Morning Coffee: The $1m+ job desperate for 20-somethings. Jamie Dimon says don't fear the robots
If you stick it out in a front office investment banking job for three or four years and make it to associate, you'll end up with at least $200k a year (once bonuses are factored in). But the chances of getting into finance remain slim - just 2-4% of those who apply to a graduate scheme make it in, usually straight A students with multiple internships, and even then a large proportion of people fall out after a couple of years.
Pay in banking is shrinking and while it still offers a good training programme and great exit options, there are easier options if money is your main motivator. In the UK, it's the arcane world of working as a clerk - a kind of pimp for barristers - which pays $650k and doesn't need a degree. In the U.S., the latest hard-to-fill job that pay at least six figures and don't necessitate saddling yourself with a huge student loan is...working in a lumber yard.
Bloomberg reports that training schemes at of the country's largest building supply firms, 84 Lumber Co, as well as other construction companies, pay $40k during management training. This figure increases to $200k a year at better performing stores, and it's possible (although admittedly rare) to bring in $1m.
“You can go to college and learn the theology of the Roman Empire,” Sebastian Kleis, a college drop-out who just completed a 84 Lumber’s three-day training program. “You learn all this ridiculous nonsense, and when you get out, what are you applying that to? I know how to frame a house."
These firms are hiring massively, and a lot of these jobs are left unfilled, creating a bizarre blue-collar bidding war, ever-more creative recruitment campaigns that use comedy videos and promises of potential riches (just like the glory days of investment banking - remember Barclays Capital's brilliant recruitment ad?) These days banks are trying to instil passion and responsibility in their new recruits - not promises of big pay days - and recruitment videos are all high-fives and corporate slogans.
Maggie Hardy Magerko, CEO of 84 Lumber Co told Bloomberg: “I want people who work for me to retire in their 50s and own their own boats."
Separately, should you fear the onslaught of automation? Jamie Dimon insists that it's not going to lead to massive job cuts in banking. J.P. Morgan is starting to automate everything from back office processing to the more tedious tasks during the investment banking pitch process, but Dimon says that "bots" are not going to mean a reduction in headcount. "My guess is our headcount will go up over the next 20 years, not down," he said during an interview on LinkedIn.
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