This is for a friend - He has 5 years of software development work-ex (with a Masters) and is being offered SDE2 at Microsoft (Redmond) - 130K base, 40 sign on bonus, 160 stocks/4 years. Is this offer reasonable? He has other offers from IB as VP (analytics/machine learning) - offering around 220K (180 base, 40 target bonus) total compensation (NYC location). He definitely favours tech industry, but is the offer from Microsoft worthy? Also can anyone from IB (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan) comment how would be work compared to a tech industry?
The CoL difference is pretty huge between Redmond and NYC. Housing is a lot more expensive in NYC, taxes much higher, etc. So even if the IB offer is better (after the first year), it's not that much better. I wouldn't take that offer as you're basically a second class citizen in those companies and it's a career killer if he ever wants to go back to tech afterwards.