Is Career in Investment Banking the Highest Paying Job Post Undergrad?

kizw's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 21

Is investment banking the single highest paying salaried job out there?

Are there any occupations that pay as well or better?

Secondly, I'm a sophomore at London School of Economics, and I want to follow a career in IB. Is M&A the best choice for a career ?

Does IB have the highest salary after undergraduate?

User @Deo et Patriae, an investment banking analyst, shared that quant funds are the highest paying jobs out of undergrad:

Deo et Patriae - Investment Banking Analyst:

I would say people that get hired at quantitative hedge funds for their technical skills (e.g. researchers, programmers, developers, etc.) get paid much more at the entry-level compared to entry-level investment bankers. Base salary for an entry-level analyst is $85,000.

For an entry-level quant position at a quantitative hedge fund, base salary starts in the six-figures... In investment banking you won't start getting a six-figure base salary until you have been promoted to associate. I've known some exceptional people from my school who were making 7-figures in all-in compensation only three or four years removed from college at quant hedge funds...

User @johnsmithv001 shared that it is the highest paying job for those without a specific skill set:

johnsmithv001:

It's "one" of the highest paying jobs for people without specific skills/incredible abilities. if you're super smart, then don't do banking, do anything listed above. if you're incredibly talented and motivated, then start a company. banking is good for anyone who has good, marketable abilities, but i wouldn't say extraordinary.

User @ArcherVice shared a comparison between tech and banking:

ArcherVice:

The question isn't that simple, especially when you factor in the cost of living. For example... 170k in NYC is 130k in SF, 115k in San Jose and 90k in a place like Chicago. In tech you can work in DC, Seattle and California making pretty good money. Finance is generally restricted to higher cost of living cities, NYC and London being the two major hubs. Which doesn't take into account the work/life balance and quality of life of those cities.

Another point that you rarely see brought up on these forums is the comparative advantage. In banking, putting in an 80-90hr week is considered common. In tech that would be considered atrocious working conditions. If you are the guy willing to put in 80-90hr weeks that would make you a rock star in an industry where most people don't work more than 60hrs. The argument is often that if you work very hard in finance the compensation structure is much more rewarding, I'd contend that your upward mobility with the same effort might be a lot faster in another industry. This doesn't take into the consideration the ease of entry into either career path.

Obviously the more senior levels in finance earn exceptional salaries and generally have a much better work/life balance than junior bankers. Tech executives and top performers also get compensated exceptionally well. I think these threads miss out on the bigger picture. It isn't just tech, consulting is another lucrative career field.

User @kodelgi compared Investment Banking, Quants, and Engineers:

kodelgi:

Wages:
Quant: Highest paying ($100-$150k?) | Medium Hours (70?) | Extremely hard to get into (at least MBA from Top 5 schools)
Petroleum Engineer: Very High paying ($100-$120k?) | Good Hours (50?) | probably definitely easier to get than Quant
Investment Banker: Pretty well paying ($80-120k?) | Awful Hours (90-100?) | hard to get into, still need a degree

If we convert these to hourly wages, Quants make about $27-$42 an hour, Engineers $38-$46, IBs $18-$25.

Stress:

Engineers should have least stress unless they're not knowledgeable in their area. Quants probably have more stress because their work is closely tied to the market, which can be stressful. IBs have the most stress because of the tight deadlines.

Work / Life Balance:

Engineers probably have it pretty good, however I have heard that often these jobs are stationed at facilities such oil rigs in the Ocean... Quants have it pretty good because their hours are not too bad, they can afford to live in the city close to work, and their colleagues are usually like-minded and there is little office politics. IBs... have no life.

To conclude, petrol. engineering is probably the best bang for your time (do they really make that much? I haven't confirmed this). Quant is great but super hard to get into. Investment banking... is an overpriced stock lol it's like having two entry-level full time jobs at the same time. Which reminds me of a friend in Europe (eastern Europe); he has a full-time job as an insurance agent, and a night-time job as a security guard in a warehouse, which he very conveniently uses to get a good night's sleep

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Comments (79)

Aug 22, 2014

Loads of articles about this but it is one of the highest paying *graduate* role yes. Bonus depends on bank/team etc.
Base your career decisions off what your strengths are/what you enjoy doing not how much you are compensated - and you will earn way more and be happier long term.

Aug 22, 2014

In general i think so, some of the IM firms or Hedge funds pay more though.

Aug 22, 2014

I would say people that get hired at quantitative hedge funds for their technical skills (e.g. researchers, programmers, developers, etc.) get paid much more at the entry-level compared to entry-level investment bankers. Base salary for an entry-level analyst is $70,000, which is being increased to $85,000. For an entry-level quant position at a quantitative hedge fund, base salary starts in the six-figures... In investment banking you won't start getting a six-figure base salary until you have been promoted to associate. I've known some exceptional people from my school who were making 7-figures in all-in compensation only three or four years removed from college at quant hedge funds... For an exceptional investment banker, in the pre-crisis days, it would take more than a decade until one started pulling in such numbers.

Aug 22, 2014

go work in the bakken little boy

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Aug 22, 2014

petroleum engineering majors often get 6 figure salaries out of school.

Aug 22, 2014

underwater drillers, underwater bomb destruction

Aug 22, 2014

The things is, most of the different professions that pay similarily are quite different. I couldn't just decide to be a petroleum engineer. I'd hate my life. It might be true it's worth not liking what you're doing to get a nice pay rise from 30,000 to 130,000 but to go from 125 to 150? meh.

Aug 22, 2014

If you add sales commissions on top of salary, there are many jobs which pay better than IB. Those jobs are in sales.

I've done due diligence on many middle market companies which have good sales teams and those guys, when they perform, rake it in. And they rake in more than a lot of investment bankers (particularly the non-originating types). They certainly rake in far more than a lot of professions that rely on technical, non-charismatic competence.

Problem is, you really need to have a sales mentality to succeed in that job.

Best Response
Aug 23, 2014

it's "one" of the highest paying jobs for people without specific skills/incredible abilities. if you're super smart, then don't do banking, do anything listed above. if you're incredibly talented and motivated, then start a company. banking is good for anyone who has good, marketable abilities, but i wouldn't say extraordinary. you didn't get an mba because you're already wealthy, you went there because you realized you're not going to be the next xxx famous dude.

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Sep 16, 2014

could you ever say if you're 'super smart' ?

is a banker paid better than an engineer or someone with a degree in informatics ?

Sep 16, 2014

Ding, ding, ding!!!

Bankers are too pussy to trade and too dumb to become an entrepreneur and realize their hourly wage = McDonald's burger flippers.

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Sep 16, 2014

The question isn't that simple, especially when you factor in the cost of living. For example... 170k in NYC is 130k in SF, 115k in San Jose and 90k in a place like Chicago. In tech you can work in DC, Seattle and California making pretty good money. Finance is generally restricted to higher cost of living cities, NYC and London being the two major hubs. Which doesn't take into account the work/life balance and quality of life of those cities.

Another point that you rarely see brought up on these forums is the comparative advantage. In banking, putting in an 80-90hr week is considered common. In tech that would be considered atrocious working conditions. If you are the guy willing to put in 80-90hr weeks that would make you a rock star in an industry where most people don't work more than 60hrs. The argument is often that if you work very hard in finance the compensation structure is much more rewarding, I'd contend that your upward mobility with the same effort might be a lot faster in another industry. This doesn't take into the consideration the ease of entry into either career path.

Obviously the more senior levels in finance earn exceptional salaries and generally have a much better work/life balance than junior bankers. Tech executives and top performers also get compensated exceptionally well. I think these threads miss out on the bigger picture.

I don't mean to turn this thread into a finance vs tech debate as that has been done ad nauseam. I guess my point is, you may find much greater "relative" compensation and success in another industry outside of finance. After all, what does making +250k mean if you still have to commute 2hrs round trip each day, live in a house smaller than you grew up in and only have a few hours off each day to enjoy it. It isn't just tech, consulting is another lucrative career field.

Sep 16, 2014

Tech, trading, and quants all make more and work less than bankers.

Nov 14, 2014

I agree. Sad to say...

Nov 13, 2014

petroleum engineers shit on us ibankers and also have a life and usually get to go home everyday before 630pm.

Nov 13, 2014

though I have to say that as far as expending brain cells is concerned IBanking is the easiest.

the technical and scientific know how some of the engineers etc possess dwarfs ibankers or anything in finance. after a year of experience I could prolly do some of this stuff with my eyes closes which is why I doubt ill stay in ibanking beyond the analyst gig

Nov 13, 2014

Dammit you baited me hard with the and more...

Nov 21, 2014

I would just like to summarize what was said in the above comments about a few diff. jobs and add my 2 cents:

Quant: Highest paying ($100-$150k?) | Medium Hours (70?) | Extremely hard to get into (at least MBA from Top 5 schools)
Petroleum Engineer: Very High paying ($100-$120k?) | Good Hours (50?) | probably definitely easier to get than Quant
Investment Banker: Pretty well paying ($80-120k?) | Awful Hours (90-100?) | hard to get into, still need a degree

If we convert these to hourly wages, Quants make about $27-$42 an hour, Engineers $38-$46, IBs $18-$25.

Now about stress: Engineers should have least stress unless they're not knowledgeable in their area. Quants probably have more stress because their work is closely tied to the market, which can be stressful. IBs have the most stress because of the tight deadlines.

Work/life balance: Engineers probably have it pretty good, however I have heard that often these jobs are stationed at facilities such oil rigs in the Ocean... Quants have it pretty good because their hours are not too bad, they can afford to live in the city close to work, and their colleagues are usually like-minded and there is little office politics. IBs... have no life.

To conclude, petrol. engineering is probably the best bang for your time (do they really make that much? I haven't confirmed this). Quant is great but super hard to get into. Investment banking... is an overpriced stock lol it's like having two entry-level full time jobs at the same time. Which reminds me of a friend in Europe (eastern Europe); he has a full-time job as an insurance agent, and a night-time job as a security guard in a warehouse, which he very conveniently uses to get a good night's sleep ;)

Nov 27, 2014

The advantage of banking/finance is that the pay continues rising at a ridiculous rate.. I doubt anyone will pay an engineer 600k to 1.2mm after just 7yrs out of college.

Nov 28, 2014

While some of your post may be accurate, I doubt you really know what you're talking about...for one, a lot of your IB info is wrong.

Also an extreme case so I'm well aware you can't count this as normal, but try telling engineers associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill their job is not stressful. Finally, best bang for your buck probably isn't true if you include the level of knowledge and difficulty required in becoming a petroleum engineer. (Actually) finally, IB is nothing like having 2 entry level jobs at the same time apart from the hours and fact that IB itself is an entry level job...

Nov 28, 2014
notthehospitalER:

While some of your post may be accurate, I doubt you really know what you're talking about...for one, a lot of your IB info is wrong.

Also an extreme case so I'm well aware you can't count this as normal, but try telling engineers associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill their job is not stressful. Finally, best bang for your buck probably isn't true if you include the level of knowledge and difficulty required in becoming a petroleum engineer. (Actually) finally, IB is nothing like having 2 entry level jobs at the same time apart from the hours and fact that IB itself is an entry level job...

Not sure if you're referring to my post or not, but it's probably more efficient to actually quote the post of whoever you're responding to.

Nov 28, 2014

It is a little ridiculous to compare engineering and ib pay. No one in their right mind would go the engineering route if they value high pay... I used to be electrical, computer engineer but I left as soon as I saw the realities. At the time , 62k with a 10 percent yr end bonus seemed decent, but I had no idea how much they made in banking. The problem with engineering is that the pay barely budges; you'll probably won't get up to 5 percent raise yoy.. at that rate, an engineer that starts out at 60k won't be at 100k after 10 working yrs!! I know the story is a little different on the petroleum engineering side, where make six figures righthat out of college, but the same stagnation problem still abounds there!!

Nov 28, 2014
RadKaiser:

It is a little ridiculous to compare engineering and ib pay. No one in their right mind would go the engineering route if they value high pay... I used to be electrical, computer engineer but I left as soon as I saw the realities. At the time , 62k with a 10 percent yr end bonus seemed decent, but I had no idea how much they made in banking. The problem with engineering is that the pay barely budges; you'll probably won't get up to 5 percent raise yoy.. at that rate, an engineer that starts out at 60k won't be at 100k after 10 working yrs!! I know the story is a little different on the petroleum engineering side, where make six figures righthat out of college, but the same stagnation problem still abounds there!!

I agree. 4 of my roommates are engineers (1 mechanical, 1 electrical and the rest are Pet. E). The Pet. E guys are a different breed. They make more and in terms of school work their workload is lighter. The mechanical guy is regretting his decision not to do Pet. E or IB after finding out the disparity of pay between a "regular" engineering job and working as a petroleum engineer or a high level finance job as well as the amount of work he does on a day to day basis versus a finance major.

Nov 23, 2014

On what planet do investment bankers make $80-120k?

Nov 27, 2014

I have many friends in Pet.E. Starting salary ranges from 90-120k. The signing bonus/relocation stipend also depends on where they want to station you. They will pay you very handsomely to move to a place like Montana or the Dakotas. These initial bonuses can range from 15-30k. Adding in the first year bonus, one of my friends will be making about 180k before taxes (he's moving to Montana).

I would say they do have the least stress in terms of hours worked. It also depends on the type of engineering you're doing (reservoir, drilling, production, etc.).

The pay ceiling is definitely lower than high level finance jobs which is why the majority of the Pet.E guys I know are going to get their MBAs 5-8 years down the road.

Dec 5, 2014

It's not. I went to a top 10 school and make substantially more than almost everyone I know, but there a couple of guys who went into tech at companies that were about to IPO -- several of them ended up with $500k+ in their first year.

Mar 31, 2015

Initially Petroleum Engineers get paid the better deal in comparison to IB analysts. However, in the long run IB>Pet E. So going into IB is an investment, as you can come out and enter a Hedge Fund or Private Equity.

Mar 31, 2015

No, I don't think there is really any "highest-paid" job in that regard. There are plenty of other things that can pay just as much as what you're probably gonna make in finance, like law, medicine, business, sales, real estate, etc

Mar 31, 2015

MLB, NBA, NFL

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Mar 31, 2015
corgi95:

MLB, NBA, NFL

I agreed with that. Not many people are gonna be paid like arod year in and year out.

Mar 31, 2015

if you count the actual hours worked, for the money you get....there are a TOOOON of jobs that pay much better.

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Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD...follow the advice at your own risk

Mar 31, 2015

Out of an undergraduate education, yes banking is the most lucrative job that graduates typically have access to unless they have a sweet hedge fund hook up. However, in the long term, there is much more money to be made elsewhere even though bankers are still very well compensated.

Mar 31, 2015
Patrick Bateman:

... in the long term, there is much more money to be made elsewhere even though bankers are still very well compensated.

Interesting. Where elsewhere Medicine, law or entrepreneurship for example?

Mar 31, 2015

Speaking of hours, here is the break down compared to a 9 to 5 job

1st year: 21.35/hour = $44,400 at a 9 to 5 job
2nd year: 25.96/hour = $54,000 at a 9 to 5 job
3rd year: 36.35/hour = $75,600 at a 9 to 5 job
Associate: 41.92/hour = $87,200 at a 9 to 5 job

Granted this doesn't take into account the higher tax bracket, the living cost of NYC etc, the stress on health, the lack of personal relationships, the higher stress levels etc.

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Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD...follow the advice at your own risk

Mar 31, 2015

you're an idiot aspmonk. right now 1st year analysts are making $105k+ even the worst ones in the analyst class

break that down per hour and you'll have a harder time justifying to urself why you ended up "choosing" not to get into banking

Mar 31, 2015
prospie:

you're an idiot aspmonk. right now 1st year analysts are making $105k+ even the worst ones in the analyst class

break that down per hour and you'll have a harder time justifying to urself why you ended up "choosing" not to get into banking

Like I said I used the "compensation database"...111K for first years at 100 hours...do I need to give you a calculator?

And in anticipation of your reply "but whah whah 100 hour work weeks are rare"...a) that isn't so and b) when calculating things like that, its better to overestimate things than to underestimate.

its good to be prepared for a worst case scenario, i.e. right now I'm prepared mentally for something that I would say no single ibanker has ever experienced...becaues this way, the experience must be better than what I expect, and I won't be shocked/overwhelmed by the ibanker lifestyle.

Mar 31, 2015

On a per hour basis S&T is much better than Ibanking cause you dont work weekends and never stay at the office till 2 am, different kind of environment though with different stress.

Banking like a marathon, S&T is a sprint

Mar 31, 2015

Wouldn't FICC and equities strategists have fewer hours, perhaps even something approaching normal?

Mar 31, 2015

my roommate got an offer at one of the largest oil companies as a chemical engineer, straight up 9-5 job, 75k starting with guaranteed 10% raises for the first 3 years

Mar 31, 2015
ke18sb:

my roommate got an offer at one of the largest oil companies as a chemical engineer, straight up 9-5 job, 75k starting with guaranteed 10% raises for the first 3 years

Yea 75K Base.

So he gets 82.5K 2nd year and 90.75K the year after.

But hey...that's what the IBD or Capital Markets bonus comes into play! Haha...

But to be frank, on a per hour basis we're not that well off.

Mar 31, 2015

there are other jobs with starting comps comparable to ibanking, but the slope for increase is nowhere near as high...

if you are a straight shoot associate, you have nearly doubled your total comp in 3 years

Mar 31, 2015

Work for yourself, you make more money, start your own IT business, that's what I'm going to do.

Mar 31, 2015

Ok...so if you have 1000 bucks to live on in a month, would you rather underestimate or overestimate your spending?

i know that, what I meant was that I won't be shocked by the long hours, some people think that the "long hours" that IB guys work is 60 hours per week.

And I actually do have some experience, I pulled a few all nighters when I worked, and even though it was a bitch(can someone explain why you get cold?), it wasn't as bad as I expected probably because I was busy the whole time.

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Mar 31, 2015
aspiringmonkey:

Ok...so if you have 1000 bucks to live on in a month, would you rather underestimate or overestimate your spending?

i know that, what I meant was that I won't be shocked by the long hours, some people think that the "long hours" that IB guys work is 60 hours per week.

And I actually do have some experience, I pulled a few all nighters when I worked, and even though it was a bitch(can someone explain why you get cold?), it wasn't as bad as I expected probably because I was busy the whole time.

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

We weren't talking about spending money/creating a budget, we were talking about the per hour wage rate between ibanking and a standard 40 hour work week. Does it seem fair to take the average for one (40hrs) and the high-end for the other (100hrs)? No, it doesn't make sense. The only reason you did it is to fudge the numbers to further your point.

Its good that you have experienced a few all-nighters, but I want to warn you again that that's not sufficient to "prepare" you for ibanking. Most people can handle a few 95hr work weeks...its doing it every week for 2 years non-stop that gets to you.

Mar 31, 2015

Worked where? I thought you had no prior banking experience..

Mar 31, 2015

I don't.

I worked at a law firm in the mail room(office services)...and yes even for 7 bucks an hour, you still get to pull all nighters.

Lets just say that lawyers are just as bad as Ibankers when it comes to leaving things till the last moment.

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Mar 31, 2015
aspiringmonkey:

I don't.
I worked at a law firm in the mail room(office services)...and yes even for 7 bucks an hour, you still get to pull all nighters.

What in god's name did you do in the mailroom at 2 AM? And why did you pull an all-nighter when you were not a full-time employee or an intern? Just for kicks?

Mar 31, 2015

it was office services not mail room, so we were responsible for everything, mail room, copy center, filling coffee machines, driving clients to train station and back etc, myself personally I got to deliver all the checks to the bank...why? because 30 cents a mile adds up for a kid making 7 bucks an hour)

As far as why I pulled the all nighter? It was a huuuge copy job, that needed to be done by the next morning. So I pretty much worked from 9 am till 9 am, and then worked some more until 6.

Not for kicks, it just needed to be done, and I was the only one around who knew how to do it.(everyone left by that point, and I was finishing up waiting on a long fax confirmation to print out). I mean honestly, if your boss comes in and tells you he needs something done...will you actually say no?

As far as why pull an all nighter for a part time job? I guess because I knew the importance of it, and the fact where I have this thing with authority figures that if I'm told to do something I do it.

it actually happened a few more times after this, but that was the most "brutal" day. But yeah its common for me, I've come in on weekends, holidays etc...

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Mar 31, 2015
aspiringmonkey:

it was office services not mail room, so we were responsible for everything, mail room, copy center, filling coffee machines, driving clients to train station and back etc, myself personally I got to deliver all the checks to the bank...why? because 30 cents a mile adds up for a kid making 7 bucks an hour)

As far as why I pulled the all nighter? It was a huuuge copy job, that needed to be done by the next morning. So I pretty much worked from 9 am till 9 am, and then worked some more until 6.

Not for kicks, it just needed to be done, and I was the only one around who knew how to do it.(everyone left by that point, and I was finishing up waiting on a long fax confirmation to print out). I mean honestly, if your boss comes in and tells you he needs something done...will you actually say no?

As far as why pull an all nighter for a part time job? I guess because I knew the importance of it, and the fact where I have this thing with authority figures that if I'm told to do something I do it.

it actually happened a few more times after this, but that was the most "brutal" day. But yeah its common for me, I've come in on weekends, holidays etc...

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

When you get an interview for IB, you should tell them about this work experience. It sounds very similar to IB and will really impress them.

Mar 31, 2015

yeah I plan on it, something to set me apart from the mob.

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Mar 31, 2015

Even if you do work a 9-5 job, you're typically going to work much longer than 9-5.

Medicine, law

Factor in the opportunity costs of going to med school or law school and the debt you'll be incurring for 3-7 years, unless you have a rich daddy who's willing to cut a fat check to Harvard Law School to cover admission and tuition, and it's not that great of a deal. In both cases, it's the salaries you have forgone by going to graduate school, any potential increases you might have had, and the debt you would not have incurred by going to med or law school.

Let's say you turned down an offer at a BB to go to Harvard Law, and your parents aren't going to pay the tuition. Let's look at the opportunity costs over 5 years:

Ibanking total compensation=$135k+$160k(2nd yr)=$295k ($185k 3rd yr)
Law School tuition: $58k*3 years=$174k (private, live in dorms)
Interest on the loan: 5% over however many years
Total cost incurred: $295k+$174k=$464k

Cost of an MBA=$132k

Total cost incurred: $464k-$132k=$332k

First year associate (law firm) typical compensation: $160k-$200k
Second year: $160k-$200k
First year associate (BB) typical compensation: $200k-$300k+, second year average $400k
First year PE compensation: $250k-$500k+
Difference (BB/law firm):$40k-$140k (I'll use $90k since that's the average)
Difference (PE/law firm):$110k-$340k (I'll use $225k since that's the average)

Cost incurred by not going IB/MBA/PE: $332k+$225k-$200k=$357k
Cost incurred by not going IB/MBA/IB: $332k+$90k-$200k=$222k

Cost incurred if you went direct promote: $464k+$250k+$400k-($160k+$200k)=$1.14 mil-$360k=$680k

Note that this is in purely monetary terms and that it doesn't factor in unquantifiable stuff like costs to your health and what not. Once you factor in the opportunity costs of going to law school it's definitely not a great deal, and I'm not even going to do the med school-IB opportunity cost because that's obviously greater than the law school-IB opportunity costs. This doesn't factor in the costs of taking the Bar ($500 assuming you pass the first time-if you take multiple state bars then multiply $500*n), Bar review ($1k-$2k), the LSAT ($115-GMAT is $200 I believe), and other items.

And this is pretty short term (5 years).

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Mar 31, 2015

Interesting, it was $38K at Amoco when I graduated undergrad!!

Mar 31, 2015

ChemE majors can run circles around finance/econ majors, not even on the same playing field in terms of difficulty

Mar 31, 2015

Ay, therein lies the perplexing question - whose better at financial analysis, the accountant or the engineer?

Yes, I agree with you that ChemE majors are significantly more difficult than the average accounting/finance/econ major. Will these folks ever appreciate that you could lose 20 pts on a test because of lack of regard for significant figures? Nope, don't think so. Are significant figures relevant in financial analysis? Are you kidding?

The degree of analytical difficulty doesn't always cross over to give the engineer the advantage in financial analysis.

There's a 'holy trinity' in chemistry right, i.e. pressure, volume, temperature et al. There's also a holy trinity in physics, right? e.g. mass, energy, velocity. In financial valuation the holy trinity are the three financial statements.

While science is exact and has a level of precision and the numbers mean something significant in terms of the natural laws of the universe blah blah blah... financial analysis in practicum is about logical relationships, accounting rules and an analytical process that provides for various degrees of "interpretation".

Sometimes the engineer/scientist thinks of things backwards or generally overthinks an analysis. All the same, sometimes the accountant/finance/econ person doesn't immediately get the issues or drivers behind a particular industry and then may struggle to translate that into growth assumptions, etc.

The charming thing about financial analysis is that not one undergrad discipline has a monopoly!

Just a perspective :-)

Mar 31, 2015

mike, I know that a few all nighters isn't 100% like IBD. But it sure as hell more than 99% of applicants.

holy, Law and Medicine aren't exactly considered 9 to 5 jobs.

aadepsi you make it sound that finance majors never took sciences. Almost every school requires you to take Science.

Personally I took: Gen Chem 1,2, Physics 1,2, Bio 1,2, and Orgo 1,2. As far as difficulty of material, yes Chemistry is harder because you have so much more stuff to worry about, but finance isn't exactly a walk in the park.

I personally rate the difficulty like this:
Engineers
Business School students
.
.
.
Liberal arts.

Why the gap? Because liberal arts majors don't even compare...just look at their requirements they don't even need to take calculus to graduate

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Mar 31, 2015

Intersting post holymonkey.

While I won't take positions on the debate, it might be worth it to consider the riskiness and probablity factors in those salaries/cashflows.

A doctors/lawyer's income would probably be discounted at a much lower rate then an I-Banker.

Also, the IB to PE transition is not guaranteed. It is probably wise to apply a range of probablity %s for various exit ops from IB and adjust the IB/MBA/non-IB-exitop scenario accordingly.

Mar 31, 2015

Engineering and science majors really need to get off their high horse. I was a double major in finance and engineering and met a lot of kids on both sides that were amazing and some that had peanuts for brains.

For the most part science/engineering is just memorization and building upon that memorization.

What I did gain from finance/business classes was the ability to interact in the corporate world. It would seriously serve many engineering students to learn how to play in the corporate world. We get science majors at our bank that have the personality and corporate presence of wood. I guess all those stupid group projects really did pay off in b-school.

Mar 31, 2015

I got an undergrad in Finance and Engineering. If I had to pick between the 2, I'd definitely pick finance because there's some smoking hot babes while engineering's full of geeks talking about ERTW...

As for working in engineering, you work on extremely miniscule things that generally will never matter. In IBanking at least you get to work on big deals and get recognition. When you think of it, accomplishment and recognition are definitely very important. Would you like to brag about spending the last 8 months designing a telephone cord or doing a $8B M&A deal?

Mar 31, 2015

way more good looking women in Marketing and Managment majors than finance.

Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Mar 31, 2015

i hope my social life is never so pathetic that i'm reduced to bragging about my job and the deals i've worked on...work stays at work as far as i'm concerned

Mar 31, 2015

No one has ever asked what you do career-wise in a social situation?

Mar 31, 2015
ke18sb:

i hope my social life is never so pathetic that i'm reduced to bragging about my job and the deals i've worked on...work stays at work as far as i'm concerned

It'll happen to you after a while... just watch out.

Mar 31, 2015

actually i just brush people off and its like just like any job...you gotta be there at 8am; and then change the conversation topic

Mar 31, 2015

Tough to 'brush people off' when they wonder why you can't hang out on weekends or have to change plans last-minute all the time... It consumes your life.

Common theme on the forum....

Mar 31, 2015
TireKicker:

Tough to 'brush people off' when they wonder why you can't hang out on weekends or have to change plans last-minute all the time... It consumes your life.

Common theme on the forum....

there's a difference between giving your best friends, who you had to cancel a skip trip with, a quick explanation of your job and going up to random girls at a party and bragging about your job and the deals you've done

Mar 31, 2015

Not talking about bragging to chicks just for its own sake...they, of course, couldn't care less 99% of the time. There is a less douchey way of explaining your livelihood.

But I don't think you should completely leave people in the dark, either. God forbid you make it sound like you're interested in your work (despite the hours you spend doing it)....who can respect you if you are stuck in a job you don't find challenging?

Mar 31, 2015
TireKicker:

Not talking about bragging to chicks just for its own sake...they, of course, couldn't care less 99% of the time. There is a less douchey way of explaining your livelihood.

The original issue was 'bragging about your job and the deals you've worked on.' ....please pay closer attention

God forbid you make it sound like you're interested in your work (despite the hours you spend doing it)....who can respect you if you are stuck in a job you don't find challenging?

i know people with loser-ish jobs and laughable resumes who are still cool, as impossible as that sounds. i respect them. whether or not you are cool has nothing to do with your job or career.

another reason to avoid sounding like you're passionate about your IB job is because a) that's a lie and b) you'll be stereotyped rather quickly as a complete tool!

Mar 31, 2015

well said

Mar 31, 2015

Passionate is a strong term, but I do LIKE the work that I do (and if we're splitting hairs, liking the 'work' and liking the 'job' could very well be separate things). It's certainly challenging and can, at times, be interesting.

Anyway, you are right about one thing (and one thing only)--I have plenty of friends who probably don't find their jobs challenging. Maybe they do it for other reasons. And they're some of my favorite people in the world.

So I misspoke earlier.

But enjoying your work in general (let's shift from IB specifically for a minute) is hopefully a goal that everybody has. It seems to me tough to go through life otherwise. While it doesn't encapsulate a person entirely, one's vocation plays an enormous role in who he is...whether he comes to grips with that reality or not.

Mar 31, 2015

yeah tire you need to love what you do, afterwards you'll be doing it for the next 40 years, and with the way social security is, probably 60 by the time we are old enough.

note this doesn't apply to the high paying jobs where you can retire early.

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Disclaimer: The post above has been made by someone who is not currently employed in IBD, and has not had an interview yet...

Mar 31, 2015
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Mar 31, 2015