinking about domestic assignments. If you're good - and I was VERY good - you get sent overseas. So, 9 hour flight to Colombia and the client wants you there Monday, 8 am. Guess which day you're flying out? And it's a three week contract. Guess how many weekends you're spending in Colombia?

    3 - It doesn't matter who you work for EVERYONE is cost conscious now. The days of the client footing the bill for anything you want are over. Most clients stick by GSA rates and I don't have to tell you how much those suck.

    4 - my its was not so much about the scheduling & expenses as it was about the personal time away from home. Unless you've been there, as I have, it's hard to appreciate what it means to sleep in your own bed. Both of you knuckleheads made references ti that without really appreciating what it means.

    I stand by my previous statement. You're better off slaving in ib than consulting.

    IBM isn't little but it's pretty close to rinky dink. My friends there all echo your sentiments: shitty projects, cheap ass clients, boring work... High end management consulting with MBB (not IT consulting) is an entirely different world. Clients do foot the bill for everything, and there's none of this GSA rate bullshit. For whatever reason, the work I'm doing for them is worth more than I could possibly charge for dinner, and they recognize that.

  • Angus Macgyver's picture

    Just FYI - in Asia, IBD pays significantly more than Consulting, but also has much worse hours. 100 hours of work versus maybe 70-80, for which you get paid (first year) 150-200k vs 75-100k USD a year.

  • In reply to kmess024
    PetEng's picture

    kmess024 wrote:
    neanderthal wrote:
    Petroleum engineering. I know kids from our school who graduate with $110K+ starting salaries.

    JOb requires alot of hard work and is quite hard to get qualified for
    IBD is a lot harder than Petroleum Engineering, fyi.

  • In reply to Achiral
    Devils Advocate's picture

    Achiral wrote:
    I like how this website denies the existence of the medical profession.

    When you take into the account the opportunity cost of pursuing a medical degree, the cost of financing such an education, and how MDs are getting increasingly fucked in the ass by insurance premiums...f-uck no I would not ever consider that profession

  • shorttheworld's picture
  • In reply to shorttheworld
    whatwhatwhat's picture

    shorttheworld wrote:
    PORN

    STAR


    that shit after an IB stint could fill some fatty fetish needs

  • FlakieBear's picture

    Blow jobs?

    Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

  • In reply to shorttheworld
    vitaminc's picture

    shorttheworld wrote:
    PORN

    STAR

    every aspiring porn star gotta do a gay scene to move up, just like the schools of associates getting mounted from behind.

  • In reply to PetEng
    gcj17's picture

    PetEng wrote:
    kmess024 wrote:
    neanderthal wrote:
    Petroleum engineering. I know kids from our school who graduate with $110K+ starting salaries.

    JOb requires alot of hard work and is quite hard to get qualified for
    IBD is a lot harder than Petroleum Engineering, fyi.

    True. First friend out of college, reservior engineer, starting salary is $105k and gets every other Friday off (9-5pm). He said it's super easy and uses nothing from college. Second friend is a drilling engineer who makes $95K and works probably 80 hours for two weeks then gets one week off.

  • PetEng's picture

    The real earning potential comes down to where you top out at, imo. Finance gives you the best chance to make 500k+/year. There are no comparable industries. None. Not entertainment, not legal, not high tech, not energy, not consulting.

    There are a few industries/professions where 150k-200k are reasonably attainable.

    If you make 250k/year as a programmer or petroleum engineer you are at the very top of the scale and likely very good at your job. That's 5 years of experience for IBD (ie: scum sucking piece of shit).

    There is no real comparison.

  • ST Monkey's picture

    apply your IBD experiences in organized pimping or drug dealing, I am sure down in Mexico they need someone with M&A skills.

  • In reply to Achiral
    West Coast rainmaker's picture

    I'll assume you mean outside of other finance jobs, like hedge funds and ER.

    Big Law has already been mentioned.

    Sales within a f500 can do well, especially if they can build their own book of business. Generally not IB MD level, but still very good.

    Real Estate is, or was, surprisingly profitable. Of course, it depends on the broader market as well.

    The commodities giants (glencore, cargill, etc.) also pay near finance salaries, but they make you prove yourself for a few years before your pay jumps.

    Achiral wrote:
    I like how this website denies the existence of the medical profession.

    Old, but still rather true: http://www.er-doctor.com/doctor_income.html

    Medicine is not something that makes financial sense; 4 extra years of school and then 3-6 years of what amounts to a living wage. Also, you have to consider the 200k+ in debt you wrack up in medical school.

    Doctors can make money, but most involve starting an entrepreneurial venture in an in-demand niche. Like a dermatologist who starts their own skin care line. And yes, top neurosurgeons can make $1mm+, but they are the absolute best and brightest of the already qualified applicant pool.

  • Leonidas's picture

    To all of you guys championing Accounting/Medicine/BigLaw/Consulting/CorpFin, please stop.

    Accounting:
    First off, that promotion chart is very dubious. I know senior accountants working at Big 4 firms, and they do not make anywhere near that amount. The only way to make a shitload of money in accounting is to open your own firm, and it's a lot harder than it sounds. In the unlikely event that you are some kind of accounting rain maker at a Big 4, and you do make $450,000 after 17 years on the job (+2 yrs for MBA/Masters), while a respectable amount of money, it is nothing compared to IBD. If you stuck around in IBD that long, you would most certainly be an MD, and would be making ~$1 MM.

    Medicine:
    The best part of Medicine is not the money, it is the satisfaction of curing people, and the ultimate job security. Yes, the money is pretty good, and you'll be making guaranteed 6-figures for the rest of your life, but keep in mind that you won't be able to enter the work-force before you're 30 (22 yrs+4 yrs Med School+4 yrs Residency). And when you add up all those lost years, IBD beats Medicine decisively.

    Big Law:
    I have personal experience in this field. When I was in college, I wanted to be a lawyer. I even took the LSAT my sophomore year. But after my BB IBD internships (which at the time I did to be more competitive for Wachtell), I opted for the IBD>PE route.

    Moving on... While it is true that 1st year Associates get $160,000 a year (plus a small bonus), it does not get much higher than this as you progress. I know for a fact that a 7th year Associate at Skadden got $302k all in. Whereas a VP3 would be clearing ~$650,000 after putting in the same number of years after grad school.

    Consulting:
    It consists of a shit-ton of traveling, and if you don't want to waste half your life in commute, and don't care about the "perks", there is very little reason to do it. Besides, the pay is much lower than IBD at pretty much every level. If you can't tell already, I'm not a fan of Consulting. However, it has excellent placement into B-School/Corp Strat, so if that's your thing, by all means go for it.

    CorpFin:
    This a really nice gig at the F100 level, but this is a lifestyle job. Sure you'll get awesome benefits, and 40-hour weeks, but you'll never be making as much as Banking at the corresponding level.

    Bottom Line:
    If you want to make more than Banking, go to PE/HF. Audio, provided that you graduated from a Top B-School, you could easily make the transition to PE with some hustle.

    Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit because he doesn't come over to your property and break your windows.

  • FlakieBear's picture

    Actuary

    Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

  • Bruce.Wayne's picture

    How come nobody mentioned starting your own business?

    4 LEGIT ways to make REAL money in America

    1) Banking - Cyclic; more of a right time, right place thing IMO.. For all the upcoming monkeys including myself I think we're kinda fucked, at least for the next few years
    2) Law - Similar to entry level banking but banking sky rockets in salary at senior levels; plus opportunity cost
    3) Medicine - Largest opportunity cost
    4) Start your own business - Biggest risk, biggest payout

  • In reply to Leonidas
    wolverine19x89's picture

    Leonidas wrote:

    Big Law:
    I have personal experience in this field. When I was in college, I wanted to be a lawyer. I even took the LSAT my sophomore year.

    Soooooo much experience.

    Actuaries make good money for 40 hour work weeks

    If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

    "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

  • In reply to FlakieBear
    sayandarula's picture

    FlakieBear wrote:
    Actuary

    If you can get through those monstrous exams that take on average 10 years to complete... I believe an FSA or FCAS will make 250k-300k without even being a manager. This is truly the high-paying 40-hour/week job, much better work/life than Corporate Finance, where you will be putting in MORE hours as you move up to the manager or director levels.

    Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

  • In reply to wolverine19x89
    Leonidas's picture

    scottj19x89 wrote:
    Leonidas wrote:

    Big Law:
    I have personal experience in this field. When I was in college, I wanted to be a lawyer. I even took the LSAT my sophomore year.

    Soooooo much experience.

    Actuaries make good money for 40 hour work weeks

    I doubt actuaries make more than IBD MDs. Besides, getting certified as an actuary takes 10+ years. And since I was accepted to HYS Law School, I think I'm qualified to speak on it, which is more than I can say for you.

    Calling Ron Paul an isolationist is like calling your neighbor a hermit because he doesn't come over to your property and break your windows.

  • wolverine19x89's picture

    who said that actuaries make more than IBD MDs? And since when does getting accepted to law school = personal experience in big law?

    If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

    "There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

  • In reply to wolverine19x89
    FlakieBear's picture

    scottj19x89 wrote:
    who said that actuaries make more than IBD MDs? And since when does getting accepted to law school = personal experience in big law?

    That's the kind of logic that got him into HYS law school. In his dream of course

    Power and Money do not change men; they only unmask them

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