• Text Only
I find it quite sad how many people can't believe that certain people at certain ages with certain apparent qualifications are getting certain offers and certain jobs. Just because this doesn't mesh with your own personal experience or preconceptions about how the world works doesn't mean these people's situations are unbelievable or that they're overpaid. It's usually just a good sign you're out of touch and have a disconnect about how the job world works.

It's quite telling that all the people I'm referring to talk about the exact same things when they're showing disbelief or resentment about those in "unbelievable" job situations. It's all about their degree, how hard they work, and how smart they are. "No one with those qualifications is worth that! It must be an outlier!" Nothing's ever mentioned about communication ability, interviewing ability, networking, or the important creative/inventive skills that allow most high performers to stand out and provide real value to their employers, as if all these skills are extraneous and not actually important, when really they're often just as important as the more conventional ones in real terms, and much more important in terms of negotiating your worth.

I think it'd be much more useful to ask the people in seemingly unbelievable situations questions to see what they're doing that you're not, rather than just to dismiss them all as lucky outliers because they don't make sense in the narrow worldview you've constructed of the job market.

akysiev said:   MaxRC said:   CatNoir said:   
You are 22 so I am assuming that you got the gig right out of college. What type of work experience/internship did you do to be qualified for such a high salary in an entry level position?


Whatever the answer, I caution that such an arrangement is such an outlier that it would be foolish to think that anyone has a good chance of replicating it. There is no shortage of intelligent and energetic new/recent IT graduates who can work well and hard for $50-$70k. Anything above that, the job is requiring some very specific skill with a thin applicant pool.

Or maybe I should just recommend the IT people piling into to DC/VA/MD area to go to California instead if the IT job market is that hot over there.


Competent CS/ECE grads at top tiers (outlier by definition) have each been receiving numerous outrageous offers in the last 2 years as the demand for talented engineers is skyrocketing. The lowest offer I've seen one receive has been 70k. See links below for salary reports from MIT, CMU, and Stanford. Remember though that these people have been grooming for just these positions throughout all of college, if not high school, and lucked upon a period of very high demand for a very specialized skill set.

http://web.mit.edu/fnl/volume/223/images/hastings2.jpg
http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/Students/gps1/explore/s...
http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/jobs/salary-grads

But to answer your question, 3 summer internships - one in finance (not programming), one in mobile systems level hardware, and one in web software - and two part-time jobs in interaction and high performance computing. Also a long history of personal projects and ventures.


Thanks for the answer. As your internship/work experience shows, it seems that your job might be an entry level position but the required expertise must be top notch to match the salary

JosephT said:   I find it quite sad how many people can't believe that certain people at certain ages with certain apparent qualifications are getting certain offers and certain jobs. Just because this doesn't mesh with your own personal experience or preconceptions about how the world works doesn't mean these people's situations are unbelievable or that they're overpaid. It's usually just a good sign you're out of touch and have a disconnect about how the job world works.

It's quite telling that all the people I'm referring to talk about the exact same things when they're showing disbelief or resentment about those in "unbelievable" job situations. It's all about their degree, how hard they work, and how smart they are. "No one with those qualifications is worth that! It must be an outlier!" Nothing's ever mentioned about communication ability, interviewing ability, networking, or the important creative/inventive skills that allow most high performers to stand out and provide real value to their employers, as if all these skills are extraneous and not actually important, when really they're often just as important as the more conventional ones in real terms, and much more important in terms of negotiating your worth.

I think it'd be much more useful to ask the people in seemingly unbelievable situations questions to see what they're doing that you're not, rather than just to dismiss them all as lucky outliers because they don't make sense in the narrow worldview you've constructed of the job market.



I was the first one to ask about his qualification. As you can see in my original question, I asked about his work/internship experience so my question was not motivated by resentment, disbelief, or bitterness.


I am about to graduate so it helps to learn about the work experience of my peers. Knowing how they get where they are (whether it is because of exceptional talents, academic background, work experience) helps me position myself for recruiting purposes.

Mikeag1 are you in a small rural district? My wife is a teacher and I have looked at a lot of school district pay schedules and that is low. Since you have a special education degree I would think you could find a job in just about any district in the country. In my local district you base would be 39,970. Jumping about 2500 a year. My wife also says that 39 IEPs is a ton for one person.

CatNoir said:   I was the first one to ask about his qualification. As you can see in my original question, I asked about his work/internship experience so my question was not motivated by resentment, disbelief, or bitterness.

I am about to graduate so it helps to learn about the work experience of my peers. Knowing how they get where they are (whether it is because of exceptional talents, academic background, work experience) helps me position myself for recruiting purposes.


It wasn't directed at you. Lots of people in this thread have questioned people's situations, expressed disbelief, and called people overpaid with no constructive reason. You did none of the above, and also asked a question to better understand his situation.

MaxRC said:   CatNoir said:   You are 22 so I am assuming that you got the gig right out of college. What type of work experience/internship did you do to be qualified for such a high salary in an entry level position?Whatever the answer, I caution that such an arrangement is such an outlier that it would be foolish to think that anyone has a good chance of replicating it. There is no shortage of intelligent and energetic new/recent IT graduates who can work well and hard for $50-$70k. Anything above that, the job is requiring some very specific skill with a thin applicant pool.

Or maybe I should just recommend the IT people piling into to DC/VA/MD area to go to California instead if the IT job market is that hot over there.
While I agree with what you've said, it's worth clarifying that akysiev's position is really in software development, not information technology. There are literally zero 22-year-olds pulling 170K in IT anywhere in the country, while I imagine there are quite a few making that much in software development for Google, Facebook, and similar companies in the SF Bay area. Whether or not it's warranted is a distinction for investors to make... If you want to talk about being in the right place at the right time, CS majors in California are living it. The fact that he's thinking of leaving the trough simply boggles the mind. These are generally once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. To every other seasoned manager with every other company in the tech industry, hiring a product manager fresh out of college for 170K is a laughable proposition.

ajh5408 said:   The fact that he's thinking of leaving the trough simply boggles the mind. These are generally once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. To every other seasoned manager with every other company in the tech industry, hiring a product manager fresh out of college for 170K is a laughable proposition.
Ironically, the fact that he's thinking of leaving (and I'm sure he's not the first one) means that he is underpaid. Or, that Google is just hiring the wrong people.

uscfsmitty said:   Mikeag1 are you in a small rural district? My wife is a teacher and I have looked at a lot of school district pay schedules and that is low. Since you have a special education degree I would think you could find a job in just about any district in the country. In my local district you base would be 39,970. Jumping about 2500 a year. My wife also says that 39 IEPs is a ton for one person.

Yes, I am in a rural district. Out here, a lot of the districts pay around $1000-1500 above the state minimum salary schedule for teachers (see http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147501688 for that state pay schedule).

I may switch districts at some point, especially as there is (in general) a lot of demand for Special Education teachers. On the flip side, many districts have had hiring freezes both in my area and outside my area. A lot of layoffs have occurred in the past year or two, perhaps best evidenced by teachers with years of experience (including in Special Education) substituting at schools including mine.

But yes, your point stands. There may definitely be higher-pay, less stressful Special Education positions out there.

soupcxan said:   ajh5408 said:   The fact that he's thinking of leaving the trough simply boggles the mind. These are generally once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. To every other seasoned manager with every other company in the tech industry, hiring a product manager fresh out of college for 170K is a laughable proposition.Ironically, the fact that he's thinking of leaving (and I'm sure he's not the first one) means that he is underpaid. Or, that Google is just hiring the wrong people.Meaning no offense, I believe he's under the impression that his level of compensation relative to experience is the norm. I don't think it's a matter of being underpaid or being the wrong person for the job, I think it's just a person not realizing how good they have it. If people were always making efficient decisions in regards to life and labor, there'd be no such thing as regret, which I think our good friend will be feeling a lot of if he ditches his Silicone Valley sugar mama.

In case you have not noticed, high growth areas (IT & Finance) with a lot of chaos is where the money is. The stable fields of Education, Medicine, Engineering have flat compensation.

Gender: Male

Age: 29

Location: Northeastern US

Occupation: Corporate Lawyer

Education: B.A., J.D. (2008)

2011 Compensation: $185K salary + $15K bonus

Future Salary Projection: Raise to 210k in 2012.

Benefits: Health, dental, etc for about $100 a month. No 401(k) match. Four weeks vacation.

What's the job like?
Varies from extremely cushy and quiet to extraordinarily stressful (more often the latter, though not always - this weekend is quiet). Some weeks I will work 40 hours and come home at 6pm every night. Others I will work until at least 10pm every night and work more from home, and then on weekends. I'd say it ranges from 35 to 80 hours a week. Lots of thinking and analysis, occasionally coming up with creative solutions, more often just making sure everything is done right.

Would you recommend the career to others?
Probably not. While it is intellectually challenging, it is not very fulfilling, there is not much of an upward path anymore (no one makes partner anymore, relatively, and no one else is hiring), and the stress is insane. All pay is lockstep, including bonuses, and so there is no reward to doing a good job other than personal satisfaction and future prospects. It is also not at all easy to get hired anymore - many of my classmates are in jobs that are just as stressful, but making half as much or less.

ajh5408 said:   soupcxan said:   ajh5408 said:   The fact that he's thinking of leaving the trough simply boggles the mind. These are generally once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. To every other seasoned manager with every other company in the tech industry, hiring a product manager fresh out of college for 170K is a laughable proposition.Ironically, the fact that he's thinking of leaving (and I'm sure he's not the first one) means that he is underpaid. Or, that Google is just hiring the wrong people.Meaning no offense, I believe he's under the impression that his level of compensation relative to experience is the norm. I don't think it's a matter of being underpaid or being the wrong person for the job, I think it's just a person not realizing how good they have it. If people were always making efficient decisions in regards to life and labor, there'd be no such thing as regret, which I think our good friend will be feeling a lot of if he ditches his Silicone Valley sugar mama.

None taken, and I am completely aware of how far along the comp curve I am. I haven't ever considered myself underpaid. It's fairly common practice for people in my position and even much higher paying ones to jump ship to found or join high risk, high reward startups. One of the reasons the tech giants are doling out huge comp packages is to compete with the startup allure (especially with all the funding and thus hiring power they're receiving these days).

When it happens, it will be a very calculated decision. I believe seattlesalaries did the same thing (see http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1153738/), and I can guess what company he came from

ajh5408 said:   soupcxan said:   ajh5408 said:   The fact that he's thinking of leaving the trough simply boggles the mind. These are generally once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. To every other seasoned manager with every other company in the tech industry, hiring a product manager fresh out of college for 170K is a laughable proposition.Ironically, the fact that he's thinking of leaving (and I'm sure he's not the first one) means that he is underpaid. Or, that Google is just hiring the wrong people.Meaning no offense, I believe he's under the impression that his level of compensation relative to experience is the norm. I don't think it's a matter of being underpaid or being the wrong person for the job, I think it's just a person not realizing how good they have it. If people were always making efficient decisions in regards to life and labor, there'd be no such thing as regret, which I think our good friend will be feeling a lot of if he ditches his Silicone Valley sugar mama.

Also keep in mind that $ is not everyone's #1 priority. I have several friends who left top tech companies to pursue other lower-paying interests solely because they wanted to. I asked one of them how he liked his new job and he said "It's exactly what I've always wanted to do with my life." You can't put a price on that.

tolamapS said:   v023985 said:   Gender: Male

Age: 28

Location: Chicago

Occupation: Investment Banking with Bulge bracket bank

Education: BS Finance, MBA

2011 Compensation: $100K salary + $60K signing bonus + $35-50k stub bonuse

Future Salary Projection: All in comp for a full year can range from $125-$300k depending on markets and performance

Benefits: Solid benefits, no idea what my vacation is because I dont really get to use any of it.

What's the job like?
I work in the Industrials group for a bulge bracket investment bank. I'll do modeling, presentations, internatal memos, lots of reading and writing. I work at least 60 hours a week, closer to 80 usually, and generally work at least one day each weekend. Technical skills, communication and presentation are very important.


Would you recommend the career to others?
Maybe. I don't really know if I like the job or not. I've only been working since graduating from my MBA program in May. The hours are terrible, senior people don't overly care about your work/life balance, and a lot of the tasks are mind numbing. I do feel like I am learning a lot about the markets and how businesses work, so that is a plus. Also, I really like everyone I work with on a junior level, and most senior guys too, so that is very important. My goal goal is to stick with this job for at leasy 1.5 years, and see where things stand then. Sometimes the job is frustrating now because I am still new and don't know nearly as much as other people, which makes me feel dumb at times, and it also takes me much longer to do things than others.


Was last year your stub year, or this year?

In NYC, in the deal-side of bulge bracket IB, salary + bonus for associates is usually in fairly tight bands ($175 to $300 is a bit wide, but I think most of the people would fall into a tigher band).
VP level total comp is probably $400-$500K.
Director level comp usually approaches 7 figures.


Started this past July, so just finished my stub year. The 35-50k bonus I guess will be paid here in the coming weeks once I find it out, but I considered it my 2011 compensation even though I won't be receiving it until 2012.

As for the comp range, I antipcate that my salary will be bumped to ~$125k in Feb/March. Target bonus is $100-$175k from what I have heard (ideally would receive in Feb/March 2013), but its also not unheard of to get axed in January and receive no bonus, hence the $125 range. Hopefully that won't be me....

SFcapitalist said:   
what are these people doing on FWF again?


I would venture that the majority of the highly paid young workers have probably been members of FWF long before their good jobs. Quite honestly, the type of person who voluntarily becomes a member of this community at a young age is probably skewed to the right side of average on the bell curve.

I would have literally cost myself more than 6 figures over the years had I not found this place in high school (by avoiding mistakes and taking advantage of monetary opportunities).

akysiev said:   
Competent CS/ECE grads at top tiers (outlier by definition) have each been receiving numerous outrageous offers in the last 2 years as the demand for talented engineers is skyrocketing. The lowest offer I've seen one receive has been 70k. See links below for salary reports from MIT, CMU, and Stanford. Remember though that these people have been grooming for just these positions throughout all of college, if not high school, and lucked upon a period of very high demand for a very specialized skill set.

http://web.mit.edu/fnl/volume/223/images/hastings2.jpg
http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/Students/gps1/explore/s...
http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/jobs/salary-grads

Kudos to your achievement. My point is that while there is a road map to get to where you are, just as there are road maps for how to become a pro football player, the chance of success is very very slim. I guess what's different is that most people know pro football players gets paid a lot and how few people qualify for such a position. On the other hand, computer science graduates are quite common, and it is not a particularly demanding major to get through. So when a college comp-sci kid hears someone say "I get paid $150k-200k a year doing comp-sci", they think to themselves "heck that's what I'm learning".

But to answer your question, 3 summer internships - one in finance (not programming), one in mobile systems level hardware, and one in web software - and two part-time jobs in interaction and high performance computing. Also a long history of personal projects and ventures.Again, it's not this easy. Imagine a pro football player said "Yea, you know, I played some high school ball, some college ball, played various positions, and a long history of personal love for sports". A lot of people fit into that description, very few of them play pro sports.

Again congratulations on your achievement. And if I didn't say I was jealous, I'd be kidding myself.

jkimcpa said:   tolamapS said:   Age: Low 30s
Location: NYC Metro
Education: BA in Math and Computer Science, PhD
Occupation: Finance, Trading
Current Job: Design / implement statistical models that trade securities automatically
2011 Income: $300 - $400K (all included)
Future projections: I would like to make 7 figures / Y in the next few years
Benefits: Very good
Whats the job like: Job is awesome. Often times I don't feel like leaving the office. If I had the physical capacity, I would work 20+ hours a day. Analyze financial data to find predictable patterns of price movements. Understand how securities markets work. Understand how securities prices move. Read a lot. Try a lot of ideas.
Would you recommend the job to others: Tough to say. Job requires superior math and statistics skills, excellent programming, creativity, persistence. Unless you absolutely love this job, you can't do it.

I think you mean unless you have an IQ of 160+, you can't do it.

So...what does your model say about the market for 2012?


Nobody I know (personally or otherwise) can model that far in advance well. I don't attempt to.
The other thing is that any stochastic variable has a predictable and unpredictable component.
I believe that if the closing price of the market is X today, then for the most part it is correct, but only for today.
Tomorrow is a new day, and the 2012 has almost 250 new tomorrows.

Investors who predict major asset classes that far in advance are called "Global Macro". And while some of them are good, even the best ones have done some very bad predictions. Most of the folks who got the right assets in the 2007-2008 crisis have been burnt lately. It is also true that most investors who got the previous 20 years right, made some bad decisions in 2007-2008, and even in the aftermath.

E.g.,

Even though hardly a global macro investor, Warren Buffet has been getting into that business. He had a very poorly timed sale of put options on major equity indices right at the top of the market, and right before the the financials crashed. Selling of put options is equivalent to buying the underlying indices, and selling of volatilities. Needless to say, both components of the trade could not have been timed worse (he bought the market at the top, and sold the volatility at the bottom, exactly the opposite of what a value investor should do). I am sure closer Buffet followers will point out more such mistakes that he has made.

Paulson got burned buying some questionable Chinese companies and buying gold at bad times.

Bill Gross totally missed the safe sovereign rally of this year.

Of course, it is easy to pick apart the losers after the fact.

My point is not to bring their reputation down. I think those investors have done a superb job over years.

I am simply trying to point out that "Global Macro" is a tough field, and that chances of getting it wrong is probably close to 45%, even among the best investors.

SFcapitalist said:   tolamapS said:   yorkie345 said:   SFcapitalist said:   is it just me or does it seem like people are grossly overpaid...
not mentioning any specific names.


what are these people doing on FWF again?


I think it's more of an inflation of pay. Seriously, tell me how many employers are willing to pay someone 2-3 years out of college over $100k? They can't be THAT good! There are tons of graduates out there that can't find jobs. Do you mean to tell me these employers are like, "This guy is the real deal. No way anyone can do what he does. I know he only has a BA and 2 years of experience, but we gotta offer him $120k or he might walk!" Sorry, I don't buy it.

I work 5 miles from a large city (1.5 million) and have a very large group (20+) of friends who are college graduates in many different fields. Forget the two doctors. We are all in our early to mid 30's. The highest paid individual is my buddy who makes less than $80k/year with all bonuses and incentives, and he's a consultant for an insurance company. I have a friend who's a manager of a lab with about 20 chemists at a large pharma company who makes less than he does. Just doesn't add up.


I bet you if you brought 20 fresh people out of college, not one of them would get one of those jobs that are paying in $100Ks. My alma mater has a career fair yearly, and the fair is FULL of employers offering close to $100K, or more than $100K for entry level jobs. Most years, the employers can not fill half the positions that they are looking to fill.


No they are not. Show us the facts. Employers ARE NOT offering near 100K for entry level jobs.

Bonus doesn't count and take out recruiting for software developers in NYC/SF. I bet you can't.


Hey, SFcapitalist. I am not trying to be confrontational, I am trying to be informational.

You have somewhat changed / reduced the criteria, so it might be harder to make the bar (bonus does not count, exclude the highest paying / highest cost areas).

I have no incentive to argue. The world is what it is, and I am not trying to change it. I just feel that I have certain information and my beliefs are based on that information. You have different information, and that affects your beliefs.

akysiev said:   MaxRC said:   CatNoir said:   
You are 22 so I am assuming that you got the gig right out of college. What type of work experience/internship did you do to be qualified for such a high salary in an entry level position?


Whatever the answer, I caution that such an arrangement is such an outlier that it would be foolish to think that anyone has a good chance of replicating it. There is no shortage of intelligent and energetic new/recent IT graduates who can work well and hard for $50-$70k. Anything above that, the job is requiring some very specific skill with a thin applicant pool.

Or maybe I should just recommend the IT people piling into to DC/VA/MD area to go to California instead if the IT job market is that hot over there.


Competent CS/ECE grads at top tiers (outlier by definition) have each been receiving numerous outrageous offers in the last 2 years as the demand for talented engineers is skyrocketing. The lowest offer I've seen one receive has been 70k. See links below for salary reports from MIT, CMU, and Stanford. Remember though that these people have been grooming for just these positions throughout all of college, if not high school, and lucked upon a period of very high demand for a very specialized skill set.

http://web.mit.edu/fnl/volume/223/images/hastings2.jpg
http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/Students/gps1/explore/s...
http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/jobs/salary-grads

But to answer your question, 3 summer internships - one in finance (not programming), one in mobile systems level hardware, and one in web software - and two part-time jobs in interaction and high performance computing. Also a long history of personal projects and ventures.


I can second this opinion, given that one of the above three is my alma mater.
Also, this pattern has been happening for more than the past 2 years. I would say, more like the last decade or so, with maybe a bit higher numbers the last few years.
In late 90s, early 2000s, it was common for 4-year college grads from top tech schools to get $80K offers. Back in the day, these were Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Oracle. Now, the line-up of companies has changed.

This is why I said in my post i'd advise pursuing CS. The risk/reward ratio is favorable and skilled programmers need not worry about finding work

edit: but it's probably harder to advance than prestige-based professions.

motuwallet said:   This is why I said in my post i'd advise pursuing CS. The risk/reward ratio is favorable and skilled programmers need not worry about finding work

edit: but it's probably harder to advance than prestige-based professions.


What is a prestige-based profession? Law, medicine, politics?
Why is it harder to advance?

tolamapS said:   motuwallet said:   This is why I said in my post i'd advise pursuing CS. The risk/reward ratio is favorable and skilled programmers need not worry about finding work

edit: but it's probably harder to advance than prestige-based professions.


What is a prestige-based profession? Law, medicine, politics?
Why is it harder to advance?

I would say it's harder to advance because a good coder-minded person isn't necessarily entrepreneurial so many of them get pigeon holed. You find a CS guy with creative vision and people skills then you have the next CEO of Gagillion dollar tech co that was a startup 3 years ago. This is also one of the reasons why Valley cos are overpaying developers and product guys to compete with the VC money chasing the next idea. Huge cash salary guarantee from Google vs the next grand slam $100m startup.

Age: 26

Location: Tokyo

Occupation: English teacher (part time at high school, part time at businesses)

Education: BS Finance (+passed CFA tests)

2011 Compensation: about 4.2 million yen, roughly $54k at exchange rates, $40k of purchasing power

Future Salary Projection: I'm at max.

Benefits: Work transportation paid, half health paid, 10 weeks vacation (spring/summer/winter), 10 choice days (sick or vacation)

What's the job like?

Good autonomy, I rarely see my bosses. Hard part at high school is discipline; it goes through homeroom teachers here, so sometimes I get great support but sometimes am actually undermined. I have three weeks a year (grading/reporting) where I work about 100 hours. Business classes are no stress but usually finish at 8 so I get home at 9ish those days. They have limited terms so that's about 120 days a year (always Mon-Thurs).

Would you recommend the career to others?

Maybe. It's quite good now for someone who highly values free time. But there's no upward mobility (most other English teachers actually make around 3million a year - I had to work hard and have some luck to get where I am) and the long term job security situation looks pretty bad. I got into it after 9 months of no luck searching for an entry level job in finance in 2008. Quitting this March to move back to the US and give that another shot.

Gender: M
Age: 40
Location: Portland OR
Occupation: Tech Support Engineer
Education: BS comp sci & BS engineering
2011 Compensation: $135k total. About $103k base salary and $32k in bonuses and stock incentives.
Future Salary Projection: probably a +2-4% raise in 2011 on base. Bonuses/stock should be similar within +/-25% but are not easily predictable. I am expecting bonuses to be a bit less than last year since our growth/profits aren't quite as strong.
Benefits: 4 weeks vacation. 10 paid holidays. Good health care provided but $3k deductible. Dental and vision coverage. No 401k matching, but 6% of pay towards a retirement account.
What's the job like? I do tech support for large companies. Its not 1800 support, and I only deal with specific engineers at certain companies. Its a good job. 40 hours a week without many late nights. Not high stress. Great working environment. My job was not negatively impacted by the economy in 2011. In fact we had some pretty big sales from my customers. My company is doing pretty well financially lately.
Would you recommend the career to others? Yes if you have an aptitude for computers and engineering then this is a good field to get into. However high end tech support jobs are only usually seen a certain kinds of tech companies.

[THis is mostly copy/paste from 2010 as not much has changed for me.]

antigelatin said:   Age: 26

Location: Tokyo

Occupation: English teacher (part time at high school, part time at businesses)

Education: BS Finance (+passed CFA tests)

2011 Compensation: about 4.2 million yen, roughly $54k at exchange rates, $40k of purchasing power

Future Salary Projection: I'm at max.

Benefits: Work transportation paid, half health paid, 10 weeks vacation (spring/summer/winter), 10 choice days (sick or vacation)

What's the job like?

Good autonomy, I rarely see my bosses. Hard part at high school is discipline; it goes through homeroom teachers here, so sometimes I get great support but sometimes am actually undermined. I have three weeks a year (grading/reporting) where I work about 100 hours. Business classes are no stress but usually finish at 8 so I get home at 9ish those days. They have limited terms so that's about 120 days a year (always Mon-Thurs).

Would you recommend the career to others?

Maybe. It's quite good now for someone who highly values free time. But there's no upward mobility (most other English teachers actually make around 3million a year - I had to work hard and have some luck to get where I am) and the long term job security situation looks pretty bad. I got into it after 9 months of no luck searching for an entry level job in finance in 2008. Quitting this March to move back to the US and give that another shot.


If you don't mind my asking, how did you come across such a job from the US? Do you/all of the English teachers speak Japanese natively?

Gender: Male

Age: 23

Location: Boston

Occupation: Systems Engineer, Defense Industry

Education: B.S. Manufacturing Engineering (state school), Just started M.S. (company pays 100%)

2011 Compensation: $70k (started at $65k in June 2010)

Future Salary Projection: ~3-5% raise indefinitely, likely will reach 100k in 7-10 years with promotions

Benefits: Health, dental, etc for about $100 a month. Great 401k matching, (I put in 12% of my salary, they put in 10%. 23 days of PTO

What's the job like?
Varies from cushy to moderately stressful. Work essentially as a consultant to the USAF, which requires good presentation skills. Given a significant amount of responsibility as a young engineer (presented to a 4 star general 6 months into my job). Can't get into too much detail but the work is varied, from operational simulations, design reviews, requirements generation and contract writing. Surrounded by very smart coworkers (lots of Ivy League/MIT). Many people at my company are underemployed due to the slow, inefficient world of the DoD. Company is regarded as a great place to work (recently placed in the top 5 for best place to work in a 2012 ranking, ahead of google and just behind facebook). Decent amount of traveling (~1 week/month).

Would you recommend the career to others?

Yes for the most part. The work/life balance is great, almost never work more than 40 hours. As a new engineer, it is frustrating to be limited by DoD inefficiency. Will likely move out of of defense in the next few years.

ajh5408 said:   MaxRC said:   CatNoir said:   You are 22 so I am assuming that you got the gig right out of college. What type of work experience/internship did you do to be qualified for such a high salary in an entry level position?Whatever the answer, I caution that such an arrangement is such an outlier that it would be foolish to think that anyone has a good chance of replicating it. There is no shortage of intelligent and energetic new/recent IT graduates who can work well and hard for $50-$70k. Anything above that, the job is requiring some very specific skill with a thin applicant pool.

Or maybe I should just recommend the IT people piling into to DC/VA/MD area to go to California instead if the IT job market is that hot over there.
While I agree with what you've said, it's worth clarifying that akysiev's position is really in software development, not information technology. There are literally zero 22-year-olds pulling 170K in IT anywhere in the country, while I imagine there are quite a few making that much in software development for Google, Facebook, and similar companies in the SF Bay area. Whether or not it's warranted is a distinction for investors to make... If you want to talk about being in the right place at the right time, CS majors in California are living it. The fact that he's thinking of leaving the trough simply boggles the mind. These are generally once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. To every other seasoned manager with every other company in the tech industry, hiring a product manager fresh out of college for 170K is a laughable proposition.


Facebook has offered similar salaries in India in year 2010 . This is for Fresh out of college grad .
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2010-12-05/news/275...
here is a recent article on silicon valley
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/its-always-sunny-in-silicon...

Age: 25
Location: US financial hub
Occupation: Investment Professional (Private Equity - title: Associate)
Education: BSc Engineering (Chemical), BSc Economics (Finance)
2011 Compensation: $330k (113k base, 217k year-end bonus). ~$50k of highly-illiquid phantom equity

Future Salary Projection: Hypothetically if I was to stay in the private equity industry, probably 500k-1000k w/i the next 5 years (Business school typically required to move up to the next level of titles, which is VP / Principal / Director, varies by firm). The funnel from "associate" to the next level of titles is pretty severe. I would estimate 1 in 4 make it (and accordingly, another 1 in 4 make partnership)

Benefits: Lots of fringe benefits.

What's the job like?
Varies between highly procedural and entrepreneurial. Private equity is in the "buy-out" business - which involves taking companies or divisions of companies under corporate ownership. Improving them via growth or efficiencies (or not) and selling them off at a profit versus our basis (or not). It can be highly procedural when you're evaluating a company undergoing a corporate auction process. Receive bid letter w/ instructions from investment bank / corporate development team and follow their process to hit the various stage-gates in a deal. On the other hand, you're frequently out thinking about new ideas / opportunities, based on long-term industry trends or short-term financial dislocations.
Hours can range from a 9-5, to chained all-nighters depending on the intensity and timeline of each deal.

Would you recommend the career to others?
If you have the natural propensity for it, private equity (and much of the financial industry) is a fascinating place to be. On the other hand, people have sharp elbows, firms are frequently partnerships and politics may have a role to play, and the penalty for failure is sometimes being blacklisted from the industry.

That being said, financial jobs typically allow those who take relatively low levels of risk to achieve entrepreneurial returns... so on a risk-adjusted basis, the job is quite rewarding...

aranaxon said:   Age: 25
Location: US financial hub
Occupation: Investment Professional (Private Equity - title: Associate)
Education: BSc Engineering (Chemical), BSc Economics (Finance)
2011 Compensation: $330k (113k base, 217k year-end bonus). ~$50k of highly-illiquid phantom equity

Future Salary Projection: Hypothetically if I was to stay in the private equity industry, probably 500k-1000k w/i the next 5 years (Business school typically required to move up to the next level of titles, which is VP / Principal / Director, varies by firm). The funnel from "associate" to the next level of titles is pretty severe. I would estimate 1 in 4 make it (and accordingly, another 1 in 4 make partnership)

Benefits: Lots of fringe benefits.

What's the job like?
Varies between highly procedural and entrepreneurial. Private equity is in the "buy-out" business - which involves taking companies or divisions of companies under corporate ownership. Improving them via growth or efficiencies (or not) and selling them off at a profit versus our basis (or not). It can be highly procedural when you're evaluating a company undergoing a corporate auction process. Receive bid letter w/ instructions from investment bank / corporate development team and follow their process to hit the various stage-gates in a deal. On the other hand, you're frequently out thinking about new ideas / opportunities, based on long-term industry trends or short-term financial dislocations.
Hours can range from a 9-5, to chained all-nighters depending on the intensity and timeline of each deal.

Would you recommend the career to others?
If you have the natural propensity for it, private equity (and much of the financial industry) is a fascinating place to be. On the other hand, people have sharp elbows, firms are frequently partnerships and politics may have a role to play, and the penalty for failure is sometimes being blacklisted from the industry.

That being said, financial jobs typically allow those who take relatively low levels of risk to achieve entrepreneurial returns... so on a risk-adjusted basis, the job is quite rewarding...
Where were you prior to PE?

M&A @ investment bank

I would like to get some advice from all of you. I graduated this past May with an accounting degree. Without giving a lot of details, I'm going back to school for a second degree which I can complete in two years: BS in computer related field and international economics. I have been working as a budget assistant for a F500 company and I might get a Business Analyst job at a major university. My salary will be in the $ 35,000 -45,000 range. The university will cover all the cost of my second degree.

Career wise, I would like to work for two years in equity research or Sales and Trading after I am done with my second degree. I am considering equity research because I enjoy doing research on companies and everything and I tend to know "surprising " details about people/organizations.

Based on feedback from past employers and people I have done business with, I am a good salesperson. I enjoy selling products and idea. So I think that sales might be an alternative option to ER. I have heard a lot about "trading" but I rarely see any information about "sales". If any of you have some info/experience please share. My goal is to move to San Francisco and work for a tech company after two years in ER or Sales and Trading.

If I don't make it into ER/ Sales and Trading after the second degree, I will try to keep my job at the university and get my Masters in Public Policy and International Economics (The school has one of the best graduate programs for international affairs.) or a joint JD/MBA there. Upon completing my Masters, I might venture into consulting or try to get into ER/Sales and Trading or corporate development.

Regardless of the path I take, my ultimate goal is to end my career in corporate development or as a trade negotiator for the government or a company.

I lost track of my goals during undergrad so I am trying to outline what I want to do in the short term and make the best of the possibilities that are open to me. I'd appreciate some feedback.

CatNoir said:   I would like to get some advice from all of you. I graduated this past May with an accounting degree. Without giving a lot of details, I'm going back to school for a second degree which I can complete in two years: BS in computer related field and international economics. I have been working as a budget assistant for a F500 company and I might get a Business Analyst job at a major university. My salary will be in the $ 35,000 -45,000 range. The university will cover all the cost of my second degree.

Career wise, I would like to work for two years in equity research or Sales and Trading after I am done with my second degree. I am considering equity research because I enjoy doing research on companies and everything and I tend to know "surprising " details about people/organizations.

Based on feedback from past employers and people I have done business with, I am a good salesperson. I enjoy selling products and idea. So I think that sales might be an alternative option to ER. I have heard a lot about "trading" but I rarely see any information about "sales". If any of you have some info/experience please share. My goal is to move to San Francisco and work for a tech company after two years in ER or Sales and Trading.

If I don't make it into ER/ Sales and Trading after the second degree, I will try to keep my job at the university and get my Masters in Public Policy and International Economics (The school has one of the best graduate programs for international affairs.) or a joint JD/MBA there. Upon completing my Masters, I might venture into consulting or try to get into ER/Sales and Trading or corporate development.

Regardless of the path I take, my ultimate goal is to end my career in corporate development or as a trade negotiator for the government or a company.

I lost track of my goals during undergrad so I am trying to outline what I want to do in the short term and make the best of the possibilities that are open to me. I'd appreciate some feedback.
No offense but you have no idea what you want, and are severely disadvantaged with your competition. If I were you instead of wasting time with more school I would try to get my foot in the door at a Big 4 and wiggle my way into the consulting arm. No second or graduate degree needed. Heck better chance of you getting into a tech co in the valley with public accounting so you should consider that route.

jkimcpa said:   CatNoir said:   I would like to get some advice from all of you. I graduated this past May with an accounting degree. Without giving a lot of details, I'm going back to school for a second degree which I can complete in two years: BS in computer related field and international economics. I have been working as a budget assistant for a F500 company and I might get a Business Analyst job at a major university. My salary will be in the $ 35,000 -45,000 range. The university will cover all the cost of my second degree.

Career wise, I would like to work for two years in equity research or Sales and Trading after I am done with my second degree. I am considering equity research because I enjoy doing research on companies and everything and I tend to know "surprising " details about people/organizations.

Based on feedback from past employers and people I have done business with, I am a good salesperson. I enjoy selling products and idea. So I think that sales might be an alternative option to ER. I have heard a lot about "trading" but I rarely see any information about "sales". If any of you have some info/experience please share. My goal is to move to San Francisco and work for a tech company after two years in ER or Sales and Trading.

If I don't make it into ER/ Sales and Trading after the second degree, I will try to keep my job at the university and get my Masters in Public Policy and International Economics (The school has one of the best graduate programs for international affairs.) or a joint JD/MBA there. Upon completing my Masters, I might venture into consulting or try to get into ER/Sales and Trading or corporate development.

Regardless of the path I take, my ultimate goal is to end my career in corporate development or as a trade negotiator for the government or a company.

I lost track of my goals during undergrad so I am trying to outline what I want to do in the short term and make the best of the possibilities that are open to me. I'd appreciate some feedback.
No offense but you have no idea what you want, and are severely disadvantaged with your competition. If I were you instead of wasting time with more school I would try to get my foot in the door at a Big 4 and wiggle my way into the consulting arm. No second or graduate degree needed. Heck better chance of you getting into a tech co in the valley with public accounting so you should consider that route.


No offense taken. I am not going to put any details there, but I am in a situation where getting a second degree will be a good option for me. Anyway, I will be working at the University and I will be able to study what I have always wanted to study for free. Why not take it? Just ignore the fact that I am going to get a second degree.

I look at different options as a career path because I don't want to fix myself on one option. Some young graduates tend to think that it's the end of the world if they don't get a job in a certain field or if they don't get a specific position. As I stated, I am open to all the possibilities

I look at my work experience, my academic background, and my skills to consider the jobs that pertains to them. It is not because I don't know that one thing that I want to do. It's because I understand that there are many ways of getting to your final career goal. Your first job does not necessary have to be your last job. People start by taking advantage of the opportunities that they get. That's what I am doing right now. My current offer is to be a budget analyst at that University and not an internal auditor or a tax analyst at a Big 4. So I am looking at how I can do my best with that job offer. I don't have a trust fund, so I can't stay on a couch and pray for a big 4 offer.

CatNoir said:   

No offense taken. I am not going to put any details there, but I am in a situation where getting a second degree will be a good option for me. Anyway, I will be working at the University and I will be able to study what I have always wanted to study for free. Why not take it? Just ignore the fact that I am going to get a second degree.

I look at different options as a career path because I don't want to fix myself on one option. Some young graduates tend to think that it's the end of the world if they don't get a job in a certain field or if they don't get a specific position. As I stated, I am open to all the possibilities

I look at my work experience, my academic background, and my skills to consider the jobs that pertains to them. It is not because I don't know that one thing that I want to do. It's because I understand that there are many ways of getting to your final career goal. Your first job does not necessary have to be your last job. People start by taking advantage of the opportunities that they get. That's what I am doing right now. My current offer is to be a budget analyst at that University and not an internal auditor or a tax analyst at a Big 4. So I am looking at how I can do my best with that job offer. I don't have a trust fund, so I can't stay on a couch and pray for a big 4 offer.


I have to agree with jkimcpa on this one. I'm not sure I follow the logic on getting a second degree, unless you're wildly changing career paths and have no previous experience to back it up or get your foot in the door. I think you'll find that as you get older and further away from those entry-level positions you'll find experience heavily outweighs education. However, there also comes a point where doing what you like always wins -- so go for it.

Absolut9 said:   CatNoir said:   

No offense taken. I am not going to put any details there, but I am in a situation where getting a second degree will be a good option for me. Anyway, I will be working at the University and I will be able to study what I have always wanted to study for free. Why not take it? Just ignore the fact that I am going to get a second degree.

I look at different options as a career path because I don't want to fix myself on one option. Some young graduates tend to think that it's the end of the world if they don't get a job in a certain field or if they don't get a specific position. As I stated, I am open to all the possibilities

I look at my work experience, my academic background, and my skills to consider the jobs that pertains to them. It is not because I don't know that one thing that I want to do. It's because I understand that there are many ways of getting to your final career goal. Your first job does not necessary have to be your last job. People start by taking advantage of the opportunities that they get. That's what I am doing right now. My current offer is to be a budget analyst at that University and not an internal auditor or a tax analyst at a Big 4. So I am looking at how I can do my best with that job offer. I don't have a trust fund, so I can't stay on a couch and pray for a big 4 offer.


I have to agree with jkimcpa on this one. I'm not sure I follow the logic on getting a second degree, unless you're wildly changing career paths and have no previous experience to back it up or get your foot in the door. I think you'll find that as you get older and further away from those entry-level positions you'll find experience heavily outweighs education. However, there also comes a point where doing what you like always wins -- so go for it.


I am getting a second degree because I need it. I prefer to not go into any details.

ajh5408 said:   While I agree with what you've said, it's worth clarifying that akysiev's position is really in software development, not information technology. There are literally zero 22-year-olds pulling 170K in IT anywhere in the country, while I imagine there are quite a few making that much in software development for Google, Facebook, and similar companies in the SF Bay area. Whether or not it's warranted is a distinction for investors to make... If you want to talk about being in the right place at the right time, CS majors in California are living it. The fact that he's thinking of leaving the trough simply boggles the mind. These are generally once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. To every other seasoned manager with every other company in the tech industry, hiring a product manager fresh out of college for 170K is a laughable proposition.

Really? I find it pretty easy to 'leave the trough' and there's usually 2 sides to it:

1. Most of those positions are work, work, work 24/7 and the company provides all the necessary resources to keep it that way. Work/Life balance is completely out of whack and you put your soul into building those products. It's not easy and eventually you get burned out and have to find something less demanding. It's hard to keep that pace once families and 'real-life' comes around.

2. They thrive in the demanding deadlines and work and need a larger challenge... You'll usually find these types into early-stage start-ups, who work to build it, sell it, then rinse and repeat somewhere else.

CatNoir said:   Absolut9 said:   CatNoir said:   

No offense taken. I am not going to put any details there, but I am in a situation where getting a second degree will be a good option for me. Anyway, I will be working at the University and I will be able to study what I have always wanted to study for free. Why not take it? Just ignore the fact that I am going to get a second degree.

I look at different options as a career path because I don't want to fix myself on one option. Some young graduates tend to think that it's the end of the world if they don't get a job in a certain field or if they don't get a specific position. As I stated, I am open to all the possibilities

I look at my work experience, my academic background, and my skills to consider the jobs that pertains to them. It is not because I don't know that one thing that I want to do. It's because I understand that there are many ways of getting to your final career goal. Your first job does not necessary have to be your last job. People start by taking advantage of the opportunities that they get. That's what I am doing right now. My current offer is to be a budget analyst at that University and not an internal auditor or a tax analyst at a Big 4. So I am looking at how I can do my best with that job offer. I don't have a trust fund, so I can't stay on a couch and pray for a big 4 offer.


I have to agree with jkimcpa on this one. I'm not sure I follow the logic on getting a second degree, unless you're wildly changing career paths and have no previous experience to back it up or get your foot in the door. I think you'll find that as you get older and further away from those entry-level positions you'll find experience heavily outweighs education. However, there also comes a point where doing what you like always wins -- so go for it.


I am getting a second degree because I need it. I prefer to not go into any details.

What college (or what tier college) did you attend at and what is your GPA? This will quickly determine if pursuing equity research/sales and trading is worthwhile. Just based on your couple posts you give the impression that you don't fit the mold.

If your ultimate goal is to work for a tech co in SF, and you are good at sales, I would look into finding a job as a Sales coordinator or a Account Manager at a tech co, and then move your way up to Account Executive. See immortal247's post. I'm friends with AE's at tech cos and indeed their compensation ranges from $100-300k.

jkimcpa said:   CatNoir said:   Absolut9 said:   CatNoir said:   

No offense taken. I am not going to put any details there, but I am in a situation where getting a second degree will be a good option for me. Anyway, I will be working at the University and I will be able to study what I have always wanted to study for free. Why not take it? Just ignore the fact that I am going to get a second degree.

I look at different options as a career path because I don't want to fix myself on one option. Some young graduates tend to think that it's the end of the world if they don't get a job in a certain field or if they don't get a specific position. As I stated, I am open to all the possibilities

I look at my work experience, my academic background, and my skills to consider the jobs that pertains to them. It is not because I don't know that one thing that I want to do. It's because I understand that there are many ways of getting to your final career goal. Your first job does not necessary have to be your last job. People start by taking advantage of the opportunities that they get. That's what I am doing right now. My current offer is to be a budget analyst at that University and not an internal auditor or a tax analyst at a Big 4. So I am looking at how I can do my best with that job offer. I don't have a trust fund, so I can't stay on a couch and pray for a big 4 offer.


I have to agree with jkimcpa on this one. I'm not sure I follow the logic on getting a second degree, unless you're wildly changing career paths and have no previous experience to back it up or get your foot in the door. I think you'll find that as you get older and further away from those entry-level positions you'll find experience heavily outweighs education. However, there also comes a point where doing what you like always wins -- so go for it.


I am getting a second degree because I need it. I prefer to not go into any details.

What college (or what tier college) did you attend at and what is your GPA? This will quickly determine if pursuing equity research/sales and trading is worthwhile. Just based on your couple posts you give the impression that you don't fit the mold.

If you're ultimate goal is to work for a tech co in SF, and you are good at sales, I would look into finding a job as a Sales coordinator or a Account Manager at a tech co, and then move your way up to Account Executive. See immortal247's post. I'm friends with AE's at tech cos and indeed their compensation ranges from $100-300k.


Thanks for the info. I PM you.

Age: 23
Location: Upstate NY
Occupation: Engineer
Education: BS Nuclear Eng
2011 Compensation: 70k salary, 3.5k bonus, 6.5k OT
Future Salary Projection: Depends where I go. Stay an engineer, probably up to 125k + bonus. Go into Operations and get a license, probably 200k all told.
Benefits: 401k match, standard healthcare and dental plans. 19 days vacation for the year.
What's the job like?
Depends on the day and what you feel like doing. You can waste away on paperwork or you can be really involved with the operation of the plant. Revise procedures, trend operational data, provide recommendations to operators on how to best operate the plant. Every day can be the same if you want it that way, otherwise you can have it such that no two days are the same in the entire month.

Occasionally I will get called in on the weekend, or at 2am. Not often, but it does happen

Every 18 months we shutdown for refueling and all the fun begins. My ~40hr/wk job turns into 72+hrs/wk. It would take all night to describe the things I do during outage. OT is straight-time for everything over 44hrs, which is awesome.

Once a month for a week I am on call, which puts a lot of restrictions on life (alcohol consumption, distance from plant, must be able to drop everything and come in if called), but that isn't too much of a hassle.

Would you recommend the career to others?
Definitely.

MrSamsung 2010 said: Love these threads, but had to make a new account as I don't want people to know me.

Gender: Male

Age: 28

Location: Major Metropolitan City (Think NYC/SF/LA)

Occupation: IT Auditor

Education: B.S., not a top tier college

2010 Compensation: $75k base; after bonus and stock options given current valuation, roughly $85k.

Future Salary Projection: If I get promoted I should be hitting $90k+ base. I have interviewed at several places and have been offered $90k base salary; just haven't found the right company yet.

Benefits: 15 days PTO, 4 floating holidays; starting next month I will be getting 20 days PTO/4 floating. Medical/Dental/Vision, 401k matching up to $3.5k. $5k in training per year.

What's the job like?

Great hours; get to work at 9:30AM and out by 5:30PM; sometimes out later at 6:30PM, but it's worth the trade off of sleeping in the mornings. I used to be in Big 4 so I know how bad some people have it (50+ hours a week).

Mostly consists of interviewing people, standing ground, and being able to keep on top of IT in the industry. A lot of data analysis, but I love it. There is also a lot of documentation. If you hate reading/writing/typing in general, you will hate this job. I get some backfire from people at the company because they hate that I am telling them what to do, but that's more the exception rather than the rule. The only thing I really hate is that I don't really do anything -- auditors in general just look for things that are wrong, tell people how to fix it, and make sure it gets fixed. They have nothing to do with actually fixing issues, just identifying them.

Would you recommend the career to others?

Sure. Auditing is hot right now and you would be hard pressed not to find a job. All the good folks are getting poached and we are having trouble filling roles, even though our company is awesome. Soft skills are a top priority, with knowledge of auditing a close second. We have hired people in the past that know how to talk and have no experience. As long as you are willing to work hard you can get compensated well for it.

Gender: Male

Age: 29

Location: Major Metropolitan City (Think NYC/SF/LA)

Occupation: Sr. Auditor (I've recently taken on Financial auditing in addition to IT auditing, so I'm an "Integrated Auditor" now)

Education: B.S., not a top tier college

2011 Compensation: $75k base; after bonus and stock options given current valuation, roughly $85k - stayed flat in 2011, but I got promoted last week.

Future Salary Projection: Getting $95k+ base now; after bonuses it's $110k. Next bump should be $120k+ base, but that will be a few years.

Benefits: 20 days PTO, 4 floating holidays. Medical/Dental/Vision, 401k match/ESPP (10% discount).

What's the job like?

Everything from last year is basically the same. Great job and I don't plan on doing anything else soon. Auditing is still a hot market and a lot of companies are hiring right now. The hardest part is finding a good company to stick to, as there are a lot of crappy auditing departments out there.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014