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S. Sakky

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since Mar 20, 2007
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Recent posts by S. Sakky

Originally posted by Jay Dilla:

The students had backgrounds in development and engineering in almost every case. They will either be doing high level development(like algorithm creation) or some kind of intelligence engineering I'm guessing.

I don't think so - at least not the way that you are making it out to be. Yes, I agree, they are modelers and perhaps algorithm creators. But that is generally a far cry from any IT or standard software job. It's really more to do with mathematics.

But anyway, take a gander at the kinds of job descriptions that the MFE grads take and ask yourself whether you really think they are comparable to the kinds of jobs that regular software engineers are competing for. With the exception of a few (the analytic prototyping engineer, the quantitative financial developer, maybe the director of quantitative product development), it seems to me that little overlap exists.

"Actuary, Life insurance & Financial Services
Analyst, Credit Hybrid Structuring (Synthetic CDOs)
Analytic, Prototyping Engineer
Analytic, Science Engineer Analytic Consulting Group
Associate Director, Credit Products
Associate Director, Credit Products
Associate, Advanced Research and Quantitative Strategies
Associate, Asset Management
Associate, Capital Markets
Associate, Credit Derivatives Strategy
Associate, FICC, America Special Situations Group, Strategies
Associate, Finance - Strategies Group
Associate, Fixed Income Research
Associate, Knowledge Management
Associate, Municipal Trading group in Long Term Interest Rate Trading
Associate, Quantitative Credit Research
Associate, Quantitative Research
Associate, Quantitative Research Global Client Services
Associate, Research Analyst, Asia Equity Research
Associate, Rotational Program
Associate, Securitized Products Group -Fixed Income
Associate, Strategy Innovation - Fixed Income Group
Associate, Structured Credit Products
Associate, Structured Products Group
Associate, Whole Loan Trading
Director, Quantitative Product Development
Financial Engineer, Structured Finance in Emerging Markets
Quantitative Finance Developer
Quantitative Risk Associate, Quantitative Risk Management
Senior Analyst, Credit Hybrids Desk: Trading & Sales
Senior Analyst, Fixed Income Division
Senior Analyst, Global Product Strategy Group
Senior Financial Analyst
Sr. Quantitative Analyst, Mortgage Analytics
VP, Fixed Income Portfolio Mgmt: Structured Finance (CDOs)"

Or consider the kinds of jobs that the MFE program has positioned itself for.

"Graduates of the Master's in Financial Engineering are prepared for careers in:

Investment Banking
Corporate Strategic Planning
Risk Management
Primary and Derivative Securities Valuation
Financial Information Systems Management
Portfolio Management
Securities Trading
Master's in Financial Engineering "

With the possible exception of "Financial Information Systems Management", few software and IT peopel that I know are prepared for any of the above functions.

So the point is, I don't the Berkeley MFE program being seriously comparable to regular software engineering.
12 years ago

Originally posted by Jay Dilla:
Wow those salaries are crazy for the NYC banking IT jobs. But if the resumes of some of those Berkley MFE students are any indication it doesn't matter, because 99% IT workers in this country would never get hired going against that pool.

Uh, this is not a fair comparison. Those Berkeley MFE students are (mostly) not going in for IT work. They're going in for backoffice quant work or standard frontoffice investment banking work. They're not doing software development.

I think that poster who invoked the Berkeley MFE stats did so only to demonstrate that Wall Street pays its employees well (which is true), but not to demonstrate that those particular MFE students are what the typical Wall Street IT worker is going up against (which is emphatically not true).

As a case in point, if you want to work in IT, even on Wall Street, you don't even need to have gone to college at all. I know a few people who have done that. But if you want to work in a regular investment banking job, you do indeed have to have gone to college. And not just any college, but almost always one of the elite ones.

[ March 21, 2007: Message edited by: S. Sakky ]

[ March 21, 2007: Message edited by: S. Sakky ]
[ March 21, 2007: Message edited by: S. Sakky ]
12 years ago

Originally posted by william gates:
Same stats..

I love how people keep saying, Lawyers have to go to this elite school, have to do this and then they can make this amount of money.. So basically your below avg lawyer who went to some tier 3 or tier 4 law school probably won't make 150K per year in his first few years.

On that same note, your avg software engineer probably isn't going to make 100K per year either after a few years of experience.

You can't compare the below avg lawyer vs the Top Elite and best Software Engineers making 300K per year on wall street.

Like I said the stats are jaded.

When you compare a lawyer who can't get a job in NYC making 150K to a Software Engineer who people are begging to hire is just not even a legit comparision.

Like somebody else said, 99.9 percent of Software engineers are not making 500K per year and not even close to it.

And if it's so easy to do that, how come people that claim it can happen never say how it happens.

First off, I would actually do you one better and say that not only are there plenty of lawyers (probably the majority) in NYC who won't make 150k in the first few years of working, I would contend that there are plenty (again, perhaps most) lawyers in NYC who will NEVER make 150k in their entire careers. Some of that is by choice. For example, if you choose to work for the government or (especially) for a non-profit, you may not ever make 150k in your whole career. But a lot of it is not by choice. Again, that's simply because there are a lot of mediocre lawyers who graduated with mediocre grades at no-name law schools. Unless they have connections, they're not going to be given an offer from any of the top law firms. They're going to be stuck doing low-end work at no-name firms, or being on the corporate legal staff at some small-time companies, where they probably won't make a high salary in their whole career.

Now, on the other hand, to some extent, I agree with your sentiment that there are also plenty of mediocre software engineers, whether in NYC or anywhere else. I have certainly seen PLENTY of mediocre software guys in Silicon Valley, and I have to imagine that NYC is similar. Just like how there are plenty of lawyers graduated with mediocre grades from no-name law schools out there, there are also plenty of software engineers who graduated with mediocre grades from no-name CS/engineering schools. So I agree with you that the vast majority of software guys will never make 300 or 500k, even in NYC.

On the other hand, I do agree with some of what Mark Herschberg said. Specifically, I can agree that the chances for you to make plenty of money in software are certainly there, depending on how aggressive and enterprising you are. Software is one of the few fields in which a person who is hard-working and capable really can make a lot of money even if he doesn't have an appropriate college education, or even no college education at all. For example, I know one woman whose degree is in English and started learning Java using those 'Learn Java in 24 hours' books, and within a few years, was making an excellent salary (probably well over 100k ) in Atlanta, which is a cheap city. Granted, she started off at the bottom, and worked very hard in those few years, so her success was deserved. But still, she said, in whatever job she could have gotten with her English degree, she could have worked just as hard or even harder for the same few years as she did in her software job, and still not made anywhere near what she was making in software. I know other software engineers who make very good money despite not ever having gone to college at all. One guy in particular that I know dropped out of high school (eventually getting his GED), yet makes far more than many of of his former high school colleagues who went on to college. I remember him actually laughing at how foolish his colleagues were for studying so hard in high school while he was a total slacker, only to end up making more than they did. {Of course, he works very hard now to keep his skills up-to-date}.

So I do agree with Mark that software offers more 'room to roam'. There are plenty of other fields in which even the best people don't make significantly more than the mediocre people. Many fields of engineering are like that. For example, sadly, the best chemical engineers don't make that much more than the mediocre chemical engineers. For example, MIT is widely understood to be the best chemical engineering school in the country, and probably the world. Yet the fact of the matter is that MIT chemical engineers don't make much more as starting salary than what chemical engineers from the average US school make as starting salary. Consider p. 17 of the following 2006 MIT career PDF and p. 14 of the 2005 and 2004 PDF's, p.9 of the 2003 PDF to see what MIT chemical engineers make to start, and compare that to what the average chemical engineer from any school makes to start, and you will notice that there is basically no difference. In fact, in many years, the MIT ChemE grads actually make LESS than the national ChemE average. The upshot is that the market for ChemE's simply does not provide rewards for the top candidates. You work very hard to get into MIT, and you work even harder to complet the infamously difficult ChemE program there... and you don't get rewarded for your hard work. {Incidentally, this is why I believe that Chemical Engineering is a great field to enter if you're mediocre, because even if you graduated in ChemE with so-so grades at a no-name school, you will probably still get a a quite decently paying job}.

Software has more room to roam. If you work hard and have the right skills, you really can rapidly boost your salary. Granted, most software engineers can't or don't want to do that (which is where I agree with you that most software guys won't make a lot of money). But the point is, you COULD do that (which is where I agree with Mark). Contrast that with other fields, like chemical engineering, where even if you work extremely hard to boost your skills, you will still probably not be able to boost your salary significantly.
12 years ago

Originally posted by william gates:

On the other hand a Lawyer just out of law school and living in NYC will probably make over 150k in his first year. After 3 years he'll probably make well over 200k

Nah, I'm afraid that I can't agree with this. On this one, I have to agree with Mark. Saying that a guy in NYC fresh out of law school can 'probably' make over 150k is far too strong. Let's face it. There are a lot of no-name, low-ranked law schools in and around NY. The vast majority of the graduates from these law schools won't make 150k because they won't even be able to land an interview at one of the major NY law firms that pays 150k to start. Even if you go to one of the elite law schools such as Columbia or NYU, you still may not get an elite law firm offer. It all depends on your performance - if you graduate in the bottom 25% of your class at NYU Law or Columbia Law, you're probably not going to get an offer from a top law firm. Heck, you may not even get an interview. And if you graduate from a no-name firm, and you're not near the top of your class, you probably won't land a 150k job.

So, no matter how you slice it, most lawyers fresh out of law school, even in NYC, won't make 150k. Some will. But the majority won't.
12 years ago

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Let's not forget that CS is still the highest paying major in college.

If you're talking about starting salaries, that is not true, and in fact, I don't think it has ever been true. Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and EE pay more. Petroleum Engineering also pays more - in fact, is now the highest paying undergrad major you can get and will remain so as long as the price of oil remains high

Now, if you're talking about median (not starting) salaries, then again, CS is not on top. The median salaries of software engineers are exceeded by the median salaries of petroleum engineers, nuclear engineers, chemical engineers, electronics engineers, aerospace engineers, and computer hardware engineers.

The point is, any way you cut it, CS is not the highest paying major in college. I can agree that it is one of the better-paying majors in college. But it's not the highest. If you want to make more money, get a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering.
12 years ago