Silicon Valley vs. Silicon Alley: Where Are Salaries Higher?

Published: Jul 15, 2014

 Finance       Salary & Benefits       Technology       
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The East Coast-West Coast rivalry continues.
If you’re looking for work in the so-called STEM sector and judge jobs by their salaries, Bloomberg has put together several nice charts that show you where tech compensation has grown fastest since 2008. But if you’re not a visual person, here’s what you need to know when it comes to cash: Seattle > San Francisco > Washington, D.C. > New York. Also, when it comes to salaries and the specific professions that make up STEM, Computer & Math > Architecture & Engineering > Life, Physical & Social Science. And so, the dark and stormy Northwest and computers and calculus are where you want to be to cash in (holding all other things, like housing and coffee prices, equal).

Big goals take more than 90 minutes to score (and accomplish); they take 10 years.
On Monday morning I woke up with a severe hangover. Not from drinking too much beer the day before but from drinking too much soccer the four weeks before. Since June 12, I chugged World Cup matches, World Cup commentary, World Cup highlights, and World Cup tweets. Now that the Cup is over, I’m in a bit of a haze, and at a loss as how to fill my time. No streaming games. No long lunches at bars (lemonade). No sprinting home after work to catch kickoffs (my big win was miraculously making it home in time to see Clint Dempsey’s first-minute strike against Ghana; the C-train gods, for once, were with me). And though I haven’t yet fully reflected on the past month of matches, one thing is clear: Germany, which raised the Cup this past Sunday, is well deserving of its new title of world champion. And in the aftermath of his team’s win, German National Team Coach Joachim Low noted that getting to the top took time. A lot of time. A decade of time. That is, winning the World Cup took more than 10 years of planning and execution. Which managers and leaders and anyone with dreams of scoring big should most definitely commit to memory.

A new study shows that investment bankers, if allowed to make their own schedules, will work longer hours. They’ll also be miserable, sick, unethical people.
A study recently published in the Sociological Quarterly shows that if Wall Street workers are able to create their own schedules, they’ll actually work longer hours, not fewer. The reason for this, according to University of Pennsylvania professor Alexandra Michel, who spent more than a decade observing the habits of young bankers, is bankers “want to prove who can put in the most time at the office.” In fact, “When given more power to set their own pace, young bankers choose to work longer hours, take less vacation time, and sacrifice personal needs.” Michel also discovered that when investment bankers leave Wall Street behind (most get burned out after about eight years), they take their brutal work schedules—which “impair judgment, creativity, and ethical sensitivity”—with them and “make life miserable for their new colleagues.”

Tiger’s favorite interview question.
Tiger Tyagarajan, CEO of Genpact, is the subject of the latest New York Times Corner Office column. And Tiger has some interesting things to say when it comes to interviewing, including that curiosity is what he looks for most in new employees. The reason for this, according to Tiger, is “one thing that often comes with curiosity is sheer passion, and that can neutralize many other shortcomings. You may make a lot of mistakes. You may end up going down the wrong paths. You may have to make decisions that are based on not enough information. How are you going to convince people to follow you? If you don’t have passion, you’re not going to be convinced yourself, and if you don’t wear that on your sleeve, how are other people going to be charged up to go in that direction?” In other words, be curious, be curious, be curious, and don’t worry if you fail and fail big. Because, says Tiger, “it’s perfectly fine to make mistakes. If you don’t make any mistakes, you’re not taking enough risk.” Note, if you ever interview with Tiger, you better be able to answer these questions: “When have you encountered complete failure and how did you deal with it? Did you learn from it?”

Citi might be too big to jail but it’s not above paying off the Feds for its crimes.
Yesterday, Citi agreed to pay $7 billion in civil penalties “to settle the U.S. government's allegations it knowingly sold shoddy mortgages ahead of the crisis.” Last night, the Wall Street Journal published a nice online infographic detailing the misdeeds that Citi took part in (basically, the bank stamped an “A-OK” onto mortgages that were actually [insert word that rhymes with Citi and isn’t “pretty”]). Citi’s fine followed in the infamous footsteps of JPMorgan Chase, which also paid billions of dollars to settle a suit for similar misdeeds. And next in line to pay up is Bank of America, which could fork over to the Feds some $12 billion for its mortgage-backed security crimes. The good news for Citi is the fine came on the same day it announced that its latest earnings beat analyst expectations, and so its share price actually rose. In other words, Citi stuck its hands in the cookie jar and came out with a handful of chocolate chips, a light slap on its wrist, and a wide, crooked smile on its face.

Follow me @VaultFinance.

Read More:
Where Geeks Got the Biggest Pay Raises: Top 16 U.S. Metro Areas (Bloomberg)
‘This project started 10 years ago ... we believed we’d win final’—Joachim Low salutes Germany’s World Cup triumph (London Evening Standard)
Wall Street Discovers the Best Way to Drive Workers: Hand Them the Whip (BusinessWeek)
Tiger Tyagarajan of Genpact: If You’re Curious, You Hold the Keys (NYT)
Citigroup to Pay $7 Billion in Mortgage Probe (WSJ)
Are Employees With Autism Better Employees? (Vault)