The most (and least) in-demand programming languages at every Wall Street bank in 2019
As we reported last month, the number of tech-related job openings at New York investment banks has plummeted over the last half-year. At Morgan Stanley and Citi, for example, there are well less than half as many openings today as opposed to last fall. Meanwhile, tech-focused job vacancies at J.P. Morgan are down 55% in New York compared to November. The reasons for the recent purge in jobs are debatable and likely numerous, but there is no arguing with the numbers. There are drastically fewer local tech jobs available on Wall Street this spring – a phenomena that has coincided with a near-new favorite toy for engineers.
The first chart below totals the number of current job openings by programming language across Wall Street and compares them to the figures we derived six months ago. Further below, we then break down the totals at each specific bank, including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citi and Bank of America. (Note: The numbers also include jobs located just across the river in Jersey City, where every bank except Morgan Stanley has an office).
As you can see, the number of jobs that require experience working with a major programming language has fallen roughly in line with the general loss of technology openings. But after only six months, Java has nearly lost its crown to Python as the most in-demand programming language at New York investment banks. Just last fall, the number of NYC job openings mentioning Java outpaced those that required Python by 180. That difference has now been cut to 12.
While local tech jobs at banks have been nearly cut in half over the last six months, the number of Python-focused jobs has barely budged. The uptick in Python usage can be at least partially attributed to the fact that non-developers have recently begun utilizing it. Python’s unique modeling capabilities and relative ease of use have caught the eye of analysts, traders and researchers, who now use it in their own work. Python is on the precipice of being the programming language to know if you want a well-paid engineering job on Wall Street (Lesser-paying Jersey City offices tend to be the home of more Java developers). C#, which saw the biggest percentage drop, is still in use but mostly for quant-related, low-latency projects.
As for particular banks, Goldman Sachs is the main story. The firm saw its number of programming-related vacancies fall by more than half since November. And the search covers all departments, so the housing of quant and strat jobs under the securities banner wouldn’t change anything. Goldman may be a self-described technology company, but the bank’s focus on limiting costs seems to have shrunk the number of seats for engineers, at least in New York.
Meanwhile, there seems to be a bit of a changing of the guard at J.P. Morgan, where Python use is much more pervasive than last year.
Bank of America
The biggest anomaly is Bank of America, where Java, Python and C++ openings have all more than doubled. And that’s all it may be: an anomaly. The number of New York-area tech jobs is down at BofA over the last six months. Combing through job descriptions on the bank’s career site, it’s likely that new job recs have been loaded with additional programming languages to be more inclusive in search. While there seems to be more overlap, the overall takeaway remains the same as last year: BofA doesn’t seem to have a preference for Java or Python.
Morgan Stanley and Citi
As for the final two banks, Morgan Stanley and Citi each saw significant drops in the number of Java and Python-focused openings, though they both seem more willing to consider candidates with expertise in less popular programming languages.
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