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Is High-Paying Finance DONE for?

  1. Oct 6, 2009 #1
    Or, could it be like the dotcom bubble, where everybody thought it best not to go into CS/technology... but the demand should soon start accelerating again?

    This question is inspired by people who say that "the days of the fat bonuses and salaries for the finance/banking industry are gone forever."

    Is it really gone forever? Or really just temporarily?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2009 #2

  4. Oct 6, 2009 #3
    Goldman Sachs is set to pay out all-time record compensation this year, to the average of over $700,000 per employee.

    It's not even gone temporarily. There will almost certainly be fewer jobs though and the landscape may change a bit more.
  5. Oct 9, 2009 #4
    It depends on what you mean by high paying. I think there are going to be a lot fewer jobs where you can get $1M+ salaries, but I think that there are still going to be a lot of jobs paying high but not totally insane salaries.

    More government regulation means more jobs for people that babysit the computer systems that generate the reports for the regulators.
  6. Oct 9, 2009 #5
    Base salaries and bonuses actually went up for investment banking analysts in 2009.
  7. Oct 9, 2009 #6
    Bonus session is just around the corner. The bonuses will almost certainly be better in 2009 than 2008, but the big question is how much better. Base salaries have been going up in some places, but this is to compensate for less bonus.

    The big question however is not salary but demand. Wall Street has been a major employer of Ph.D.'s and I think it would be a shame if that source of employment dried up.
  8. Oct 10, 2009 #7
    Oh dear, they might have to do something useful instead!
  9. Oct 10, 2009 #8
    On the contrary. Physics Ph.D.'s do very useful things on Wall Street. My own job involves programming and maintaining computer systems that keep my employer from making the same sorts of mistakes that other firms did, and I really feel good about my job because I helped keep the financial crisis from being much worse than it was. All of those stress tests that you heard about in the news required armies of physics Ph.D.'s to do, and I was fortunate enough to work somewhere where we did lots of "stress tests" before all hell broke loose.

    My own guess is that the focus on more financial regulation is likely to result in an *increase* in Wall Street positions for physicists as regulators force firms to invest a lot more money on computer systems similar to the ones that I work on.
  10. Oct 10, 2009 #9
    ^ that would cause a demand for more comp sci grads as well, no?
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