CS or IB?

………………………………
………………………………
………………………………
………………………………………………………………
………………………………
………………………………
………………………………

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (47)

Most Helpful
Jan 20, 2022 - 1:26pm
tossed aligator, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The question you should ask yourself is what would you enjoy the most. Ignore the debate about which pays more, etc. You will do quite well for yourself on either path if you can stick with it.

Funniest
Jan 20, 2022 - 1:47pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:
novid

I'm going to be incoming freshmen at Cornell University

That's pretty cool. Are you Siamese twins? 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 11
Jan 20, 2022 - 1:49pm
eloquence, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agree with the above, pay is kind of irrelevant at your age. Both IB and CS will provide you solid enough long-term comp that your decision should be based more about what you actually want to do.

You don't need to start pursuing this right away, so use your first semester to take an intro CS and intro finance class. Do you like writing code and could you see yourself doing that? Would you rather work in Excel instead?

Get a freshman internship doing either and see if you like it. Having a CS internship and deciding you don't like that and want to do finance is fine, or vice versa. Sophomore 1st semester is kind of when you have to decide for IB, so you have some time. 

Array

  • 2
Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Jan 21, 2022 - 9:56am
CDOsAndThiccHoes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I agree, but it is worth noting that intro classes absolutely suck a lot of times and don't really go into any detail on topics that may spark an interest. 

Could probably just get a degree in both and get some internships before deciding what to do post-grad.

Jan 20, 2022 - 2:00pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It doesn't have to be strictly CS vs IB. There are other roles where you work lighter hours such as management consulting or corporate finance. Some roles in management consulting are heavy travel, but others are just occasional travel depending on the project.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jan 20, 2022 - 2:07pm
Drumpfy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would do CS unless you really hate coding.  Even a 60 hour week is four extra hours each work day.  Assuming the average person works 8 hours, sleeps 8 hours, and has 8 hours off, that's half your free time gone. 

Jan 20, 2022 - 3:34pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have heard from friends who work in FAANG that to get ahead more than 40 hours is required. Also some firms like AMZN, GOOGL, etc. don't have the best hours so it can be firm/group dependent. 

Array

Jan 24, 2022 - 7:13pm
thaddaddy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ok I keep seeing this pop up here… my brother works at Google, and he legitimately works 10 hours a week. Google is known to be one of the best work life balance spots. Amazon is on the other end of that reputation, but even then 40 hours is the norm (he also worked there a few years back)

Jan 25, 2022 - 5:33pm
J.P. Morghan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My older brother's best friend earns 900k/year working 10 hours/week at Amazon. Seriously, no joke. Maybe he had to work a littttttle over 40 hours/week to get ahead in the start, but damn, getting ahead THAT much is absolutely worth it.

How much would you "get ahead" by working +80 hour weeks in IB? Not even close.

Jan 20, 2022 - 2:53pm
PrivateTechquity 🚀GME🚀, what's your opinion? Comment below:

These are two very different types of people with very different long-term career aspirations. You need to reexamine what you want. You're also a freshman and don't really know anything so at the moment, it doesn't totally matter. Focus on doing decently in school and talking to people on both sides of the fence to figure out what you want. That's how I eventually made the switch from pre-med STEM to finance. 

Array

  • 1
Jan 20, 2022 - 3:11pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What kind of doctor did you want to be?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jan 20, 2022 - 3:37pm
PrivateTechquity 🚀GME🚀, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Either a heart or brain surgeon, thought both were pretty fascinating. Then I learned how the medical system in the US was structured and wanted no part of that + the med school debt vs early finance earnings and career progression. 

Array

  • 1
Jan 20, 2022 - 3:23pm
trustmeimanengineer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

CS comp will outpace IB. Unless you hate coding, outcomes are likely better on average in CS at a FANG than IB and much less time spent in the office

Jan 20, 2022 - 3:48pm
elonterrace, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not quite. If they're at Cornell, they should be able to land a BB, which means that they'll earn more in finance than in tech. But the question shouldn't be about compensation as both options pay sufficiently, it should really be about what want to do for the next three to four decades of their life.

Jan 21, 2022 - 7:11am
TheEmperor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I know plenty of people at my target who studied CS and then chose to pursue finance roles if they thought the pay and opportunity merited the switch. The optionality a CS degree gives you-especially at an Ivy like Cornell-is truly incredible. Just know that it will be more work so make sure the rest of your schedule is easier classes so you can have some fun in college too.

I wholeheartedly regret not studying CS simply because it would have been nice to have those opportunities available.

Jan 21, 2022 - 10:39am
novid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I forgot to mention but my current major at Cornell is in a different school (ILR), and is much more geared towards Finance and IB as is. And switching majors from different colleges/schools in Cornell is a bit more convoluted. If I were planning a switch to a CS major in A&S I would really have to commit to taking as many pre-requisite courses in my freshman year and maybe during the summer so I don't fall behind the curve. The latest I can switch is at the end of my Freshman year and I assume I'd be out of luck finding CS related internships if my major, which is primarily humanities based, has no relevance.

Jan 21, 2022 - 11:13pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Do want to point out though that that "optionality" only exists if you have a GPA decent enough for finance recruiting. 

Array

Jan 21, 2022 - 6:49pm
traeyoung11, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This isn't exactly accurate. I'm a Cornell sophomore who got into Dyson, but after doing the courses, researching as many career paths as I could (joining a business frat and other clubs helped me with this), doing the intro CS course (CS 1110), and doing a finance internship freshman summer, I decided I wanted to switch majors to pursue quant finance. I switched into Engineering CS after filling out 2 brief applications (one for internal transfer and one for the CS major) last semester and I got accepted last week. Filling out the applications is the easy part, but you have to spend time to figure out how you're gonna fulfill the remaining requirements in the CS major and then set up an appointment with an advisor in the college you're transferring to (which is A&S for you). Despite the fact that only 2 of the classes I took during freshman year fulfilled the CS major requirements, my course plan for future semesters doesn't involve any summer classes. There's only 3 courses you have to take before you can affiliate with the CS major: MATH 1920 (multivariable calc), CS 2110 (OOP in Java), and CS 2800 (discrete math). I recommend spacing out the math ones instead of taking everything at once like I did. You'll want to fill out the applications during the semester that you complete these requirements. Here's a checklist with all the course requirements and more information about the major and the internal transfer process (A&S and Engineering). Also you could do a CS minor instead, depending on the career you're interested in.

Like other people have said, figure out what it is that you actually want to do. Try to take CS 1110 your freshman year (or skip to CS 2110 if you can use any AP credit since 1110 is super basic imo). Once you get here, you'll see that there's so many different ways that you can experiment to figure out what you wanna pursue. You don't need to box yourself into a specific major or career path so early since you have so much time during the first couple years (and you have until 1st semester sophomore year to decide on IB). 

Jan 24, 2022 - 12:10pm
novid, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the writeup. I wasn't really sure of how the whole process worked so I appreciate it.

I'm still exploring my options which is why I like ILR because it gives me that flexibility. However, I got into coding very recently and I found it pretty fun and captivating. I'm not 100% sure if I would transfer to A&S but I if I would, I have a couple of questions. Do you know what the transfer acceptance rate is to A&S? Also, would the major you're transferring into matter (CS)? I only got into cs very recently so I don't really have anything to show for it which is why I'm kinda worried. Thanks again.

Jan 21, 2022 - 10:07pm
johnny-mnemonic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think you should find a way to talk with upperclassmen at Cornell in person. By talking with people who've done the work and started in your position you'll get a better perspective on the industry. I know I wouldn't have gotten my offer or even pursued IB if not for a guy two years above me who struck a great path into banking and PE. You're at a great school. I know a few people who transferred from my school to Cornell and got into top banks. Good luck man

Jan 25, 2022 - 7:54pm
TheKrewe, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Unde omnis quibusdam sunt aliquam id alias. Aliquid minus et vel sed qui placeat delectus. Qui quod aut quis libero a sed quas impedit. Quia quia est quam dolor inventore autem. Sit at dicta neque molestias sunt aut quis eos.

Et sed ullam quisquam enim. Voluptatem quos libero quia qui natus rem libero occaecati. Et eos dolorum omnis nihil atque. Non natus vero facere vel rerum accusantium sed.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲03) 99.6%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲07) 99.2%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲02) 98.7%
  • Lincoln International (▽02) 98.3%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲07) 97.9%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲12) 99.6%
  • Rothschild (▲02) 99.1%
  • Truist Securities (+ +) 98.7%
  • Greenhill (▲06) 98.3%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲07) 97.9%

Professional Growth Opportunities

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲04) 99.6%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲06) 99.2%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲09) 98.7%
  • Lincoln International (▲02) 98.3%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲06) 97.9%

Total Avg Compensation

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $661
  • Vice President (36) $393
  • Associates (181) $246
  • 2nd Year Analyst (109) $161
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (17) $156
  • 1st Year Analyst (349) $148
  • Intern/Summer Associate (74) $147
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (272) $91