Torn between Software Engineering route or Equity Research Route

Here's the thing; I've been in finance for over 4 years now, but I've only started programming since this year (Just declared a CS & Math, Finance double major).

I'm having trouble decide whether I should be a mediocre full stack engineer while being a decently good financier, or being a really strong financier with peak domain knowledge in the space.

I have a lot of domain knowledge in the technology space and equity research in TMT & Semiconductors.

Ultimately my goal is to make an impact in the world, and currently I feel that being a software engineer now would be more beneficial in the long run because I can just build anything I want. Another factor to my choice is that I intend to be a billionaire just because I've been several profitable bets in the past, believe I have a strong insight in the market, and ran and exited a successful investment fund.

The alternative would be to pull a Martin Shkreli by staying in the financial industry while working on developing a product.

Comments (5)

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DontDiscountMyCashFlows, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You will have more job security in Software Engineering period. No contest compared to Equity Research. With that being said, I started my career in computer science/information systems and found that my career path lacked the passion that I have for finance.

Lucky for your both of the skill sets you would build through either of those roles when married would make you deadly. I would decide where your passion lies, you sound qualified enough to be able to break into Equity Research the better question is which one do you think you can't live without, or maybe better said if you were to die tomorrow which career path would have you wondering what if, or would bring regret.

Best of luck with your decision!

bug-me-not, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hello forum! I noticed that I make quite a lot of errors in the code, and often I don't notice them before handing over, so now, before handing over to the client, I send my software for verification to the test automation company, now my reviews and quality have increased significantly, I think it's worth it! Really very useful thing!

Americus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You have a lot of things mixed together, let's try to split them into digestible parts, while keeping the end goal of running with your own product/enterprise in the future.

4 years in finance is a good term to figure things out for yourself. It looks like you enjoy what you're doing, which is great. It looks like you have lack of understanding what software engineering is all about in short and long run, and what the change means.

First, software engineering is not about doing what you want, it is about what clients want, and in most cases in the industry it means working on smooth user experience, interfaces, security issues, and so forth. Usually the work is intellectually stimulating, that's for sure, but outputs are rather of questionable value. Think of creating and polishing web pages for some product, and moving buttons around the page. while changing its color, because marketing did AB testing, and new color brings more sales.

Second, there are parts of software engineering that everyone is talking about, think data science, big data, AI. This represents only small sliver of the industry, and the competition there is pretty tough. Say, data science is a subset of software engineering, and it can be easily married with finance, of some sort, if you interested in quant roles in HF, prop trading firms, etc.

Third, the industry is moving forward fast, so you need to constantly learn new technologies, frameworks, libraries, etc, just to keep up and have same market compensation. Experience from 10 years ago has little value in most corporations, unless it's an important for their business niche.

Fourth, exit ops. There are few exit ops strategies out of engineering positions, they are - management roles, architects, starting a business/product, and a retirement, of course. The thing is that switch to management or starting own product requires skills that engineering role isn't really providing, and once you switch, previous experience isn't really helpful.

If you think of creating a product in the future, software skills might not be the best skills you need, since you run into sales/marketing/etc issues, and not engineering issues. It's better to have finance skills, be knowledgeable about industry of your preference, know what needs there aren't met, hire engineers from Eastern Europe, and sell the product through your contacts in selected industry.

Best of luck!

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Nice_____, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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