Tech vs Finance? (Again)
Rising sophomore at a HYPS target. I'm at my very last moment where I need to decide which field I actually want to go to. I'm majoring in econ + math (or something else like that) so I could do either with my major, but I'll have to specialize a bit in my extracurriculars this year for one or the other.
One thing I'm worried about is when I see a bunch of WSO people say something along the lines of, "I went into finance only because I was too dumb to go into tech". My parents raised me to be an engineer since I was like 5 so this isn't really exactly true with me. I'm pretty good at math, did competitive math stuff in HS, and I'm pretty good at programming as well. And I don't really mind doing either, in fact, I enjoy them. All of this isn't to be a narcissist or say that I'm better than anyone, it's just to say that I feel like I could make it in tech.
But at the end of the day, I don't want to do tech. I don't want to live in the Bay Area as just another Asian PM or SWE. I think that I find finance more interesting, more alluring, and more fun. Yes, I am sad at the thought of losing 2-4 years of my life to 80 hour work weeks. I am really sad about that, but I feel like I understand and could possibly learn to accept that. I want to do finance, but I'm afraid that I'm making the completely incorrect decision by going against the grain here. I get the WLB. I get that I will hate my life, regret it, and very possibly burn out in the first 2 years. But I'd like to take that chance. A burnt out I-banker doesn't have bad career opportunities.
From a compensation standpoint, I don't think people realize that the grass isn't really that greener. More than 90% of the people at Google never make more than ~$350k/year. That's a fact. The level above that is about 400-500k, and I mean, the odds making more than that are around 2%. On the startup side, there is a ~1% of one becoming a unicorn. Not something I would like to factor into my decision-making. And on the finance side, I don't think people realize that there really are a lot of great seats (relatively speaking, of course, because once you break into finance there are very few people qualified for the same seats as you). You don't have to go to MF. I'm sure all those 3B fund size MM PE Principals and AM PM's do quite well for themselves, often in LCOL areas. And the ceiling seems to me to be way higher if I am able to be within the 5-10% who do get into MF PE or HF.
So I guess my question is if I should ignore what I want to do, Finance, and go to tech because everyone is telling me to? Or should I stick with finance if that's what I really want to do. Anyone else who chose finance over tech recently who can reaffirm my decision?
At the end of the day, I don't really think that it's something that matters. I understand that people can get to any seat from anywhere, and there usually isn't a clear-defined path like WSO makes it out to be. Also, I'm incredibly lucky to already be thinking about this and have some goals and somewhat of a plan, because I think about my parent's careers and all the opportunities they lost by just life happening.