Which worker would have the more luxurious lifestyle? Many investment bankers today turned to Wall Street for one reason. I think we all know what that one reason is. A ''few'' others though did it through love and passion for finance [and for the exit opportunities]. But do they really live a rich lifestyle?
Comparing Wall Street and Silicon Valley
Let's do a general comparison between a Goldman Sachs IB analyst and a Google software engineer (I have personal contacts giving me this information; please correct me if I'm wrong).
Wall Street Salary and Lifestyle
Wall Street is known for offering high salaries in exchange for demanding work hours. We review the salary and hour details for Wall Street below.
Goldman Sachs 3rd year Analyst
- Location: New York City
- Salary + Bonus: $165,000
- Hours/Week: 80-90+
- Benefits: Prestige, significant pay increases
Check out more detail about Wall Street Salaries in the WSO Investment Banking Industry Report.
Software Engineer Google Salary and Lifestyle
While tech jobs are known for paying well, they are better known for having more comfortable lifestyles and having a better focus on employee happiness.
Google Software Engineer II (~3rd year)
Cost of Living Difference Between NYC and Silicon Valley
The GS employee makes quite a bit more. Now let's run the figures on a cost of living calculator.
According to the calculator, $130,000 in San Jose is like making nearly $200,000 in Manhattan!
The Google employee may get paid less, but he works less, has much more perks, and is actually living a higher quality lifestyle. Silicon Valley firms believe that making the workplace environment enjoyable leads to better work performance, regardless of the hours worked.
Skill Difference Between Wall Street and Technology Jobs
While the OP makes a solid point about the pay disparity and lifestyle differences, our users shared a few other factors that separate these two different paths.
From a pay perspective, users shared:
- Much of your bonus pay at tech firms will be paid in restricted stock options that vest over time
- Pay in wall street careers goes up more quickly than it tends to in tech
From a work perspective:
- Several users pointed out that working in computer science requires knowledge of programming
- Another user pointed out that the work is appropriate for different personalities (IE someone who may do well at Google may not do as well at GS)
You can check out a video about the war between Silicon Valley and Wall Street for talent below:
Read More About Silicon Valley and Wall Street on WSO
- Has Wall Street Lost The Talent War Against Silicon Valley?
- Has Silicon Valley Replaced Wall Street As The Prestigious Post-College Job?
- Silicon Valley > Wall Street
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