I am vice president, working on front office trading technology in an investment bank. I've been in the financial sector for six to seven years now and I've recently realized that I'm hugely underpaid.
I've been researching what tech salaries are like at non-financial companies like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, Airbnb, Square, Amazon and Lyft. No one in finance seems to realize this, but they're massive. - A lot higher than anyone I know is getting coding for a bank.
These companies are regularly paying $300k to $400k to engineers with between five and ten years' experience. Ok, the base is only $175k to $250k, but there are also lots of RSUs and bonuses. And tech companies' bonuses are often guaranteed cash - a huge difference to banking bonuses, which are small and depend on cyclical nature of earnings.
By comparison, most of the tech VPs I know in banking make between $200k and $250k in total. And a lot of them have more than 10 years' experience. If you have that amount of experience in big tech, and you're good, you can earn $400 to $600K, maybe more.
The problem here is that most technologists in banks don't command much respect. Essentially, we're a cost center. In you're an engineer at Google or Facebook, you are king. Finance either doesn't want to keep up, or can't.
Of course, there are some exceptions. Some of the more technology-focused hedge funds pay rates comparable to banks, but for the most part banking compensation has fallen hugely behind. I think I'm underpaid. Leave a comment below if you agree.
Tom Sargent is the pseudonym of a technologist at a Wall Street bank
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