What are my options for a possible career change?

reaperd's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 27

I am not sure if this is the right forum topic but here goes.


  • I am a 26 year old software engineer at Bloomberg working within the trading systems group, making a good bit over $200k (80% base, 20% bonus) working 40-50 hours a week. To my understanding, this puts me comfortably at the upper-end of associate or the lower-end of VP for non-tech positions at many places. I would say a third of my colleagues are refugees from big banks with technical VP positions.
  • I started my career at a Seattle-area tech company you probably heard of after interning there and left for a tiny startup in NYC hoping to grow and move to NYC. I left when I disagreed with the direction they were going (i.e. exit at the earliest opportunity for a paltry sum). Funny thing is, the startup was almost all fairly recent MBB/big bank washouts at the top.
  • I graduated with a solid GPA in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Business Administration from an unimportant state flagship (think University of Wyoming). I would be close to 4.0 if I didn't face-plant my Sophomore year as a result of some personal issues and get straight Cs. I was one of three people in the entire EECS graduating class to get jobs outside of the state, probably in the dozen or so from the entire engineering school.

The things I thought of
* Jumping to Google and maxing my compensation somewhere around $300k. Google is notoriously difficult to get a job at any level and is statistically harder to get into than Harvard although with enough prep work and referrals I can have a fair shot.
* Jumping to Citadel and getting about the same comp as Google while working twice as hard. I went to a Citadel recruiting event and the entire thing did not feel right. Why Citadel? They seem to be hiring like mad.
* Start studying the GMAT and aim for a top MBA. I studied this route and there are very few ways of getting ahead this way unless somebody else pays for it. It can go wrong more ways than it can go right. That said, it would let me erase my checkered non-target school past assuming I get this far. I say that because I think the combination of not-selective school and disastrous sophomore year grades will disqualify me.
* Go for a terminal MS in financial engineering at Columbia. While this has a slightly higher possibility of happening, I don't think the overall outcome will be better. Judging by the resume book they put out, it seems to be full of random foreign students trying to get jobs in the US.
* Take some internal Bloomberg courses with an eye toward getting CFA level 1 certified. I can get 70% of the way there using free internal courses. I am not sure how this will help me though.

The wildcard
* I happen to have family that broke through years ago and are fairly high up in a few buy-side firms.

My goal is compensation above all else. $300k is enough to live a standard middle class lifestyle in the tri-state area but no more.

What do I do with myself? What are my options?

Comments (3)

Jan 29, 2019

Hey reaperd, I'm the WSO Monkey Bot...do any of these help:

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  • More suggestions...

Hope that helps.

Feb 16, 2019

Re-read what you wrote. Assuming these are all viable opportunities for you, then you have what my grandmother called an "embarrassment of riches". Congratulations to you for putting yourself in such a great position.

No one here can tell you the right thing to choose. (Nor should they.) And the older I get the more I realize that the hardest choices are the choices between equally good options.

Sounds like comp is your #1 priority. If true, then absent any compelling lesser ranked priorities pick the big number and move forward.

    • 1
Feb 16, 2019