Anyone attending or graduated from an Ivy League or similar caliber school has probably seen tons of undergrads going to work at firms like Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, etc. These places pay first year analysts about $100K after bonus, second years about $150K, and third years (if they stay on) over $200k. After a decade or so you're easily pulling in high six figures (500k+) salaries that most engineers could only dream of. The numbers are even more ridiculous if you go into private equity or hedge funds. And this is after the whole financial crisis. I'm sure the average STEM major is much smarter than the average investment banker or trader, so why do people still try to break into the lower paying engineering jobs when they could easily be making six figures on Wall st (AVERAGE compensation/employee at goldman is around $400k, at Google it's just over $100k...and Goldman isn't even close to being among the highest paying finance institutions.) Which I guess also begs the question of why do engineering jobs pay so little compared to high finance?