Career change - Soft developer planning on going to finance

Hi,

I am currently working as soft developer and planning to switch to finance
I am looking to apply to the oxford/LSE for the MFE courses . Any inputs as to how the postgrad courses viewed by the iBanks .
Are the students hired as Associates or Analysts ( 1/2/3 year).Looks like JP morgan for one hires them as associates but not sure about the others.
http://careers.jpmorgan.com/student/jpmorgan/care…

would appreciate any comments on the topic

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Comments (9)

Nov 30, 2011 - 4:00pm

why would you switch bro we have the sweetest opportunities (as software engineers), don't go trudging into a dying industry

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.
Jan 3, 2012 - 2:51pm

May be I am "The man with the plan" or just some-other disillusioned kid but I have invested a lot (efforts) to enter this field and would definitely try to work up. Moreover, life is not so rosy even for the Soft eng :).
To add to it I don't think banking is a dying industry. I believe it's cyclical and will pick up in some time. Also I believe it is the best time to venture into any field when it is bottoming out, the shock, if any, is less. After the dot com bubble soft eng were in the same, if not worse, situation and a few years later it was back.

Said this would bring the focus back onto my question, how would an MFE from LSE/Ox/Camb with a few years non relevant work ex place me in the market i.e. analyst (1/2/3 years) or associate (wishful thinking :) )

Note : By MFE I mean Master in financial Economics or Master in Finance and NOT Financial Engineering

Dec 5, 2011 - 3:02pm

im no expert but i think 3 years of experience and be able to build a compelling story during OCR should put you somewhere pretty... but thats me just taking a shot

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Best Response
Dec 5, 2011 - 5:00pm

I'm a student, but I think I've got a decent grasp on this:

There's a few things to take into account:

1) Industry- Are you talking IB as in mergers and acquisitions or something like sales and trading that's more quant-focused? I'm going to assume you're talking M&A.

2) Geography- In the US it's very unlikely you'd get an associate position without an MBA or a direct promotion from analyst to associate (speaking to your situation specifically, other degrees can break into banking, but those are stories for another time). Europe and Asia may be different, in fact, I'd expect it to be. No matter what you do, a top MBA is the best way to take your career to the next level. Of course, you have to keep in mind that once you get your MBA you have no real back up, no easy way of switching career trajectories, since that is what an MBA can do for you.

3) Think about why a firm would hire you for more money. What has that 3 years of experience given you that someone else doesn't have? Why would a bank take a guy who has 3 years developing software and a one year masters that's finance related over a guy who has, say, 3 years at Deloitte as an accountant and an MBA from a strong school? There aren't many ways to spin your story as better than his, but that's for an associate position. Now compare yourself to an undergrad. Now is where you've got the money. You've been in the real world and worked a real job. You showed commitment to a firm for 3 years. You have an idea of what life is like. You can probably beat out an inexperienced undergrad for this position, not because you have more experience in the business area, but because you have more life experience.

Honestly, maybe in Europe you're what they look for an associate, I couldn't honestly tell you. The best way to figure out where you can come out of an MSF or MFE at is to look at their job finding rates and what companies people are getting jobs at. Stalk some bitches on linkedin who did their MSF or MFE or whatever at schools youre interested in. While their paths may not be the only paths to take, it can give you a generally good idea of where you can go and what you can accomplish.

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Jan 3, 2012 - 3:43pm
D M:
I'm a student, but I think I've got a decent grasp on this:

There's a few things to take into account:

1) Industry- Are you talking IB as in mergers and acquisitions or something like sales and trading that's more quant-focused? I'm going to assume you're talking M&A.

2) Geography- In the US it's very unlikely you'd get an associate position without an MBA or a direct promotion from analyst to associate (speaking to your situation specifically, other degrees can break into banking, but those are stories for another time). Europe and Asia may be different, in fact, I'd expect it to be. No matter what you do, a top MBA is the best way to take your career to the next level. Of course, you have to keep in mind that once you get your MBA you have no real back up, no easy way of switching career trajectories, since that is what an MBA can do for you.

3) Think about why a firm would hire you for more money. What has that 3 years of experience given you that someone else doesn't have? Why would a bank take a guy who has 3 years developing software and a one year masters that's finance related over a guy who has, say, 3 years at Deloitte as an accountant and an MBA from a strong school? There aren't many ways to spin your story as better than his, but that's for an associate position. Now compare yourself to an undergrad. Now is where you've got the money. You've been in the real world and worked a real job. You showed commitment to a firm for 3 years. You have an idea of what life is like. You can probably beat out an inexperienced undergrad for this position, not because you have more experience in the business area, but because you have more life experience.

Honestly, maybe in Europe you're what they look for an associate, I couldn't honestly tell you. The best way to figure out where you can come out of an MSF or MFE at is to look at their job finding rates and what companies people are getting jobs at. Stalk some bitches on linkedin who did their MSF or MFE or whatever at schools youre interested in. While their paths may not be the only paths to take, it can give you a generally good idea of where you can go and what you can accomplish.

In Europe it is the same, there is a woman on our floor who is an analyst 2 in ECM and she has 2 years experience at Corp Fin KPMG and is a CFA holder. So you'd be looking at second year analyst tops.

Jan 3, 2012 - 4:04pm

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