Hardware to software

Cisco qGwC14
Jun 21 8 Comments

I guess this has been debated before, but I feel my situation is little more unique. Mid career professional doing analog ic design (PhD + 3 yoe, 150k tc, non bay area). However, when I look at long term career options, sometimes I dont feel great. Say, if one slogs out and does really well, you get to a manager/principal level at the max. The Tc is for sure lower than swe. And then, jobs are so much concentrated in particular regions ( bay, Austin). And moving to bay area outside of FAANG is not worth it (i think we can only target 3 in that list). Apart from TC, our career choices are limited to so few companies. Looking long term, do you ppl think making a switch to something more interesting (ai/ml) at this stage( with a PhD in ee) is worth it?

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TOP 8 Comments
  • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
    MBA sounds reasonable option in your case, if you pick a top school like Michigan
    Jun 21 2
    • New / R&D 🍻ilkebeer
      I think outside of the hot markets the MBA is probably the best option to make money long term. The goal is basically to hit VP at a larger company which should be around 400k or more in an area with much lower housing costs.
      Jun 21
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      MBA is good for switching fields and getting the horizontal part of T. With specialized knowledge and experience he has the vertical part of T already. MBA will allow him to leverage the investment in special expertise. If he simply jumps into software it will take a few years before he catches up with top performers, and he’s old already which makes it harder.
      Jun 21
  • Cisco qGwC14
    OP
    What's your take on the long term career prospects. I sometimes get worried about hardware and ic design in particular. With so many mergers, and hardware being more of a commodity these days. But then again, switching to swe at this stage, is it advisable? I am happy with my job, but just worry about long term.
    Jun 21 1
    • New / R&D 🍻ilkebeer
      Software might not be so lucrative eventually either.
      Jun 21
  • Cisco qGwC14
    OP
    1) No doubt, I am interested in learning. (Started the std Andrew ng's course. Looked a bit in some finance courses). And even willing to go lower in TC for a couple of years. But cant really quit job for family reasons. Also, it's a little overwhelming stepping into a new field. What field to choose? Sw is huge and there a lot of options.or should I do some part time MBA and try to go higher in my field outside of pure design.
    2-3) Definitely want to change at some point. Do salaries in bay cross 220-250 at places apart from apple and maybe Broadcom for ic designers?
    Jun 21 1
    • Nvidia / Eng Mr.XoXo
      Nvidia should be able to do that range for IC4-5
      Jun 21
  • New / R&D 🍻ilkebeer
    I think it depends on your interests, your current location, and whether you have a family.
    1) if your interests have shifted, there's nothing wrong with self studying and trying to get a job in something that is more interesting.

    2) if you're in RTP 150k is a good chunk of change and your quality of life should be really high. If your somewhere more expensive it may be worth a change and relocation.

    3) it could be worthwhile to move if you get over 250k in the bay but your life style will change in that you will be a renter, although I'd argue you'd be able to save more in some circumstances especially at the 300k mark.
    Jun 21 0

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