Lucrative careers?

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GCD
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by GCD » Mon May 14, 2018 8:10 pm

SagaciousTraveler wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 7:40 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 4:17 pm
SagaciousTraveler wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 12:53 pm
I majored in Computer Science and joined the government in 2009 as a GS-5. I since have worked my way up to a GS-13. Is this a lucrative career? Depends on how you define it.
The OP has already defined it as a $100K job. If you are in one of the dozen or so metro areas with locality pay of 25%+ and are step 2 or higher then you have broken $100K. So yes, the OP would define you as having a lucrative career.

There is no reason to be ashamed of making $100K. Only on BH do people look at double the average income as not having made it yet!
I'm a step 4 with a good amount of OT offered. I'm definitely not ashamed, I work hard.

I guess my main point was in 2009 as a GS-5 making $33,000 a year, the job didn't look 'lucrative'. However with hard work, some luck and having the right skills, it became one.
Sorry. DIdn't mean to imply I thought you were ashamed. I was thinking of some of this thread where the discussion goes on about salaries and TC 3-5 times the $100K the OP was interested in. I meant the comment generically toward anyone in the 100K range or aspiring to the 100K range. I can kinda see now where people are coming from when they say it is easy to get intimidated here.
Last edited by GCD on Mon May 14, 2018 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3funder
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by 3funder » Mon May 14, 2018 8:11 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 12:59 am
If you learn to play the guitar or to play them drums then you get money for nothin'.
Love this.

golfCaddy
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by golfCaddy » Mon May 14, 2018 10:10 pm

I would try to avoid government jobs where you aren't developing and maintaining job skills marketable to the private sector. Otherwise, you can be stuck in a government job, with limited opportunities to leave. The federal government has a ton of bureaucracy, which may drive some people crazy. The JTR regs on how to get reimbursed for government travel at DOD are over 700 pages.

This may be common sense, but for STEM, go to the best college that will admit you, get at least a 3.5 GPA, and take some internships before graduation.

alfaspider
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by alfaspider » Tue May 15, 2018 9:23 am

fizxman wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 10:43 am
Look into what it takes to be a patent attorney. I know they can do very well but I'm not too sure on job prospects. I thought there were more openings for patent attorneys than other types of attorneys, but I could be wrong.
Patent attorneys are divided into two general sub-practices: patent litigation and patent prosecution. Patent litigation does not require a technical background because it does not require admission to the patent bar, although many have one as a practical matter. Right now, the demand is for people with software engineering or EE backgrounds.

The problem with prosecution is that applying for patents has become a relatively commodified process. Because large companies patent a very high volume of ideas, and a very small percentage will ever be valuable, they tend to be reluctant to pay high fees for the patents. As a result, although in demand, patent prosecution tends to be less remunerative than patent litigation. Large firm billing rates of $1,000+ an hour only work economically in big patent trials (think Apple v. Samsung). Prosecution work tends to go to smaller specialized firms where pay is less than at the large firms.

Again, patent litigation can be lucrative, but not necessarily more-so than non-patent related commercial litigation. Having a tech background will give you a hook and a certain level of job security if you are applying to large firms as a litigator, but it won't make up for a less than stellar academic or professional background. Overall, I wouldn't really recommend patent law to someone who is just starting undergrad and doesn't have a passion for engineering. Poor or even middling grades in an engineering program will be an albatross when applying to law school. It might be a better option for an engineer who is looking to change careers- some firms will pay for engineers who have passed the patent bar (does not require law school graduation) to go to law school at night while paying a good salary.

stoptothink
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by stoptothink » Tue May 15, 2018 9:45 am

bling wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:08 pm
the thing that scares me about tech is that the barrier to entry has become extremely low. demand is so high that people can now go into boot camps, study for 3-6 months, and get an entry level position. it feels like a bubble is forming and when it bursts it's going to be really bad, but i also can't deny that unlike other industries, every industry needs software...so maybe it'll be OK?
My wife is in IT data security, specifically PCI. She has colleagues without any university education or professional certifications whatsoever who were literally working in call centers a year ago, who are below average producers in their current role, who earn quite a bit more than I do as a director-level employee in a health megacorp with a PhD (and a top producer). If these people lost their current jobs, they would likely be back at a call center or WalMart. I try not to be judgmental, but it is really difficult to discern what actual professional skills they have other than being in the right place at the right time. It's like they slipped on a banana peel and fell on $150k+/yr lottery tickets.

IowaFarmWife
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by IowaFarmWife » Tue May 15, 2018 9:53 am

Speech Language Pathologist
Occupational Therapist
Physical Therapist

I have been an SLP for 23 years, and I have never know a therapist who couldn't get a job within a week. The hardest interview question I've ever been asked is "how soon can you start and how much do you want?" Seriously.

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greg24
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by greg24 » Tue May 15, 2018 10:09 am

bling wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:08 pm
people who don't live in VHCOL areas will never understand that 100k is pretty much the low end of the spectrum.
People who live in VHCOL areas will never understand that not everyone has to view the world through their lens.

$100k is a lucrative career for most of the country. Then you have a thread like this where people descend on the OP claiming that you need to be making $200k or $300k by 35 or you're doing poorly. The myopia is astounding.

Yes, there are areas of the country where $100k doesn't go far. Those are in the minority. That reality just isn't applicable to the rest of the country.

ebrasmus21
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by ebrasmus21 » Tue May 15, 2018 10:45 am

IowaFarmWife wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:53 am
Speech Language Pathologist
Occupational Therapist
Physical Therapist

I have been an SLP for 23 years, and I have never know a therapist who couldn't get a job within a week. The hardest interview question I've ever been asked is "how soon can you start and how much do you want?" Seriously.

My brother is an OT and my sister in law is an attorney. They were living in IL a few years back and wanted to relocate to TX. My brother didn't even bother researching jobs until his wife had accepted a position; my bro had a job 2 weeks later (after being offered 2 positions).

alfaspider
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by alfaspider » Tue May 15, 2018 10:52 am

IowaFarmWife wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:53 am
Speech Language Pathologist
Occupational Therapist
Physical Therapist

I have been an SLP for 23 years, and I have never know a therapist who couldn't get a job within a week. The hardest interview question I've ever been asked is "how soon can you start and how much do you want?" Seriously.
Part of the reason is that SLPs salaries tend to be artificially capped by medicare reimbursement rates, so it's hard to the market to adjust for the demand (family member is one).

wrongfunds
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by wrongfunds » Tue May 15, 2018 11:32 am

That is your point of view. It does not apply to me. My annual expense had stayed about the same over the last 10+ year. It does not change dynamically. To each its own.

The only exception is that I am paying for my kids' college education now. So, that adds about 50K to 60K to my annual expense.
KF says his annual expense are the same over the last 10+ years if we just ignore "minor" variation of 50K or 60K :-)

Valuethinker
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue May 15, 2018 11:43 am

Leemiller wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 7:32 am
People tell you to do what you love because you will be better at it and you’re interest will show to others. I’m a pretty well compensated attorney, in the upper 300s, and in my mid-40s. I wish I would have taken a different path. I enjoy the intellectual challenge, but the law wasn’t where my heart was. I did well on the LSAT, over 170, and got a full ride to a top-15. I would never recommend just looking at salary, that is a great way to make below the average. I do like enough of what I do to make what I do. My interest level is certainly above that of many attorneys I’ve known and worked with over the years. When you’re young you may think if I only made x, I’d be happy. But days are long and at some point you have enough security that x may not be what you thought it would be....
I think it's worth reading Tennyson's Ulysses.

It's not too late to seek a wider world.
Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Your story is a familiar one of corporate lawyers that I know. The time pressures and stress of the job.

Your 40s is not too old to try something else. In fact at UVA (Darden school) I attended a course on mid career change (I am not a Darden grad)-- there were many lawyers present.

fsrph
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by fsrph » Tue May 15, 2018 1:52 pm

Teague wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:05 pm
...Also, how are you able to circumvent the laws requiring a pharmacist to review your prescription before dispensing?
With a stroke of a pen.

The requirement you cite could be actual law, or more likely, a regulation promulgated by the state board or pharmacy. Either can be readily changed.
Or it could be circumvented by State Boards of Pharmacy determining that bar code scanning (by a tech) is at least accurate as a human.
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." | Dale Carnegie

international001
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by international001 » Tue May 15, 2018 4:48 pm

fsrph wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 1:52 pm
Teague wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:05 pm
...Also, how are you able to circumvent the laws requiring a pharmacist to review your prescription before dispensing?
With a stroke of a pen.

The requirement you cite could be actual law, or more likely, a regulation promulgated by the state board or pharmacy. Either can be readily changed.
Or it could be circumvented by State Boards of Pharmacy determining that bar code scanning (by a tech) is at least accurate as a human.

Same for doctors. If I was Bernie Sanders, I would sign a bill allowing international competition in the US

bling
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by bling » Tue May 15, 2018 6:34 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 9:45 am
bling wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:08 pm
the thing that scares me about tech is that the barrier to entry has become extremely low. demand is so high that people can now go into boot camps, study for 3-6 months, and get an entry level position. it feels like a bubble is forming and when it bursts it's going to be really bad, but i also can't deny that unlike other industries, every industry needs software...so maybe it'll be OK?
My wife is in IT data security, specifically PCI. She has colleagues without any university education or professional certifications whatsoever who were literally working in call centers a year ago, who are below average producers in their current role, who earn quite a bit more than I do as a director-level employee in a health megacorp with a PhD (and a top producer). If these people lost their current jobs, they would likely be back at a call center or WalMart. I try not to be judgmental, but it is really difficult to discern what actual professional skills they have other than being in the right place at the right time. It's like they slipped on a banana peel and fell on $150k+/yr lottery tickets.
yep. and in interesting side effect of that, as other posters have alluded to in this thread, is that it is pushing salaries of experienced engineers even higher. a decade ago i don't think people would have considered software to be a lucrative career, but these days they can earn even more than lawyers/doctors if they're in the major tech hubs. and they didn't have to start their careers 200k+ in debt.
greg24 wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:09 am
bling wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 8:08 pm
people who don't live in VHCOL areas will never understand that 100k is pretty much the low end of the spectrum.
People who live in VHCOL areas will never understand that not everyone has to view the world through their lens.

$100k is a lucrative career for most of the country. Then you have a thread like this where people descend on the OP claiming that you need to be making $200k or $300k by 35 or you're doing poorly. The myopia is astounding.

Yes, there are areas of the country where $100k doesn't go far. Those are in the minority. That reality just isn't applicable to the rest of the country.
...which reinforces my point that 100k is an arbitrary number that has no meaning without taking location into account. the only reason that number has special meaning is because it's 6 figures. surely people in japan are not excited with making 100k yen per year...

HerpNerd
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by HerpNerd » Tue May 15, 2018 7:55 pm

TheFishGuy99 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:06 pm

Careers I’ve looked into are:

-Law (I love law, I read law books for fun, but the job prospects look terrible for grads and if you don’t make the top law schools it’s a bad investment according to some)

- biology careers ( I’d be very happy doing this because I love animals and biology but most biology jobs pay 60k or less, which is good pay but less than I’d like to make someday)
OP,

Environmental consulting would combine these two interests. Lots of companies rely on consultants to maintain environmental compliance throughout project timelines to include issues related to wildlife.

I can only speak for pay in the Midwest but reaching $100k/year is possible. A person at that pay level is likely managing projects, people, or both.

HerpNerd

GCD
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by GCD » Tue May 15, 2018 8:15 pm

bling wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:34 pm
...which reinforces my point that 100k is an arbitrary number that has no meaning without taking location into account. the only reason that number has special meaning is because it's 6 figures.
I thought that number had special meaning because the OP said it was his goal.

He subsequently stated that math was his worst subject. So then people start suggesting computer science and engineering jobs and argue about whether they pay 200K or 500K.

I've skimmed posts and misreplied myself so I'm not trying to be harsh. Just pointing out that there is a reason some posters keep returning to 100K as a baseline.

golfCaddy
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by golfCaddy » Tue May 15, 2018 8:24 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:26 pm
But yeah, if you want to stay in small-town Iowa you won’t get near that. That’s a choice, though. Doesn’t mean $200k is any less obtainable for you, just that you took a different path. Even mid-COL markets like Atlanta and Austin are paying that much for very senior engineers these days. It isn’t an outlier.
Sometimes, it's a choice. Sometimes it's not. When I got out of school with a BS and MS in EE and a thesis in using CUDA to process machine vision algorithms, I sent out hundreds of job applications all across the country, but received very few job offers from anyone, anywhere. Sometimes, a $50k/year job in a small town like Indianapolis is the best you can do. Eventually, I moved into a non-technical job.

wrongfunds
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed May 16, 2018 9:13 am

Has anybody suggested becoming an NFL or NBA player? Or may be a rock star musician? How about becoming best paid Hollywood actor?

How is it any different than throwing out $300K computer science engineer job suggestions for OP?

Sometimes, this forum drops its collective intelligence very low.

SagaciousTraveler
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by SagaciousTraveler » Wed May 16, 2018 9:23 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:13 am
Has anybody suggested becoming an NFL or NBA player? Or may be a rock star musician? How about becoming best paid Hollywood actor?

How is it any different than throwing out $300K computer science engineer job suggestions for OP?

Sometimes, this forum drops its collective intelligence very low.
To be fair, he chose a pretty subjective topic. With that said, yeah some of the responses were out there.

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greg24
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by greg24 » Wed May 16, 2018 10:08 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:13 am
Has anybody suggested becoming an NFL or NBA player? Or may be a rock star musician? How about becoming best paid Hollywood actor?

How is it any different than throwing out $300K computer science engineer job suggestions for OP?

Sometimes, this forum drops its collective intelligence very low.
+99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999

Glockenspiel
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed May 16, 2018 10:18 am

HerpNerd wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:55 pm
TheFishGuy99 wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 11:06 pm

Careers I’ve looked into are:

-Law (I love law, I read law books for fun, but the job prospects look terrible for grads and if you don’t make the top law schools it’s a bad investment according to some)

- biology careers ( I’d be very happy doing this because I love animals and biology but most biology jobs pay 60k or less, which is good pay but less than I’d like to make someday)
OP,

Environmental consulting would combine these two interests. Lots of companies rely on consultants to maintain environmental compliance throughout project timelines to include issues related to wildlife.

I can only speak for pay in the Midwest but reaching $100k/year is possible. A person at that pay level is likely managing projects, people, or both.

HerpNerd
Since you love biology and animals, I will vouch for becoming an environmental scientist, doing consulting at a firm helping clients with environmental regulations, the Clean Water Act (wetland regulation, etc), Threatened and Endangered Species, National Environmental Policy Act, Environmental Impact Statements, Stormwater Pollution Prevention, etc. An example project would be helping a wind energy developer select a site, using various environmental data to minimize the actions they need to take to comply with all environmental laws.

I'm a civil engineer that works closely with environmental scientists and I can confirm that $100k per year is possible after maybe 10-15 years of experience. At that level, you would be managing projects and maybe a small staff of younger scientists. To do this, you would look for a major in "environmental science"

KyleAAA
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:13 am
Has anybody suggested becoming an NFL or NBA player? Or may be a rock star musician? How about becoming best paid Hollywood actor?

How is it any different than throwing out $300K computer science engineer job suggestions for OP?

Sometimes, this forum drops its collective intelligence very low.
A $300k software engineer job is reasonably attainable (eventually) for your average software engineer from an average school. An NBA career isn't. Professional athletes are outliers among all athletes. $300k software engineers are not outliers among all software engineers, at least not within their geographical region. To put an another way, MOST software engineers in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and one or two other tech hubs WILL eventually make $300k as a software engineer. It might take them 15-20 years (on the slow side), but they will get there. It isn't limited to just a few companies or just one place. Even notoriously cheap non-tech companies like Wal-Mart will pay that much for very senior talent. The same cannot be said of NBA players. The notion that this level of compensation is limited to top Stanford graduates working at 3 or 4 companies within a few blocks of each other in Silicon Valley is extremely outdated. That hasn't been the case for quite some time.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Wed May 16, 2018 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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goodenyou
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by goodenyou » Wed May 16, 2018 11:06 am

Start a religion or become a Televangelist. You could also become a Late Night Host and tell bad jokes. You could turn letters on the Wheel of Fortune and get paid millions. Don't always assume that importance and value of what you do is tied to how much you make.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

cruzbay
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by cruzbay » Wed May 16, 2018 11:25 am

If you have great people skills and can quickly pick up on the basics of many different technologies, you could be a technical recruiter. Join a firm that has outstanding training, work like crazy to be the best, build true relationships with your candidates and clients (not a dialing for dollars/slick presentation) and the money will follow. You can quickly build to 100K+ as you will have base + commission. Get some experience with the sales/account management side as well and learn all you can about the finance/operation of the firm. This is the boot camp phase of your career.

Once you have the experience, you could launch your own recruiting firm and serve a few select clients making the entire placement fee (less your expenses) vs. taking a much smaller percentage as an employee of a search agency. Perm placement does not require the outlay of cash for payroll, taxes, etc. that you would need for contractor placements. Having your own company is still hard work (especially if you take on employees) but enjoyable as you meet new people all the time, change people's lives with new opportunities, help your clients succeed, learn about industries and technologies, make money AND you can do it from anywhere with a phone and the internet. Not to say that you can do this on a part time basis as you need to be available and compete for the best talent every day.

Can also recruit medical, finance, law, etc. Technology is only one avenue. Best of luck to you as you find your way!

chillyuber
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by chillyuber » Wed May 16, 2018 11:28 am

It seems like people have something against software engineers making good money. They are OK with Lawyers and doctors making money but not software engineers. The reality is we are in a world that is massively automated with incredibly complex software systems. These systems are getting exponentially more complex by the year. These systems are also literal cash cows for the largest and most profitable companies in the world. Therefore it is no surprise that the engineers who can understand, fix, and build these systems are worth their weight in gold. I encourage any doubters to actually try their hand at building something really complicated and they'll soon realize that it the 10,000 hour rule applies here. Not everyone is cut out for it. Colleges are widely known to have "weed out" courses where 50% of the class fails and falls off the computer science track. Not all graduates even make it to a SW engineer position. Some of the less technically inclined ones go QA, devops, sys admin, etc. Some don't get a job at all. Some of the ones who actually get SW positions drop out since they aren't cut out for it. They go project management, support, etc.

People just refuse to believe software engineering is high paying. Maybe they are jealous that they didn't enter this field? I remember 10 years ago everyone would tell me all the jobs were going overseas and to not enter the field. Now people dismiss high paid engineers as 1 out of 100.

I'm in the Boston market which is a lower paying market than Silicon Valley and even Seattle. I'll tell you right now that new grads are getting offers of 100-120k base. My firm (a non FANG company) that I consider to be 2nd tier is paying new grads about 110k base + 10% bonus + 10k/year stock. Thats 130 TC at 22 years old right out of school. Most seniors with strong experience are at high 100s to over 200k TC.

Personally I am at 240k TC for this year and about 260k TC for next year assuming no raise and no RSU refresher next year... Which is unlikely. So i'll probably be higher than that next year. If i was at Google i'd be 300k+ in the equivalent position.

I literally get contacted by recruiters 5x per day. One recruiter sends a gigantic 5 page spreadsheet of all the jobs she is recruiting for including base salary, bonus, equity, etc. That spreadsheet is mostly small to mid sized firms (the ones more likely to use agency recruiters) and I can tell you right now that budgets are going to 170-190K BASE alone with many offering cash bonuses and stock on top of that. All in TC of low-mid 200s is not at all hard to get right now judging from these numbers.

GCD
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by GCD » Wed May 16, 2018 11:45 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am
A $300k software engineer job is reasonably attainable (eventually) for your average software engineer from an average school. An NBA career isn't.
But is it reasonably attainable for a guy who says math is his worst subject?
chillyuber wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:28 am
It seems like people have something against software engineers making good money. They are OK with Lawyers and doctors making money but not software engineers. The reality is we are in a world that is massively automated with incredibly complex software systems. These systems are getting exponentially more complex by the year. These systems are also literal cash cows for the largest and most profitable companies in the world. Therefore it is no surprise that the engineers who can understand, fix, and build these systems are worth their weight in gold. I encourage any doubters to actually try their hand at building something really complicated and they'll soon realize that it the 10,000 hour rule applies here. Not everyone is cut out for it. Colleges are widely known to have "weed out" courses where 50% of the class fails and falls off the computer science track. Not all graduates even make it to a SW engineer position. Some of the less technically inclined ones go QA, devops, sys admin, etc. Some don't get a job at all. Some of the ones who actually get SW positions drop out since they aren't cut out for it. They go project management, support, etc.

People just refuse to believe software engineering is high paying.
I'll accept that software is high paying, but how's that work for a guy who isn't good at math?

That's the other debate here.

smalliebigs
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by smalliebigs » Wed May 16, 2018 11:52 am

I am an engineer at an automotive OEM. Salary is just over 100k. Benefits and holidays are decent.

international001
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by international001 » Wed May 16, 2018 11:57 am

So it's a question of just having a high IQ (almost 130 average, I read someplace)

KyleAAA
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed May 16, 2018 12:51 pm

GCD wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:45 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am
A $300k software engineer job is reasonably attainable (eventually) for your average software engineer from an average school. An NBA career isn't.
But is it reasonably attainable for a guy who says math is his worst subject?
chillyuber wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:28 am
It seems like people have something against software engineers making good money. They are OK with Lawyers and doctors making money but not software engineers. The reality is we are in a world that is massively automated with incredibly complex software systems. These systems are getting exponentially more complex by the year. These systems are also literal cash cows for the largest and most profitable companies in the world. Therefore it is no surprise that the engineers who can understand, fix, and build these systems are worth their weight in gold. I encourage any doubters to actually try their hand at building something really complicated and they'll soon realize that it the 10,000 hour rule applies here. Not everyone is cut out for it. Colleges are widely known to have "weed out" courses where 50% of the class fails and falls off the computer science track. Not all graduates even make it to a SW engineer position. Some of the less technically inclined ones go QA, devops, sys admin, etc. Some don't get a job at all. Some of the ones who actually get SW positions drop out since they aren't cut out for it. They go project management, support, etc.

People just refuse to believe software engineering is high paying.
I'll accept that software is high paying, but how's that work for a guy who isn't good at math?

That's the other debate here.
Yes, it is absolutely reasonably attainable for somebody who is bad at math. The day-to-day of a software engineer doesn't require any math, and many of these people don't have a computer science or engineering degree (theater and music majors are not uncommon IME).

ponyboy
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by ponyboy » Wed May 16, 2018 12:59 pm

My wife is a fed and makes $115k...shes only been with them for 5 years and shes fairly early in her career (34 years old.) She is insanely motivated and intelligent to say the least. I married up...w00t.
Last edited by ponyboy on Wed May 16, 2018 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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greg24
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by greg24 » Wed May 16, 2018 1:00 pm

I guess we have our solution. The OP should get a bachelors degree in whatever they want, theater, music, etc.

Then, just get hired as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. Pretty soon, $300k.

Done and done.

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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed May 16, 2018 1:07 pm

greg24 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:00 pm
I guess we have our solution. The OP should get a bachelors degree in whatever they want, theater, music, etc.

Then, just get hired as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. Pretty soon, $300k.

Done and done.
If by "pretty soon" you mean 20 years of hard work, sure. Nobody said it was quick or easy. Just that it's a viable path for people of average intelligence and aptitude.

GCD
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by GCD » Wed May 16, 2018 1:09 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:51 pm

Yes, it is absolutely reasonably attainable for somebody who is bad at math. The day-to-day of a software engineer doesn't require any math, and many of these people don't have a computer science or engineering degree (theater and music majors are not uncommon IME).
Hmmm. Ok, I'm not a CS guy and had assumed there was more math to it. If in fact math is not so critical in this field then I stand corrected.

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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed May 16, 2018 1:12 pm

GCD wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:09 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:51 pm

Yes, it is absolutely reasonably attainable for somebody who is bad at math. The day-to-day of a software engineer doesn't require any math, and many of these people don't have a computer science or engineering degree (theater and music majors are not uncommon IME).
Hmmm. Ok, I'm not a CS guy and had assumed there was more math to it. If in fact math is not so critical in this field then I stand corrected.
CS is very math intensive. Software Engineering is not CS, which is why you see so many non-CS majors be successful.

PNW1
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by PNW1 » Wed May 16, 2018 1:33 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:51 pm
GCD wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:45 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am
A $300k software engineer job is reasonably attainable (eventually) for your average software engineer from an average school. An NBA career isn't.
But is it reasonably attainable for a guy who says math is his worst subject?

I'll accept that software is high paying, but how's that work for a guy who isn't good at math?

That's the other debate here.
Yes, it is absolutely reasonably attainable for somebody who is bad at math. The day-to-day of a software engineer doesn't require any math, and many of these people don't have a computer science or engineering degree (theater and music majors are not uncommon IME).
I'll push back on this a bit. I've been a software developer for over a decade, and while it's true that my "day-to-day" doesn't require math, I would say that being a productive software designer does require the same kind of symbolic-analysis/logic/concrete-yet-abstract thought process that tends to make a person comfortable with mathematics. Obviously there are different levels and kinds of aptitude required for different software development tasks, and doing not-very-well-for-a-modern-software-developer can still lead to a more than reasonable income. A person who has a hard time with math shouldn't confuse him or herself into thinking they'll be a "star" programmer, though. I'd also push back a little on conflating degrees with aptitude. Someone with a great deal of mathematical ability could still get a degree in English, for example. People are good at more than one thing. Dealing with your specific example, people who study music are often highly mathematical (music is math), although they might not self-report that way.

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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed May 16, 2018 1:55 pm

PNW1 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:33 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 12:51 pm
GCD wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:45 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am
A $300k software engineer job is reasonably attainable (eventually) for your average software engineer from an average school. An NBA career isn't.
But is it reasonably attainable for a guy who says math is his worst subject?

I'll accept that software is high paying, but how's that work for a guy who isn't good at math?

That's the other debate here.
Yes, it is absolutely reasonably attainable for somebody who is bad at math. The day-to-day of a software engineer doesn't require any math, and many of these people don't have a computer science or engineering degree (theater and music majors are not uncommon IME).
I'll push back on this a bit. I've been a software developer for over a decade, and while it's true that my "day-to-day" doesn't require math, I would say that being a productive software designer does require the same kind of symbolic-analysis/logic/concrete-yet-abstract thought process that tends to make a person comfortable with mathematics. Obviously there are different levels and kinds of aptitude required for different software development tasks, and doing not-very-well-for-a-modern-software-developer can still lead to a more than reasonable income. A person who has a hard time with math shouldn't confuse him or herself into thinking they'll be a "star" programmer, though. I'd also push back a little on conflating degrees with aptitude. Someone with a great deal of mathematical ability could still get a degree in English, for example. People are good at more than one thing. Dealing with your specific example, people who study music are often highly mathematical (music is math), although they might not self-report that way.
Exactly, but you're forgetting that when people say they are "bad at math" they pretty much always mean "bad at traditional subjects like algebra and calculus." It doesn't actually mean they are bad at math in the context of a software engineer. What you describe is not what most people colloquially consider to be "math." Their mental model is "math == Calculus" and so I stick with that mental model. You also don't need to be a star programmer to be a star software engineer, since plenty of below-average coders have huge impact in other ways.

golfCaddy
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by golfCaddy » Wed May 16, 2018 4:01 pm

chillyuber wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:28 am
It seems like people have something against software engineers making good money. They are OK with Lawyers and doctors making money but not software engineers.
No one is arguing about what software engineers "deserve". The question is what they get paid.

Not all graduates even make it to a SW engineer position. Some of the less technically inclined ones go QA, devops, sys admin, etc. Some don't get a job at all. Some of the ones who actually get SW positions drop out since they aren't cut out for it. They go project management, support, etc.
If you ignore all those people, you have survivorship bias for CS grads. Using law as an analogy, law school is very lucrative if you ignore all the law school grads who never get legal jobs and all the associates who never make partner.

People just refuse to believe software engineering is high paying.
I trust the BLS data. It amazes me people will treat their personal salary or job offers as more authoritative than the government's infinitely larger data set or assert with zero evidence BLS miscategorizes non-software developers as software developers. Or if most software developers have under 5 years experience because tech companies aggressively weed out junior software developers the way big law firms toss aside associates, looking at the salaries of senior software devs is misleading in terms of long term career prospects of CS/ECE/EE grads if most software devs never reach that level.

Maybe they are jealous that they didn't enter this field?
I did enter the field, and left. One of my software dev jobs paid $40k/year salary with no benefits. As a startup, it did come with some equity, which turned out to be worthless when the company went bankrupt. I am jealous, but that's largely besides the point and an ad hominem attack. I'm jealous of big law partner compensation too. It doesn't follow that it's somehow very easy for the average law school grad to become a big law partner.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Wed May 16, 2018 4:25 pm

The OP hasn't been back, but I'd ask:

What are you doing now? What are you good at? You're 26.

That might be a clearer sign to your aptitudes and interests than daydreaming about the law or being a veterinarian. Because you're not describing this as a career change -- you're describing this as "I need to make money and I'll pick a career that will make me money." -- and your descriptions of the careers don't suggest you know much about them. (E.g., biology grads have a relatively lousy unemployment rate, despite everyone believing STEM = $$.)
greg24 wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:00 pm
I guess we have our solution. The OP should get a bachelors degree in whatever they want, theater, music, etc.

Then, just get hired as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. Pretty soon, $300k.

Done and done.
Not a crazy idea if one is at a school that feeds into Silicon Valley, or an Ivy. Guessing it might not apply to the OP! But it's true that software development cares more about skills than choice of major (and sometimes, degree), and in some places the market is hot enough you can get by without skills for a bit.

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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed May 16, 2018 5:03 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:01 pm
People just refuse to believe software engineering is high paying.
I trust the BLS data. It amazes me people will treat their personal salary or job offers as more authoritative than the government's infinitely larger data set or assert with zero evidence BLS miscategorizes non-software developers as software developers. Or if most software developers have under 5 years experience because tech companies aggressively weed out junior software developers the way big law firms toss aside associates, looking at the salaries of senior software devs is misleading in terms of long term career prospects of CS/ECE/EE grads if most software devs never reach that level.
Here's the crux of the issue. We DO have better data than the BLS. Or at least, better segmented data. I can't get into details here without giving away proprietary information, but the BLS data isn't given much credence when evaluating tech compensation packages by HR departments, either, for various reasons. You are wrong to trust it so much here. And tech companies don't weed out junior developers, there are just SO MANY MORE OF THEM than everybody else because the industry is growing so rapidly. It is true that many junior developers decide the industry isn't for them and leave, but so what? We are talking about career and salary trajectories FOR SOFTWARE ENGINEERS. By definition, we're only talking about the people who stay.

And besides, the BLS methodology explicitly states that they don't include equity grants, which everybody here is telling you forms the majority of these huge compensation packages you keep hearing about. Tech compensation is more complex than pay in other industries, so it's no surprise the BLS doesn't capture them well. It isn't a matter of who has the most data, it's now you aggregate and slice it. The BLS data isn't wrong, it's just incomplete in a way that makes their statistics unuseful in this particular domain.

Put another way, what would you consider the total compensation of the individual below to be?

Offer X
$400k RSU grant, vesting over 4 years ($100k per year)
$120k base salary
10% bonus
additional $10k in annual stock grant vesting over 4 years

What is the annual total compensation for the individual above? Common sense says it's $120k base + $12k bonus + $100k vested stock + (0.2*$10k) annual stock

BLS ignores the stock and annual bonus entirely and says it's $120k. That's it. Which is accurate? The first one, obviously. To which you'll respond, "but those equity grants are rare." Nope. EVERYBODY gets SOME equity grant at those tech companies, both upfront and additional annual amounts. And there are hundreds of such companies, not just Google. Equity is a big deal in tech. It is not a big deal in almost every other industry.

Straight from the horse's mouth on how BLS defines "wages" it reports:
https://www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.
EDIT: doesn't include annual bonuses, either.

golfCaddy
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by golfCaddy » Wed May 16, 2018 6:00 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 5:03 pm
Here's the crux of the issue. We DO have better data than the BLS. Or at least, better segmented data. I can't get into details here without giving away proprietary information, but the BLS data isn't given much credence when evaluating tech compensation packages by HR departments, either, for various reasons. You are wrong to trust it so much here. And tech companies don't weed out junior developers, there are just SO MANY MORE OF THEM than everybody else because the industry is growing so rapidly. It is true that many junior developers decide the industry isn't for them and leave, but so what? We are talking about career and salary trajectories FOR SOFTWARE ENGINEERS. By definition, we're only talking about the people who stay.
I think we're actually talking about career trajectories for CS/ECE/EE GRADS, since the OP is thinking about going back to college and selecting a major. If the average software developer is under 30, I would like to see a public citation for that. If the average career for a software developer is under 10 years, it's important to understand why and it would be interesting to see studies on that. Using big law as an analogy, most associates get 7 years at best of high income, before their firms effectively fire them and they have to seek out less well compensated employment.
And besides, the BLS methodology explicitly states that they don't include equity grants, which everybody here is telling you forms the majority of these huge salaries you keep hearing about. Tech salaries are more complex than salaries in other industries, so it's no surprise the BLS doesn't capture them well. It isn't a matter of who has the most data, it's now you aggregate and slice it. The BLS data isn't wrong, it's just incomplete in a way that makes their statistics unuseful in this particular domain.

Put another way, what would you consider the total compensation of the individual below to be?

Offer X
$400k RSU grant, vesting over 4 years ($100k per year)
$120k base salary
10% bonus
additional $10k in annual stock grant vesting over 4 years

What is the annual total compensation for the individual above? Common sense says it's $120k base + $12k bonus + $100k vested stock + (0.2*$10k) annual stock
It depends on where the $400k number comes from. If it's based on this valuation of the company at the last fundraising round, I would consider your method mostly accurate, but would discount for liquidity if a non-public company.
BLS ignores the stock entirely and says it's $120k + $12k bonus, which is what is reflected in those stats. Which is accurate? The first one, obviously. To which you'll respond, "but those equity grants are rare." Nope. EVERYBODY gets SOME equity grant at those tech companies, both upfront and additional annual amounts. And there are hundreds of such companies, not just Google. Equity is a big deal in tech. It is not a big deal in almost every other industry.
To have a meaningful discussion, we need national statistics(publicly available citations, none of this BS on proprietary or company specific data) about what percent of software developers receive equity grants and the value of those grants.

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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed May 16, 2018 6:21 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:00 pm
It depends on where the $400k number comes from. If it's based on this valuation of the company at the last fundraising round, I would consider your method mostly accurate, but would discount for liquidity if a non-public company.
It is stock in a publicly traded company. The rule of thumb is that private companies have to offer at least twice as much equity to attract engineers, so the number for a company like Uber or Airbnd would be more like $800k. Some unicorns can get away with offering a bit less.

golfCaddy wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:00 pm
To have a meaningful discussion, we need national statistics(publicly available citations, none of this BS on proprietary data) about what percent of software developers receive equity grants and the value of those grants.
Good idea, you should totally go compile that data. You can get a semi-representative sample for San Francisco and Seattle specifically from levels.fyi, but it isn't nationwide. But even then, there are a lot of quirks in the data you'd have to control for. For example, generally equity will increase with seniority at a MUCH faster rate than base salary or bonus, with the exception of new grads. For various reasons, new grads at many companies tend to get much larger equity grants than engineers with 3-4 years experience. Equity grants due to seniority tends to surpass new grads again by around years 8-10 and skyrockets from there ($1mm+ is not unheard of at principal or staff level). But some companies, like Amazon, have a limit on base salary ($175k right now, I believe). Even the executives don't make more than $175k base, the rest is all stock. Other companies, like Netflix, don't do RSUs and pay all cash. Unfortunately, they only have one level, senior software engineer, so you can't segment by experience at all.

Personally, I've had equity in about 2/3rd of my past employers, which were all technology companies (i.e. I wasn't in IT at a non-tech megacorp). Of all the companies out there that attempt to normalize salaries for tech workers, Paysa seems to do the best but their data on equity is spotty at best. But if you go and enter your information, their "worth" estimates are pretty decent.

golfCaddy
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by golfCaddy » Wed May 16, 2018 6:40 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 6:21 pm
Personally, I've had equity in about 2/3rd of my past employers, which were all technology companies (i.e. I wasn't in IT at a non-tech megacorp). Of all the companies out there that attempt to normalize salaries for tech workers, Paysa seems to do the best but their data on equity is spotty at best. But if you go and enter your information, their "worth" estimates are pretty decent.
I had equity at two of the companies I worked for, back when I did software development. At one of the companies, it turned out to be worth zero, as the company went bankrupt. Actually, it turned out to be a liability worth less than zero. Since it was actual units and not options, and the company elected for pass through taxation, I was legally obligated to pay a percentage of the company's income taxes, even if the company didn't or couldn't make distributions to cover those taxes. At the other company, I got I think 0.83%, equivalent in options, joining immediately after a $1M or $1.5M seed round, as an employee. I was involved with the company prior to the seed round as a contractor. If I valued those options at what the angels/VC valued the company, at the date of grant, the grant was worth less than $13k, vested over 4 years.

TheNightsToCome
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Wed May 16, 2018 7:21 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am
wrongfunds wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:13 am
Has anybody suggested becoming an NFL or NBA player? Or may be a rock star musician? How about becoming best paid Hollywood actor?

How is it any different than throwing out $300K computer science engineer job suggestions for OP?

Sometimes, this forum drops its collective intelligence very low.
A $300k software engineer job is reasonably attainable (eventually) for your average software engineer from an average school. An NBA career isn't. Professional athletes are outliers among all athletes. $300k software engineers are not outliers among all software engineers, at least not within their geographical region. To put an another way, MOST software engineers in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and one or two other tech hubs WILL eventually make $300k as a software engineer. It might take them 15-20 years (on the slow side), but they will get there. It isn't limited to just a few companies or just one place. Even notoriously cheap non-tech companies like Wal-Mart will pay that much for very senior talent. The same cannot be said of NBA players. The notion that this level of compensation is limited to top Stanford graduates working at 3 or 4 companies within a few blocks of each other in Silicon Valley is extremely outdated. That hasn't been the case for quite some time.
... but the OP is terrible at math. He's as likely to be an NBA star as a software engineer.

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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by KyleAAA » Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:21 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am
wrongfunds wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:13 am
Has anybody suggested becoming an NFL or NBA player? Or may be a rock star musician? How about becoming best paid Hollywood actor?

How is it any different than throwing out $300K computer science engineer job suggestions for OP?

Sometimes, this forum drops its collective intelligence very low.
A $300k software engineer job is reasonably attainable (eventually) for your average software engineer from an average school. An NBA career isn't. Professional athletes are outliers among all athletes. $300k software engineers are not outliers among all software engineers, at least not within their geographical region. To put an another way, MOST software engineers in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and one or two other tech hubs WILL eventually make $300k as a software engineer. It might take them 15-20 years (on the slow side), but they will get there. It isn't limited to just a few companies or just one place. Even notoriously cheap non-tech companies like Wal-Mart will pay that much for very senior talent. The same cannot be said of NBA players. The notion that this level of compensation is limited to top Stanford graduates working at 3 or 4 companies within a few blocks of each other in Silicon Valley is extremely outdated. That hasn't been the case for quite some time.
... but the OP is terrible at math. He's as likely to be an NBA star as a software engineer.
Software development doesn’t require one to be good at math. See above.

bjames310
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by bjames310 » Wed May 16, 2018 9:01 pm

Feel free to PM me about law and I’ll convince you why it’s as bad as Investing in this years latest and greatest actively managed fund... lots of reasons not to do it.

Leemiller
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by Leemiller » Thu May 17, 2018 7:44 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:43 am
Leemiller wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 7:32 am
I think it's worth reading Tennyson's Ulysses.

It's not too late to seek a wider world.
Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Your story is a familiar one of corporate lawyers that I know. The time pressures and stress of the job.

Your 40s is not too old to try something else. In fact at UVA (Darden school) I attended a course on mid career change (I am not a Darden grad)-- there were many lawyers present.
Thank you, I appreciate your response. I do have about half a novel written and there are many elements of my job that I very much enjoy, probably strategic thinking and advising are the top two. In a few years I can move around in my company, to a startup, or perhaps even quit to write. Right now I’m just seeing where this goes. For OP, my main point is play to your interests and strengths.

dknightd
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by dknightd » Thu May 17, 2018 10:07 am

Ron Ronnerson wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 10:51 am
You should pursue a career based on what is a good fit for you in terms of your interests and abilities. Factoring in being able to live comfortably on the salary in a certain field makes sense but an arbitrary figure like $100k/year shouldn’t be a primary motivation. You’ll have to spend many hours at your job. I wouldn’t want to spend those hours doing something I can barely stand or worse.

By the way, I make over $100k as a public school teacher in a great school district (high-performing, motivated students). Benefits include a nice pension (about $100k/year after about 30 years), job security (tenure), and lots of time off (180 days a year in my case). There is currently a huge shortage of teachers where I work and demand is high. This is the situation partly because of the pay. A house in the neighborhood where I teach costs about $2M. $100k is relative.

Don’t let a number hypnotize you into going down a path that is otherwise not right for you.
You are lucky :) I agree with your advise. You could have been a school "resource officer" and likely have made more money. And likely a better pension. But there is more to life than money

srt7
Posts: 184
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by srt7 » Thu May 17, 2018 11:56 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:34 pm
TheNightsToCome wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:21 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 10:54 am
wrongfunds wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:13 am
Has anybody suggested becoming an NFL or NBA player? Or may be a rock star musician? How about becoming best paid Hollywood actor?

How is it any different than throwing out $300K computer science engineer job suggestions for OP?

Sometimes, this forum drops its collective intelligence very low.
A $300k software engineer job is reasonably attainable (eventually) for your average software engineer from an average school. An NBA career isn't. Professional athletes are outliers among all athletes. $300k software engineers are not outliers among all software engineers, at least not within their geographical region. To put an another way, MOST software engineers in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and one or two other tech hubs WILL eventually make $300k as a software engineer. It might take them 15-20 years (on the slow side), but they will get there. It isn't limited to just a few companies or just one place. Even notoriously cheap non-tech companies like Wal-Mart will pay that much for very senior talent. The same cannot be said of NBA players. The notion that this level of compensation is limited to top Stanford graduates working at 3 or 4 companies within a few blocks of each other in Silicon Valley is extremely outdated. That hasn't been the case for quite some time.
... but the OP is terrible at math. He's as likely to be an NBA star as a software engineer.
Software development doesn’t require one to be good at math. See above.
Software development is a pretty broad term and is used incorrectly many times. But let's set that aside for now and focus only on the lucrative software development. It isn't the front-end designer level work (HTML/CSS/Photoshop etc.) for sure or even the entry level back-end development (run of the mill Java and .NET apps come to mind) or whatever else is the fad of the week. The lucrative part comes in to play when the software you write has a direct (and mostly immediate) effect to the product in service. While such work may or may not require discrete math and college level algebra etc., it certainly requires that kind of mindset. I've seen people who hate math make a fool of themselves in the software development/engineering world.
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

chillyuber
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by chillyuber » Thu May 17, 2018 11:57 am

golfCaddy wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:01 pm
chillyuber wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:28 am
It seems like people have something against software engineers making good money. They are OK with Lawyers and doctors making money but not software engineers.
No one is arguing about what software engineers "deserve". The question is what they get paid.

Not all graduates even make it to a SW engineer position. Some of the less technically inclined ones go QA, devops, sys admin, etc. Some don't get a job at all. Some of the ones who actually get SW positions drop out since they aren't cut out for it. They go project management, support, etc.
If you ignore all those people, you have survivorship bias for CS grads. Using law as an analogy, law school is very lucrative if you ignore all the law school grads who never get legal jobs and all the associates who never make partner.

People just refuse to believe software engineering is high paying.
I trust the BLS data. It amazes me people will treat their personal salary or job offers as more authoritative than the government's infinitely larger data set or assert with zero evidence BLS miscategorizes non-software developers as software developers. Or if most software developers have under 5 years experience because tech companies aggressively weed out junior software developers the way big law firms toss aside associates, looking at the salaries of senior software devs is misleading in terms of long term career prospects of CS/ECE/EE grads if most software devs never reach that level.

Maybe they are jealous that they didn't enter this field?
I did enter the field, and left. One of my software dev jobs paid $40k/year salary with no benefits. As a startup, it did come with some equity, which turned out to be worthless when the company went bankrupt. I am jealous, but that's largely besides the point and an ad hominem attack. I'm jealous of big law partner compensation too. It doesn't follow that it's somehow very easy for the average law school grad to become a big law partner.

The reason for the huge number of younger engineers isn't due to a "weed out" culture. It's not like that at all. Once SW engineers enter the field, maybe the bottom 20% get weeded out but the vast majority either stay technical or switch into well paying management roles or a few going into program/product/project management.

I think the reason for the large % of young engineers is the growth the field has been experiencing. Total # of employed software engineers has been going up fast since the 80s. Recently it has started going up even faster. The growth has caused a lot of new entrants which are mostly young college grad types which skews the median age lower.

srt7
Posts: 184
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Re: Lucrative careers?

Post by srt7 » Thu May 17, 2018 12:11 pm

chillyuber wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 11:57 am
golfCaddy wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 4:01 pm
chillyuber wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:28 am
It seems like people have something against software engineers making good money. They are OK with Lawyers and doctors making money but not software engineers.
No one is arguing about what software engineers "deserve". The question is what they get paid.

Not all graduates even make it to a SW engineer position. Some of the less technically inclined ones go QA, devops, sys admin, etc. Some don't get a job at all. Some of the ones who actually get SW positions drop out since they aren't cut out for it. They go project management, support, etc.
If you ignore all those people, you have survivorship bias for CS grads. Using law as an analogy, law school is very lucrative if you ignore all the law school grads who never get legal jobs and all the associates who never make partner.

People just refuse to believe software engineering is high paying.
I trust the BLS data. It amazes me people will treat their personal salary or job offers as more authoritative than the government's infinitely larger data set or assert with zero evidence BLS miscategorizes non-software developers as software developers. Or if most software developers have under 5 years experience because tech companies aggressively weed out junior software developers the way big law firms toss aside associates, looking at the salaries of senior software devs is misleading in terms of long term career prospects of CS/ECE/EE grads if most software devs never reach that level.

Maybe they are jealous that they didn't enter this field?
I did enter the field, and left. One of my software dev jobs paid $40k/year salary with no benefits. As a startup, it did come with some equity, which turned out to be worthless when the company went bankrupt. I am jealous, but that's largely besides the point and an ad hominem attack. I'm jealous of big law partner compensation too. It doesn't follow that it's somehow very easy for the average law school grad to become a big law partner.

The reason for the huge number of younger engineers isn't due to a "weed out" culture. It's not like that at all. Once SW engineers enter the field, maybe the bottom 20% get weeded out but the vast majority either stay technical or switch into well paying management roles or a few going into program/product/project management.

I think the reason for the large % of young engineers is the growth the field has been experiencing. Total # of employed software engineers has been going up fast since the 80s. Recently it has started going up even faster. The growth has caused a lot of new entrants which are mostly young college grad types which skews the median age lower.
Same here. I've even had people put down BLS and go with Glassdoor/Paysa/Indeed etc. since they offer juicier numbers :D
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

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