It's a sorry truth that just as headcount in investment banks seems stuck in a cycle of endless contraction, Alphabet - the parent company to Google, is engaged in a process of heady expansion. Last year, Alphabet's headcount hit 118,899 people last year, up from 98,771 at the end of 2018 - an increase of 20%. It's a been a long, long time since banks achieved anything similar.
Most of Alphabet's hires in 2019 were engineers and product managers according to its recent 10k filing, while headcount additions by product area were highest in Google Cloud and search. It's no coincidence that Google received H1B visas for over 5,000 U.S.-based engineers and around 300 product managers last year.
Hiring is continuing apace in 2020. Google is currently advertising nearly 900 software engineering jobs globally, and Google Cloud alone has nearly 800 vacancies live. Both London and New York stand to benefit as Google expands. - The company has been in New York for nearly 20 years but has plans to add thousands more staff on Manhattan's west side. In London, Google is building a huge new office at King's Cross with the potential to house 7,000 staff when it's finished sometime later this year.
The salaries Google pays for some of its key roles are shown in the chart below, which is based on the thousands of salary data points submitted by Google when it applied for H1B visas in the U.S. in 2019. There will be some local variations to the figures, which are averages, plus variations for experience. It's also worth noting that salaries aren't the only thing on offer at Google/Alphabet: the company also pays cash bonuses and restricted stock options (RSUs) which vest evenly over four years and can be multiples of fixed pay.
The jobs in the chart above reflect some of the key roles at Google. Clearly not all of them are open to people with finance experience, but some may be.
Google software engineer
Software engineers are fairly explanatory. The backbone of Google they work across the company as developers on key Google projects as required. Google likes its software engineers to be flexible: they move from one project to another. It also likes full-stack engineers who can work across the breadth of a project. Salary range: $81k to $315k.
Cloud sales engineers
Cloud sales engineers are a cross between engineers and client-facing consultants. Also known as 'customer engineers' they interface with clients to develop cloud solutions suited to their needs. It helps, therefore, to have some knowledge of the industry vertical you're working in (eg. banking). Salary range: $124k to $194k.
Google sales consultants
Sales consultants (also known as business development consultants) are responsible for selling Google's solutions to clients. You won't need engineering experience for these roles but you will need a strong understanding of Google's business (or the area of Alphabet you're working in) and clients' needs. Salary range: $132k to $198k.
Google solutions managers/consultants/associates
If you work in solutions you'll be the person to liaise with external clients and Google's technical staff to help create products that match clients' requirements. You'll need to be a kind of client-facing product manager with a strong understanding of both technology and of the clients you're working with. - You'll typically focus on one industry vertical. Salary range: $135k to $214k.
Google hardware engineers
Hardware engineers at Google are kind of rarefied beasts and if you've come from a bank, you probably won't become one - unless you have a PhD in electrical engineering. These are some of the most interesting jobs at the technology company though: Google's hardware engineers are engaged in pushing the boundaries of existing computer hardware in attempt to create whole new computing paradigms (eg. Google has a quantum hardware team working on cryogenic microwave devices). There aren't many of these jobs, but salaries are in the range of $140k.
Google product managers
Google has plenty of product managers. They work with the company's engineers to help design new technologies, and therefore have a key strategic role. As a product manager you'll need to understand both technology and the requirements of end users, and to be able to communicate the requirements of each. Salaries range from $120k to $250k.
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