Tech to Finance?

Amazon atnpy0
Apr 5 114 Comments

Is this even possible? I have a minor in economics and am pretty early into my career. Would you recommend making the switch. I like coding but I think that at hedge funds or PE you just have a higher cap. Anyone made this switch or know someone that did?

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TOP 114 Comments
  • Two Sigma game6
    This transition is common.
    Apr 57
    • Google yjLR83
      It's not
      Apr 5
    • Uber buckw
      The other way from fin to tech is more common
      Apr 5
    • AIG Raging
      I agree. It's common.
      Apr 5
    • Amazon T83IHw
      are you just going to be another one who thinks putting numbers into Excel is 'Finance' without having a clue about the underlying Dr/Cr Accounting part? Then don't waste your time!
      Apr 5
    • Zillow Group anKW36
      ^ not all finance is like that. What about HFT, or hedge funds using ML/AI to predict income? All of that is finance but has nothing to do with accounting.
      Apr 5
    • Postmates dancingkng
      Lmao accounting isn’t finance; accounting is accounting.
      Apr 6
    • Amazon T83IHw
      HFT is tradind in the banking sector and banking ≠ finance.
      Accounting on the other hand is part of Finance. That's why in a corporate environment it usually sits below the CFO.
      So if you want to go into Banking, go ahead. If you want to join a finance team that sits somewhere below the CFO, don't be a fool like way too many othes and make sure you understand at least basic Dr./Cr. stuff.
      Apr 7
  • don't downgrade yourself from first class citizen to second class citizen
    Apr 510
    • NASDAQ oodlesono
      If you work in the business as a PM with CS/Math/Stats background you are 1st class. Depends on the role. Difference between working in technology at a finance shop or working in ´business’ (PM,Quant,trading) FO
      Apr 5
    • New Kusha
      The roles you are talking about are in the minority - not more than 5-10% of Tech related jobs in Finance
      Apr 5
    • NASDAQ oodlesono
      ^yup. It’s hard.
      Apr 5
    • NASDAQ oodlesono
      I should add that I wouldn’t work for the banks in back office technology orost finance institutions in general. But front office is fine
      Apr 5
    • New Kusha
      Tech is tech. Unless it’s prime revenue bearing front office , your TC is going to be still not at par as Fang, specially at banks.
      Banks are cyclical, European banks for instance are in dumps
      Apr 5
    • Alibaba mianygfs
      What is PM?
      Apr 5
    • LinkedIn Spin_Move
      Product mgr (hopefully. And hopefully no idiot here is talking about project mgrs)
      Apr 5
    • Alibaba mianygfs
      What does product managers in finance do?
      Apr 5
    • Amazon az-hudson
      PM is portfolio manager in buy side firms.
      Apr 6
    • LinkedIn Spin_Move
      Yeah, thx @az-hudson. My comment is from a corporate finance perspective. No PM's *in* finance unless your company offers a fin product. However, financial fluency really elevates your impact as a PM, who typically sits on the business side.
      Apr 15
  • Two Sigma game6
    I think good thing about finance is that it pays well (same or below FANG). CS has been hot for a while, who knows what will happen next? But no matter what industry goes well, finance just stay well with the new industry.
    Apr 513
    • New Kusha
      Yes for some projects in hedge funds - no for banks . Only true for very few Elite teams, which are maybe 5% of the total no of teams.

      Your comment is incorrect if you apply it to Elite teams only : I think good thing about finance is that it pays well (same or below FANG).
      Apr 5
    • New Kusha
      I have been in Banking Front office tech so I know what I am talking about
      Apr 5
    • Two Sigma game6
      Totally agree Kusha.
      Apr 5
    • Two Sigma game6
      Sometimes comparison is quite nontrivial as we learned from computer architecture.
      Apr 5
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      What’s the point of it just pays about FANG?
      The work is obviously not as good as the best FANG work say google brain or self driving cars
      Apr 5
    • Google big💰
      How many people work on Google brain or self driving cars tho..
      Apr 5
    • LinkedIn ex-fb
      Very few I agree but how does moving to finance help?
      You have better perks and WLB, plus an opportunity to find more interesting projects even if you don’t make it to google brain.
      Apr 5
    • Google big💰
      A lot of trading/quant firms have similar perks and wlb. Also, Google has a ton of boring projects that they do so that nobody else will and they don't have anything else for engineers to do. Quant firms don't have the head count or reason to do that so usually everything you work on there matters to the company. YMMV
      Apr 5
    • Google xrfn74
      A few elite firms have stronger talent, and more senior folks. Large tech cos have a lot of variance in talent. However I want to add that there are more regulations and legal nonsense in finance, quicker firing, even enforced non competes which can be bad or good (depending if they pay you while enforcing).
      Apr 5
    • Google xrfn74
      Also the attitude can be different; some places threat engineers as second to quants or traders. Others feel more professional and old school.
      Apr 5
  • Two Sigma game6
    One important difference: to get a finance job, it’s okay and common practice to go through hunters. Probably 60% (my feeling, no real counting) of the financial developer jobs are posted by hunters.
    Apr 57
    • Bloomberg Fork()
      OMFG yes.
      Apr 5
    • Microsoft MgIr74
      I always assumed their emails were bullshit.
      Apr 5
    • Turner qjka196501
      Hunters are also massive in tech so it's fair game imo
      Apr 5
    • Two Sigma game6
      Quite many hunters have direct connections to hiring managers. So even better than submitting through company websites because HR may not know the positions that well. However, there are hunters who just submit your resume to many companies with your name removed. Avoid the latter ones. Chat with the hunters to make sure they are the first type
      Apr 5
    • Two Sigma game6
      Also an interesting thing is some of those financial hunters are in London. This financial hunting industry seem to have a rule: hunter must talk to you via phone to submit your application. So hunters may avoid telling your which companies in email or LinkedIn messages. They want to make a phone call, no matter how short.
      Apr 5
    • Two Sigma game6
      One weird case is that a certain hunter insisted to use video conference to ‘see me’ so that she can submit me to a specific job.
      Apr 5
    • Salesforce CloudSurfr
      She wanted to know how you'd dress on an interview and interact so that no one's time would be wasted...Especially if you're switching to finance makes sense to check you have a decent suit
      Apr 7
  • NASDAQ oodlesono
    Very common. Worked at a shop that would constantly poach good people from the tech organization. I know several who have jumped over to the business in PM or trading. Bonus component of comp goes way up. 100% - 200% bonuses with about the same base. (15-50% at the IC level in the front office tech organization.
    Apr 54
    • NASDAQ oodlesono
      This is on the asset management industry specifically, not TS or Citadel style.
      Apr 5
    • NASDAQ pypy
      Whoa. Nasdaq people actually post here?
      Apr 5
    • NASDAQ oodlesono
      We exist ! Apparently almost enough of us to get a channel
      Apr 6
    • Which shop
      Apr 6
  • Two Sigma game6
    The way of interviews really diverse. Some firms still include brain teasers(no kidding). Some firm ask computer internals (how OS works; for high frequency trading). Many of them ask language details about python, java or C++. You may think algo/ds is “a” way to screen candidates in most tech firms as C++ language details is just another way. For example, you probably need to know how jvm GC works, how packets are transmitted from NIC to applications, how vtable is implemented.
    Apr 58
    • Bloomberg Fork()
      Bjarne would give himself 7/10 on his expertise with C++...on a good day. 😀
      Apr 5
    • Facebook Hodinkee
      What kind of OS internals?
      Apr 5
    • Two Sigma game6
      Paging, scheduler, life cycle of a process, thread/process relationship, IPC and how to choose them (eg what happen when Same machine IPC get full queue), etc
      Apr 6
    • Two Sigma game6
      CPU pinning, kernel bypassing
      Apr 6
    • Facebook chromeo
      Why the focus on OS’s? Are you writing custom operating systems?
      Apr 7
    • Two Sigma game6
      A branch of finance is high frequency trading, or more precisely low latency trading. It needs to process information fast and stable (less jitter)
      Apr 7
    • Two Sigma game6
      To achieve that, companies commonly implement their NIC using FPGA, having their own TCP/IP protocol stack, using kernel bypassing to reduce latency, etc.
      Apr 7
    • Bloomberg Fork()
      Surprising, the actual HFT algorithm are not that complex. There is a very limited window of to process so that limits what can be done
      Apr 7
  • Airbnb hwa4
    People are conflating a lot of different paths in this thread.

    PE vs. quant hedge funds vs. trading shop hedge funds are very different.

    Within hedge funds, eng vs. quant vs. trader are also very different.

    All these options represent very different work and very different earning potentials. Which one are you interested in?

    Most finance positions won’t pay substantially more than L5-L6 FANG unless you make it to partner.

    For some of these paths, at associate and VP levels, you will earn less than at FANG comparable levels.

    Partner in finance is similar to L6-L8+ FANG
    Apr 54
    • Bloomberg Fork()
      Truth.
      Apr 5
    • Paychex ReKz02
      L5-L6 like on levels.fyi? (400 to 500k)
      Apr 5
    • Bloomberg Fork()
      Exactly. The average Joe earns 200-300k for double the hours and double the risk. On an hourly basis, tech comes ahead.
      Apr 5
    • Airbnb hwa4
      L6 FANG can go up to 600K
      Apr 5
  • Envestnet ABC90sTGIF
    Definitely doable. Don’t be afraid to take a step backward at first. What steps have you taken thus far?
    Apr 50
  • Airbnb hwa4
    I have thought about finance, but even at 1.5X increase in TC, I wouldn’t make the switch because of old school culture BS, worse hours, fewer career switch options, and worse benefits.

    At 1.6X, I would maybe start considering it.

    For me, the actual TC change from switching to finance is about 0.8X-1.4X.
    Apr 50
  • Twitch RbOv54
    I would think about it this way. Go where the innovation is, go where people are going from zeroes to one's.

    Financial industry arguably hasn't innovated since the early 80s when people found nouveau ways to utilize leverage to generate returns. From private equity to mortgage backed securities, financial engineering was the hot shit back in the days and thus all the new MBA grads wanted to go to Wallstreet.

    Sadly, the Industry really hasn't come up with anything new, mean while, new funds and competition enter all the time to drive down returns. What was once a oligopoly ruled by a few institutions is now becoming perfect competition. And therefore, when you look at fund returns, most funds always quote figures "since inception", but when you look closely, with each fund they raise, the returns get lower and lower.

    Whenever something turns into perfect competition, it's time to run away.
    Apr 61
    • Twitch RbOv54
      Although my concern is, tech is following the same trajectory that Wallstreet moved in pre 2008. People's attitudes, ambitions, the way obsessive way people talk and live, are eerily similar... And I wonder if the tech bubble bursts, whether there will be an occupy silicon valley moment
      Apr 6
  • Chase 8==D~
    I went backwards - finance to tech.

    I wouldn’t do it if I were you. Having seen both sides, the grass is greener on the tech side.

    Finance job responsibilities are/will be increasingly automated, which in turn will limit employer demand for finance workers. The opposite is true for tech (for now).

    Also, breaking into the so-called “high finance” jobs is extremely difficult even when you have the background that those employers seek (elite college, to top investment banking group, sometimes elite MBA), and I if you don’t have that background, I would say it’s virtually impossible.
    Apr 61
    • New tooQ10
      Seconding all of this. I'm a fintech back office worker and automation is taking our jobs away. TC never rises and never will. Wish I'd gone into programming!
      Apr 6
  • Apple MALr78
    I had a long career and switched from tech to finance and bank to tech. Finance is a amazing domain and pays really well for the amount of work. I moved to bay and and joined big tech because of lack of opportunities in finance. You can not go wrong with finance.
    Apr 50
  • Xilinx LWkj71
    I have a very similar question. I have no minor in economics but I love trading stocks. I am a hardware engineer with physics /EE background. I know some working Python but I'm fascinated by mysteries of wallstreet and finance. Im someone you can call a pyjama trader.

    A lot of hedge fund managers, Quants have advised me not to leave what I do. But I'm still exploring. What field in finance would you think is easier to get a foot in the door.

    I have 6 yoe in what I do and I'm decent at what I do currently. Obviously I don't want to end up at the same level as a new college grad. So what fields in Finance or Hedge funds or asset Management can I Target? I would love to work under a money manager and pick stocks for them. Do in-depth analysis! Or even become a sell side analyst that retailers like myself love to hate on

    TLDR: in tech, not really killing it. Love trading stocks all day and love finance in general. Know the fundamentals and technical chart analyses pretty well. Can get CMT certified as well. Where and how do I switch?
    Apr 52
    • eBay manorama
      Same interest as you . I have some knowledge but any references to get good at both ? - fundamental and technical
      Apr 5
    • Uber vgghhh
      Personally I think the most interesting ideas are to combine tech and finance to gain a material advantage like Goldman Sachs does with satellite photos of Walmart’s parking lots. Walmart is a leading indicator of the US economy so you can use Walmart’s performance in lots of ways. Parking lot activity is a publicly measurable thing to understand Walmart’s performance. These are the kinds of tech problems with opportunity. Use tech to measure something that gives you and only you a material advantage.
      Apr 5
  • Bloomberg Fork()
    You only hear about success stories. The thing about finance in general, is that you disappear if you are not an all-star and even shit happens. For every person that made it to top management style a hedge fund, PE, etc, there are hundreds of washouts. People who worked harder in a single day than you do in a week. People who kiss ass like nobodies business. People who the founding family like.

    Even within the management level, you start way low. It's recursive. Granted, way low is 1M TC, but you are taking about a sliver of the all-stars. At that level, your social skills and salesperson ship far outweigh your technical skills (financial or otherwise). The same story is true for the high earners of big Enterprise tech.The same skills it takes a government to buy Oracle despite it being OK to crap is the same skills it takes to convince a pension fund to fork over 2% of the principle and 40% of the gains.
    Apr 50
  • Snapchat random000
    Finance in Tech sucks, don’t do it. I was in it for 5 years and got out, moved to Eng and life is 1000x better
    Apr 51
    • Snapchat random000
      Tech Finance is survivor/ apprentice so if you want to be in the rat race then sign up :-/
      Apr 5
  • AIG Raging
    This is a hilarious discussion
    Apr 60
  • New tooQ10
    Finance back office here. The pay is nowhere near what tech pays. At no point in your working life will you make what a fresh graduate earns as a coder, unless you reach management.
    Apr 50
  • Uber God.
    Be prepared to go from super chill lifestyle to old school BS.

    There’s a price for everything but it would take me several hundred thousand of additional TC to make that switch.
    Apr 50
  • Two Sigma game6
    The first thing to make the transition is to study the job postings. See if there is ones relevant to what you have done in the past two years. If you can find a match on specific skills, likely you may get that job. Once you entered this domain, then you are considered inside the circle. Much much easier to hop to another position in this domain.
    Apr 50
  • Two Sigma game6
    Smaller financial firms tend to hire people wearing multiple hats (like startups). Larger ones may just want certain expert for a specific position. For example, data engineer positions may want people with spark pipeline experience and infrastructure positions may want people with kubernetes
    Experience.
    Apr 50
  • Airbnb unemployd
    Common and doable but people I know who have done it HATE it. It's obviously way more corporate, more hours, and higher demand.

    It's just as "important" work and it's some cool stuff (especially if you're working w investment algorithms etc.) But at the end of the day you'll be working 12hr days at the hands of the managing director or IB firm
    Apr 53
    • Uber vgghhh
      My thinking is to be amazing at what you do (engineering), crush the interview and them give them your list of demands in terms of WLB. I’ve seen it work. A French friend of mine for example after he got the offer was like “I’m french. I take one month or so vacation every year, paid, and I’m completely unreachable the entire time.”

      Remember that when you go from tech to finance, you’re the gold.
      Apr 5
    • Airbnb unemployd
      Well.... I mean yeah you're the gold but there are a lot of other SWEs etc who will get poached for 200K + ridiculous equity or investment benefits at the same time. I think you have an advantage and leverage but man Management Directors and IB VPs are something else and you bend over and suck their D to make $$$.

      If that's the lifestyle you want, go for it and you will make millions
      Apr 5
    • Airbnb hwa4
      IB VPs make 250k - 1M based on experience and and performance, which is similar to L4-L7 eng. Similar comp at soul sucking hours and work. IB is not really worth it anymore with tech doing so well.

      If you really wanna gun for MD level comp, you might as well go for L8+ tech positions like Senior Director, VP etc
      Apr 7
  • Amazon J00T
    Tech is much better than Finance.
    Apr 50
  • Facebook wootness
    Problem with Finance is heavy regulation. At least today FANG is not subject to that. You will have to deal with locked down equipment and tons of red tape. Also, on average, people you will work with will be less exciting to say the least. Unless you are supporting revenue function or get a crazy comp package that you cannot reach at FANG or other solid tech firms, do not touch this shit. Also, you will likely not grow as much in many of these finance shops as an IC. They frequently require highly specialized knowledge for highest paid roles and infra space is ages behind and often drowning in glaciers of legacy systems.
    Apr 50
  • Netflix razorlab
    What not both. Most tech companies have tech p&a. It’s fp&a but tech focused. If you have a background in tech and learn the finance side, that’s very valuable.
    Apr 62
  • New bob_
    If you work in a portfolio manager, senior quant, or a *critical* quant developer role, the total comp can be very good. There tends to be more annual volatility in compensation at senior levels because most of your comp is tied to the performance of your strategy and the company overall.
    Apr 60
  • Twitch RbOv54
    I did the transition from pe to tech, and thinking back, I was retaded to have wasted so much time in finance. Growth opportunities and wlb are both much better in tech imo
    Apr 60
  • Amazon Gvtw14
    Go into applied science. Finance will be a big pay cut
    Apr 50
  • Quicken Loans whatabtbob
    Go for it
    Apr 50
  • Bloomberg Fork()
    Bruv, I have family in management at those places and I asked and they said don't do it.
    Apr 50
  • Cisco UPhF72
    Tech to finance within tech is possible too. Like from Tech to the business side where you have edge of knowing the IT side and now you are in business side
    Apr 50
  • Uber kilometer
    Finance is just as important as tech. Dont get it twisted
    Apr 50
  • Two Sigma game6
    Of course, there are still financial firms whose interviews are very like tech. Just algo/ds questions.
    Apr 50
  • Microsoft diosmio
    Is it possible to make 300k a year TC in finance after 5 years experience as a software engineer?
    Apr 78
    • Amazon (^_^)-o
      Tough.
      Apr 7
    • NASDAQ oodlesono
      This question I think was not asking about being a SWE in finance but switching to finance completely. And yes very possible to hit 300+ with the right trajectory at the right spot.
      Apr 7
    • Airbnb hwa4
      Why switch to finance for 300K when you can make 500k in tech after same YoE?
      Apr 7
    • Yes but probably only at Ts and js
      Apr 8
    • Microsoft diosmio
      What’s Ts Js
      Apr 8
    • Microsoft diosmio
      Would one have to switch out of SWE into another role or would it make more sense financially to stay a SWE in finance?
      Apr 8
    • NASDAQ oodlesono
      Two Sigma and Jane Street.
      Apr 8
    • Airbnb zMbb35
      Why not just stay in tech? You can make 500k+ as a regular senior engineer in guaranteed comp. i
      Apr 11
  • Coinbase YdEg78
    Are you just trying to make more money, or are you more interested in finance?
    Apr 52
    • Xilinx LWkj71
      Both
      Apr 5
    • Coinbase YdEg78
      I would consider crypto then ;)
      Apr 5
  • Intel Intelsad
    At Intel?
    Apr 70
  • Intel Intelsad
    If you plan on staying at intel and folsom make the switch. IT folsom is doomed like Santa Clara was. Make a move. Somewhere out of IT.
    Apr 70
  • Uber Spaday
    Send me your resume if you have > 1 years experience. I can help you.
    Apr 50
  • Uber kilometer
    To add you can also make a lot more in TC in Finance (asset management,vc, hedge funds, p/e) than in tech
    Apr 50
  • Intuit j123x
    Tech and Finance can go side by side. Do real estate and do some hedging.
    Apr 50
  • Microsoft newyorkhky
    Definitely possible. Depending on the position and asset mgmt firm, they can match++.

    Good experience to actually apply the tech to a real customer.
    Apr 50
  • TuneIn brazas
    For this transition, where to start?
    Apr 50

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