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Choosing between two jobs

So now that my internship is almost over I got a return offer from the company I worked in, for two roles:

  • Software Engineer: Pay is around 95-105K without bonuses being included (maybe around 10K of bonus). The SWE entry-level requires a 2-year rotation throughout the company to see the various SWE departments and work on their code (each rotation is around 6 months) 
  • Quant Analyst: Pay is around 75-80K without any bonus. Mainly running regressions or some simple ML algos in R and working on credit risk models. I guess I would still be writing code here but more like a data science kind of thing. Also most people in the group are Ph.D.’s with one or two being MFE and maybe being the only undergrad could be looked down upon by the rest.

The company itself is a financial advisory kind of place (Big 4, or the big 3 rating agencies kinda place) and obviously not a tech company but the difference in pay and exposure to various SWE groups is very attractive for an entry-level dude like me,that being said I still want to somehow miraculously jump ship to a quant asset manager or hedge fund and the “Quant Analyst” role may be a better fit (although there are SWE groups who deal with big data relating to mortgages/loans and whatnot),so what do y’all think?

What’s SWE? All Google comes up with is Society of Women Engineers.

.

hei.so wrote:

What’s SWE? All Google comes up with is Society of Women Engineers.

Fixed it.

On the surface, the pay differential probably suggests that the first job better reflects demand for your specific background. However, if you are really attached to the work in the second job, then you’ll just have to mold yourself into that role over time. Whether the $30k pay difference is meaningful at this point depends on your circumstances I guess. 

It will probably be hard to grow in this group of PhDs if you don’t have any higher degrees. If you choose this job, I suspect that you will eventually transition into a different position, in the same company or another one, or perhaps pursue more education yourself. 

You should obviously also sit down with some people in those groups who you trust, and talk about likely 5y career progress. 

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

I can’t really offer any good advice here, this is too far beyond my area of familiarity.  Might have to go with your gut on this one.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Black Swan wrote:

I can’t really offer any good advice here, this is too far beyond my area of familiarity.  Might have to go with your gut on this one.

+1

Which one do you like more?  

And OOC - how old are you?  When I was younger, I was more willing to take a job I didn’t like for an extra $20k.  Now that I’m pushing 40, I’d rather do what I want to do (within reason).  20% isn’t enough to make me switch.  

82 > 87
Simple math.

go with higher hourly rate!

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

ohai wrote:

On the surface, the pay differential probably suggests that the first job better reflects demand for your specific background. However, if you are really attached to the work in the second job, then you’ll just have to mold yourself into that role over time. Whether the $30k pay difference is meaningful at this point depends on your circumstances I guess. 

It will probably be hard to grow in this group of PhDs if you don’t have any higher degrees. If you choose this job, I suspect that you will eventually transition into a different position, in the same company or another one, or perhaps pursue more education yourself. 

You should obviously also sit down with some people in those groups who you trust, and talk about likely 5y career progress. 

There is no way I can grow in my current group without at least an MFE. Furthermore, most of these people have Math/Stat/Econ PhDs and know enough programming to get the job done, so over the summer, they expected me to deliver miracles or something with regards to their code base and projects.I’m the only CS person in the group and sometimes convincing these people that something cannot be done is not easy.

But my question is assuming I go work on SWE roles where you deal with financial data and not the company website or their infrastructure is there any ways to transition to a more finance heavy role?

Greenman72 wrote:

Black Swan wrote:

I can’t really offer any good advice here, this is too far beyond my area of familiarity.  Might have to go with your gut on this one.

+1

Which one do you like more?  

And OOC - how old are you?  When I was younger, I was more willing to take a job I didn’t like for an extra $20k.  Now that I’m pushing 40, I’d rather do what I want to do (within reason).  20% isn’t enough to make me switch.  

I don’t wanna get too philosophical here but liking roles is so complicated. I may get a role that I initially didn’t like but find the team and environment great and thus like the role or vice versa. Also, I would be doing more or less the same thing (coding) in both groups, one is more stat heavy and the other (for the next two years at least) is getting a taste of whatever technology the company is working on and transitioning from team to team in two years.

The only reason I may want to do the SWE role is after two years I feel I would be a better engineer than a quant (getting more exposure and having better learning opportunities). The only reason I’m thinking about the quant role is the possible doors it may open in the future in finance.

anyways it seems like if you go for quant, you are going for an underpaid job that is very competitive with the hopes of something in the future. thats like hooking up with a thicc chick hoping she loses weight in the future, also how old are you haha. ur an l1 candidate. quit while ur ahead. just go to tech.

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

Nerdyblop wrote:

go with higher hourly rate!

Why?

Whichever group views you as a long-term employee and commits to supporting the immediate filing of a permanent resident application on your behalf, rookie

Mobius Strip wrote:

Whichever group views you as a long-term employee and commits to supporting the immediate filing of a permanent resident application on your behalf, rookie

I have a green card so that is not an issue.

Salaries are inflated in the post. More like 60k. 

StreetFighter wrote:

Salaries are inflated in the post. More like 60k. 

Not all of us get to sell suits and shirts at retail stores for a better salary.

Update:

I just met my current manager (the quant analyst role) and he told me that he’ll match whatever offer I got, so now they offer the same pay.

Everything else being equal which job is better? 

Also in “Everything else being equal” I also mean liking the jobs equally too. 

Very Tank 

Oh geez yeah I don’t know.  This is turning into a really personal decision and I’m not really familiar with this space.  If you believed you would succeed in each, which would you rather do for an entire career?  If the quant role might require going back to school later, would you be open to that?  If not, maybe this makes the decision for you since that will probably be necessary at some point.  It does say a lot that your current boss is willing to go to bat for you to up your offer.  Regardless, congratulations this is good news, just don’t overplay your hand and burn bridges.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Have you considered a career as an FA at Merrill Lynch?  Or opening your own business as a professional cuddler?

82 > 87
Simple math.

What degree/program did you take btw? Did you go back to school after finance?

hei.so wrote:

What degree/program did you take btw? Did you go back to school after finance?

I am doing an undergrad in CS and Statistics at a good state school.

This is my first job in the U.S so “technically” I didn’t go back to school.

SamCryBaby wrote:

 good state school.

No such thing.  

Saw your sack.  

82 > 87
Simple math.

id go with quant. but im sure its more high pressure and logner hours

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

Greenman72 wrote:

SamCryBaby wrote:

 good state school.

No such thing.  

Maybe for MBA (UVA,Berkley are still good state schools with decent placement). 

But for STEM/CS Schools there are so many schools where their average 1 year/recent graduate makes at least as much as your salary if not more.

Nerdyblop wrote:

id go with quant. but im sure its more high pressure and logner hours

Why? 

cuz they change a lot of nuance **** in finance so imo you will be coding a lot and it all needs to te urgent. 

I love my cheese. I got to have my cheddar.

Are you open to an eventual grad program?

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

Black Swan wrote:

Are you open to an eventual grad program?

Yup. But I’m thinking of more finance/MBA type of thing. An MFE/Master in Stat doesn’t take you that far in the quant community apparently.  

You may find the quant analyst role allows you to compete more aggressively for those upper MBA programs.  It seems like the quant group knows you and is willing to compete for you so you’re entering with goodwill on your side.  They may have high expectations, but as a fallback you can always either bail to another role or into a grad program if things eventually don’t pan out, so you have exit options.  It also might position you better if you decide to do a top tier PhD type program (if your goals change).  Generally, it seems like it aligns better with your aspirations but comes with some doubts, but since you have exit options and it will look better on paper and now pays the same, it increasingly seems like maybe it makes sense to go for the quant role.  In addition, you don’t seem as excited about the software developer roles so you may wind up being less engaged which is a bigger issue in my mind.  They obviously know your background so I’m sure their expectations are reasonable although as Nerdy alluded to you may be prepared to see longer hours (which is honestly a good thing early in your career) so you should have realistic expectations with that.  Either way, you know best, but let us know what you settle on.

#FreeCVM #FreeTurd #2007-2017

I’d go with the software engineering role. Assuming you are full-stack you’ll never have a problem finding work and it tends to be very lucrative. Furthermore, you won’t be restricted to the finance industry and you’d open doors to the larger tech world. If you are indeed full stack you def demand more than 100k. If you are somewhat decent you can easily obtain an offer for higher pay. 

gl. 

^

I agree, if I had an MFE/Ph.D. obviously there were no discussions in which path to choose but I’m not even a gifted Math/CS student and it will be an upward battle. Also, there is little to no training in my group and people don’t have common grounds given they have very diverse backgrounds.

I know a few SWE in my company who have the CFA and work in structured finance. Maybe those groups could be a good entry point to finance after two years in the rotational program. Who knows