Has Silicon Valley replaced Wall Street as the prestigious post-college job?

Mod Note (Andy): Add it to your calendars: Kevin Roose will be doing a live Q&A on WSO next Wednesday (Feb 19th) from 3-5pm ET

Hi WSO: I'm the author of "Young Money," a new book about junior Wall Street bankers. I'm a writer with New York magazine (formerly with The New York Times), and I've been an avid WSO reader for years.

This week's question: Has Silicon Valley replaced Wall Street as the prestigious post-college job?

The comment with the most silver bananas will win a signed copy of "Young Money."

Rules: Comments must be submitted by Wednesday Feb 19th 11:59pm ET and the winners will be announced next Monday.


Click inside the post for more info about the book, and Click Here to purchase a copy.

YOUNG MONEY
Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits
Becoming a young Wall Street banker is like pledging the world's most lucrative and soul-crushing fraternity. Every year, thousands of eager college graduates are hired by the world's financial giants, where they're taught the secrets of making obscene amounts of money-- as well as how to dress, talk, date, drink, and schmooze like real financiers.

Comments (28)

Feb 14, 2014

They're both the same, it just depends whether you're willing to network and kiss ass in a $1200 suit or in a $1200 pair of ripped jeans.

Feb 14, 2014

didn't this thread exist 2 weeks ago or something?....

Best Response
Feb 14, 2014

Your 3 topics on this forum have been "submit your best i-banking horror stories", "are Wall Street's best days behind us", and "has Silicon Valley replaced Wall Street as the prestigious post-college job". Most of your articles and tweets are critiquing Wall Street or big business in one way or the other.

Your book description is eye-roll worthy. The analyst program is not a frat or some obscure secret society. No one is being taught "secrets of making obscene amounts of money". It's a lot of nerdy kids on Excel who work a lot, and only a minority end up becoming masters of the universe. I get that you want to sell copies and you need to dramatize and exaggerate, I get that Wall Street is an easy target, but you don't seem to be bringing anything new, exciting, or insightful to the party.

To answer the question, it's possible for more than one industry to have prestige. This isn't binary. Wall Street recruiting by the numbers is as competitive as it's ever been, and telling someone you're a software engineer at big company ABC or a startup no one's ever heard about isn't going to get more wow's from people than saying you're an i-banker.

Maybe it's different at a place like Stanford, I can't be sure, but I'd say Wall Street is still more "prestigious" than tech at the top schools in the northeast. But at the end of the day, they'll both set you up for great careers, so you don't get into pissing matches about it.

    • 8
Feb 14, 2014
Jon258:

Your 3 topics on this forum have been "submit your best i-banking horror stories", "are Wall Street's best days behind us", and "has Silicon Valley replaced Wall Street as the prestigious post-college job". Most of your articles and tweets are critiquing Wall Street or big business in one way or the other.

Your book description is eye-roll worthy. The analyst program is not a frat or some obscure secret society. No one is being taught "secrets of making obscene amounts of money". It's a lot of nerdy kids on Excel who work a lot, and only a minority end up becoming masters of the universe. I get that you want to sell copies and you need to dramatize and exaggerate, I get that Wall Street is an easy target, but you don't seem to be bringing anything new, exciting, or insightful to the party.

To answer the question, it's possible for more than one industry to have prestige. This isn't binary. Wall Street recruiting by the numbers is as competitive as it's ever been, and telling someone you're a software engineer at big company ABC or a startup no one's ever heard about isn't going to get more wow's from people than saying you're an i-banker.

Maybe it's different at a place like Stanford, I can't be sure, but I'd say Wall Street is still more "prestigious" than tech at the top schools in the northeast. But at the end of the day, they'll both set you up for great careers, so you don't get into pissing matches about it.

Feb 14, 2014
euroazn:
Jon258:

Your 3 topics on this forum have been "submit your best i-banking horror stories", "are Wall Street's best days behind us", and "has Silicon Valley replaced Wall Street as the prestigious post-college job". Most of your articles and tweets are critiquing Wall Street or big business in one way or the other.

Your book description is eye-roll worthy. The analyst program is not a frat or some obscure secret society. No one is being taught "secrets of making obscene amounts of money". It's a lot of nerdy kids on Excel who work a lot, and only a minority end up becoming masters of the universe. I get that you want to sell copies and you need to dramatize and exaggerate, I get that Wall Street is an easy target, but you don't seem to be bringing anything new, exciting, or insightful to the party.

To answer the question, it's possible for more than one industry to have prestige. This isn't binary. Wall Street recruiting by the numbers is as competitive as it's ever been, and telling someone you're a software engineer at big company ABC or a startup no one's ever heard about isn't going to get more wow's from people than saying you're an i-banker.

Maybe it's different at a place like Stanford, I can't be sure, but I'd say Wall Street is still more "prestigious" than tech at the top schools in the northeast. But at the end of the day, they'll both set you up for great careers, so you don't get into pissing matches about it.

Feb 14, 2014

Ooof.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Feb 15, 2014

@Jon258 Looks like you're going to be getting a signed copy of this book. Lol. If you don't want it, can I please have it? Lol Seriously want to read this book :)

Feb 14, 2014

I don't know that it's completely replaced it yet, but it's looking to be on the way. Just judging by why so many friends in b-school are working on or looking to do, people are very much focused on joining tech companies and similar businesses when they get out. That, and so many people have misc. apps they want to make.

I think there are misconceptions about tech and people see stories like Snapchat and Instagram and think: "hey, it's just a photo taking app, how hard can it be?" Non-tech people have no real appreciation for the difficulties involved in that sort of thing and the level of luck involved in something like that.

    • 1
Feb 14, 2014
TheKing:

I don't know that it's completely replaced it yet, but it's looking to be on the way. Just judging by why so many friends in b-school are working on or looking to do, people are very much focused on joining tech companies and similar businesses when they get out.

Lol, bschool people have negative alpha. Whatever they're doing, you should do the opposite.

Feb 14, 2014

no one wants to buy your book.

    • 1
Feb 14, 2014

It will never get old lumping those in high finance into the evil, greedy sociopath box. The only question is who wears the white hat these days? Nowadays it's tech. So somehow the masses have been deluded into thinking that Steve Jobs was a teddy bear who nurtured innovation into the 21st century to make life for everyone better. An 'Orphan Annie' turned Tesla. It fits great into the hollywood triumph story we all like to watch.

The truth is that all of these industries are as top heavy as the other. And all are controlled to some extent by sociopaths who want to control the direction the entire industry goes in, without regard for the competition they step on or the workers who haul the stone on their backs up to the top of the pyramid.

Heads of movie studios use the same people over and over for every film. Those actors make millions while the people who set up, support, and subsequently break down a set are paid pennies on the dollar compared to the leading actors. It's no different than what you see at JPM with Dimon vs. an analyst. Steve Jobs was known for having vision but as Bill Burr* (see below for link) said brilliantly on stage, 'He told other people what to invent. I want my entire music collection in this thing. GET ON IT'. You see those people being lauded? Are they billionaires? No.

Every industry in this country (and moreso in the world) is "soul-crushing" for those who don't get to the top. Tech is no different than banking. Try inventing something and having your life's work sued into oblivion because you are accused of infringing on a patent - even if you didn't.

My point is this. These industries are all mature and controlled by powerful people who have our government's ear. That means we will never see them crumble. Tech is hotter right now than banking because of the feel-good Matt Damon & Ben Affleck stories of kids creating something in their dorm room that changes their lives overnight. All too many others will follow the Zuckerbergs into tech and crash and burn. The question 'Is X more prestigious than Y' is lame for exactly the reasons above. Because it doesn't matter. It's based on public sentiment which changes with the wind on the back of the latest rags-to-riches story. When all of us with experience know that nothing is changing the paradigm that dramatically. 2009 didn't change banking. So don't think asking over and over is going to make us regret our career choices. We still operate in a more meritocratic industry than most with huge upside potential.

* Bill Burr brilliant commentary on nerd jesus aka steve jobs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iGm4dl0Ys4&t=4m15s

    • 1
Feb 14, 2014

"YOUNG MONEY
Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits
Becoming a young Wall Street banker is like pledging the world's most lucrative and soul-crushing fraternity. Every year, thousands of eager college graduates are hired by the world's financial giants, where they're taught the secrets of making obscene amounts of money-- as well as how to dress, talk, date, drink, and schmooze like real financiers."

lmfao...

May 20, 2016

delete

Feb 14, 2014

What's the record for MS on a front-paged post?

    • 1
Feb 14, 2014

Ironically it looks like Jon258 will be getting a signed copy of his book, Lol.

    • 1
Feb 14, 2014
Going Concern:

Ironically it looks like @Jon258 will be getting a signed copy of his book, Lol.

LOL

Feb 14, 2014

bahahahahah

Feb 15, 2014

Wow haha

Feb 14, 2014

@dickfuld has all the money. He should buy everyone a copy.

Feb 15, 2014
5ways2doit:

@DickFuld has all the money. He should buy everyone a copy.

By the looks of it, it seems nobody wants a copy.

Feb 15, 2014

i've seen worse, maybe 20? if i think of it i'll send it your way

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Feb 14, 2014

This guys gotten so much Doo Doo thrown at him that he should be banned from this website.

Feb 15, 2014

dollas

Feb 15, 2014
Feb 15, 2014
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Feb 17, 2014
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Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com