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Computer Science or Finance





dwinton
I read somewhere that when Bill Gates was asked who he thought his biggest competitor was, he responded "Goldman Sachs." His view was Microsoft is in an IQ recruitment war and the financial district gets you with those golden handcuffs. I think that having our brightest going into finance or law for that matter will help them financially individually but will cripple the country as a whole. Economic development requires innovation and if everyone who should be innovating seeks the much easier wealth in another field who will invent stuff.

On the other hand, by becoming wealthier, the people end up paying more taxes which allows the government to fund the research.

Where do you fall on this issue? Is the "easy" wealth of wall street undermining the overall wealth of the economy or strengthening it?
LumberJack
Wealthy people do pay more taxes, but they also know how to get around taxes, because they can afford the accountants that can tell them how to do it. I don't think wall street necessarily steals money from people perse, I just think they know how to make money from themselves.
deStructuralized
Remember, we're talking about recruitment here...not retention.

Today's young professionals are more loyal towards their profession than they are to individual companies. It usually takes quite some time to get a pair of GH's, and students fresh out of college are not necessarily looking for long-term positions in one organization.

Not only is an increasingly large portion of Generation Y looking towards technical (Comp Sci, Engineering, etc) jobs due to increased demand and starting salaries, companies such as Google have made themselves more attractive by offering fun corporate cultures and other perks. Technical jobs are extremely lucrative, moreso than standard "finance jobs." In short, the economy's taking care of itself. Ebb and flow.
TomGrey
The average finance job is higher paying, and more boring/ less intellectually stimulating, than the average hi-tech job. I've done both, but mostly in between.

If you choose finance, practice learning the computer tech software tools you use.

If you choose computers/ tech, practice the finance part.


Civilization is based on organized effort of humans -- such organizations occur easily through the simple method of offering money. Which requires FINANCIAL resources.

Finance folk contribute hugely to the economy.

Organized efforts in corporations depend on agreements -- contracts. Lawyers are necessary, but it's possible to have too much legal opinions. The USA is past the optimal point, and there are too many lawyers, making too much money, based on bad-faith disagreements with prior contracts and based on too much gov't and taxes.

Gov't research is not so great.
sopetite
Google has more fun, and they provide better offers for both customers and workers, but they are becoming another monster company
cybernytrix
take finance dude, I am in engineering and I feel so powerless and I have no idea how to reach the top of the food chain...
corridor_writers
LumberJack wrote:
Wealthy people do pay more taxes, but they also know how to get around taxes, because they can afford the accountants that can tell them how to do it. I don't think wall street necessarily steals money from people perse, I just think they know how to make money from themselves.


I very much disagree that wealthy people do pay more taxes. The truly wealthy don’t pay any taxes. I know this sounds impossible, but there are many, many ways to make your money work for you, and never give a dime to the government.

TomGrey wrote:
The average finance job is higher paying, and more boring/ less intellectually stimulating, than the average hi-tech job. I've done both, but mostly in between.

If you choose finance, practice learning the computer tech software tools you use.

If you choose computers/ tech, practice the finance part.


Civilization is based on organized effort of humans -- such organizations occur easily through the simple method of offering money. Which requires FINANCIAL resources.

Finance folk contribute hugely to the economy.

Organized efforts in corporations depend on agreements -- contracts. Lawyers are necessary, but it's possible to have too much legal opinions. The USA is past the optimal point, and there are too many lawyers, making too much money, based on bad-faith disagreements with prior contracts and based on too much gov't and taxes.

Gov't research is not so great.


I agree…..a combination of both is the best approach. I have a friend who has his undergraduate in Computer Science, and is working on his Masters in Business. I think in today’s marketplace this makes for a very strong balance.
steelcitynutrition
I went to school and recieved my BS in Finance, and yes I love the work sometimes. I have been in the mortgage industry on the sales end and have had great sucess and even greater income, but the company I worked for in very techno savy. I think a combo of both is great. Here is what hurts, nothing is stable. We are about to go into a recession and with this upon us consumers will pucker up and stop spending, or penny pinch so being on the finance end has its up and downs
skatetokil
Finance jobs are hardly easy money.

Every one of the guys I know working on Wall Street works 80 hour weeks, so their hourly rate really isn't that great. If you really wanted to work 2 40hr a week jobs, most college grads could pull in an I Banking starting salary. Its just that you'd have to sell your soul. . . which I guess is what most of these people do. The promise of the hedge fund manager salary is always out there.

Some people freaking love the high pressure, fast paced finance thing. I guess I see the appeal, but I'd also like to have some me time.
corridor_writers
skatetokil wrote:
Finance jobs are hardly easy money.

Every one of the guys I know working on Wall Street works 80 hour weeks, so their hourly rate really isn't that great. If you really wanted to work 2 40hr a week jobs, most college grads could pull in an I Banking starting salary. Its just that you'd have to sell your soul. . . which I guess is what most of these people do. The promise of the hedge fund manager salary is always out there.

Some people freaking love the high pressure, fast paced finance thing. I guess I see the appeal, but I'd also like to have some me time.


It takes all kinds, that’s for sure. Smile
Silk2008
I spent eight years in the mortgage business. Very luctrative industry but also very cut-throat. I couldn't stand the people that I worked with. They were all very much like used car salesmen. Plastic and ruthless!!! At age 30 I decided that I'd had enough and went back to school for computer programming. Best decision I ever made. I'm now a developer at a Fortune 500 company and it's the most fulfilling position I have ever had. I get to make good money and I have a creative outlet. For me there's no comparison now!
cloudship
I think Mr. Gates said that and means Microsoft compete hiring marketing and other business managers with Morgan Stanley. IT company needs the same badly as the investment banks for talented businessmen to help improve selling the services they are providing. The underlying mechanism is the same: to package the services and provide more competitive solutions on the market and win more customers. Thus, the talented business managers are precious to all companies living in the market.
corridor_writers
cloudship wrote:
I think Mr. Gates said that and means Microsoft compete hiring marketing and other business managers with Morgan Stanley. IT company needs the same badly as the investment banks for talented businessmen to help improve selling the services they are providing. The underlying mechanism is the same: to package the services and provide more competitive solutions on the market and win more customers. Thus, the talented business managers are precious to all companies living in the market.


On your last point, I definitely agree. IT-based firms often find it very difficult to interact with the marketing and sales world, as the IT engineers tend to be very ‘left-brained’ individuals, and the marketing and sales more right-brained. I think companies are beginning to realize without a good mix of both, neither works all that well. By merging these together that are able to be more competitive, come up with more competitive products, and actually get them to the customers.
bogger
A computer scientist with Marketing, now I HAVE seen everything!

It sounds very familiar to product design, which is engineering with marketing, and is designed to be a general degree with an insight into every aspect of a product from concept to the shelves.

I think a mixture would be good, but CS if you have to decide, marketing !=t3h cool

P.S. on a side note, I almost said : "A computer scientist with Computer Science, now I HAVE seen everything." which would have been quite ironic indeed
corridor_writers
bogger wrote:
A computer scientist with Marketing, now I HAVE seen everything!

It sounds very familiar to product design, which is engineering with marketing, and is designed to be a general degree with an insight into every aspect of a product from concept to the shelves.

I think a mixture would be good, but CS if you have to decide, marketing !=t3h cool

P.S. on a side note, I almost said : "A computer scientist with Computer Science, now I HAVE seen everything." which would have been quite ironic indeed


lol - thanks. It was actually before I completed ny CS degree. It was really good for me, because it forced me to develop social skills that I might no thave otherwise (being a very left-brained geek. Smile
Liu
What you can do is start with a small company if you do decide to go in the IT direction. Starting with a large corporation will put you in a very narrow spot in terms of what you do. In small companies you'll be forced to do a lot more in terms of variety.

I have a Bachelors of Science in CS and am with a small IT firm. However, we handle a lot of huge corporate accounts and get to see a lot more of the marketing, sales, management, etc side. If our company was much bigger i'm betting that I wouldn't get to see that side as much because other people will be handling those aspects.
corridor_writers
Liu wrote:
What you can do is start with a small company if you do decide to go in the IT direction. Starting with a large corporation will put you in a very narrow spot in terms of what you do. In small companies you'll be forced to do a lot more in terms of variety.

I have a Bachelors of Science in CS and am with a small IT firm. However, we handle a lot of huge corporate accounts and get to see a lot more of the marketing, sales, management, etc side. If our company was much bigger i'm betting that I wouldn't get to see that side as much because other people will be handling those aspects.


I agree with this sentiment to a degree, but I would argue that it depends a great deal on both he company and the industry. For examples, I work in the IT department of a Fortune 500 company with over 50,000 employees. I am able to work on projects that span the globe, and interact with technologies from around the world. While I myself may not be relied on the be the “jack-of-all-trades” like some of my friends who work for small companies, I would dare say that I have more exposure to global technologies and markets than most small companies will ever see.

Not that I am knocking small companies though! The data and statistics clearly show that small companies are going to control the majority of the markets of tomorrow. So, in case you think I am bashing small companies – I too believe that it is people who are involved with these small companies and entrepreneurs who go into business for themselves will be better off than others. So I agree with your statement about going into business for yourself or hooking up with a small business. I just disagree that you get more ‘exposure’ this way. Smile
4x4all
Yeah, combine both please. I'm in finance insdustry with some good academic qualification + working experience but still feel bad when looking at other people make money from their own technical knowledge.
corridor_writers
4x4all wrote:
Yeah, combine both please. I'm in finance insdustry with some good academic qualification + working experience but still feel bad when looking at other people make money from their own technical knowledge.


So, would you agree then that something like a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and a Masters Degree in Business Administration is a good way to go?
Bluedoll
My perspective is one of passion. It is really about what one wants to do with their life. If the brightest sell out to something less (money) instead of what they love to do that is their loss. Yes the economy on the whole will change depending on where the focus is.

Maybe it is my economic views, maybe they are warped, I am not sure but does it really matter that much where the money goes as long as it helps people.

If there is a need though for example inventive or creative industries because people are not entering these fields because of money issues then that is a concern yes. Am I am on the right track here? We look at Bill Gates statement from his point of view however, if these bright people are not really inclined to do what they do because of a better offer does it not say something about them? Maybe they are not as bright as we think.

Yes, perhaps there is something wrong but maybe it is with the IT society. It is really about what one wants to do with their life. If the brightest sell out to something less (money) instead of what they love to do that is their loss.

Yes, it is true the economy on the whole will change depending on where the focus is and that will effect a person choice for a career but maybe people should think about other things other than money.

Maybe it is my economic views, maybe my viewpoint is warped, I am not sure, but does it really matter that much in the big picture where the money goes as long as it helps people. On a more personal note perhaps what is more important is what people do with thier life's and why.

Maybe they should do what they love to do or do it for a better cause.

Just another viewpoint.
corridor_writers
Bluedoll wrote:
My perspective is one of passion. It is really about what one wants to do with their life. If the brightest sell out to something less (money) instead of what they love to do that is their loss. Yes the economy on the whole will change depending on where the focus is.

Maybe it is my economic views, maybe they are warped, I am not sure but does it really matter that much where the money goes as long as it helps people.

If there is a need though for example inventive or creative industries because people are not entering these fields because of money issues then that is a concern yes. Am I am on the right track here? We look at Bill Gates statement from his point of view however, if these bright people are not really inclined to do what they do because of a better offer does it not say something about them? Maybe they are not as bright as we think.

Yes, perhaps there is something wrong but maybe it is with the IT society. It is really about what one wants to do with their life. If the brightest sell out to something less (money) instead of what they love to do that is their loss.

Yes, it is true the economy on the whole will change depending on where the focus is and that will effect a person choice for a career but maybe people should think about other things other than money.

Maybe it is my economic views, maybe my viewpoint is warped, I am not sure, but does it really matter that much in the big picture where the money goes as long as it helps people. On a more personal note perhaps what is more important is what people do with thier life's and why.

Maybe they should do what they love to do or do it for a better cause.

Just another viewpoint.



Well said. I think that this is a very valid viewpoint. Luckily I love what I do, but I was attending a lecture a week or so back where the professor was saying that more and more undergraduates are choosing their courses and degrees based solely on how much money they can make in that industry.

This professor was a Ph.D. in Philosophy, and had a lot of insights that related strongly to your points above. The one that relates the most is that current undergrad students tend to turn their backs on what they love doing, in favor of learning a set of skills that are more ‘marketable’. Again and again these people come in and ask “what degree will make me the most money”.
Coclus
I wouldn't say all smart people go into finances, but there is definitely a huge percentage of the elite students that really want to earn a fortune, and regard the financial sector to be the better field to do so.
corridor_writers
Coclus wrote:
I wouldn't say all smart people go into finances, but there is definitely a huge percentage of the elite students that really want to earn a fortune, and regard the financial sector to be the better field to do so.


I imagine you are correct. After all, people who do not know how to manage finances, work with stocks and bonds, and understand the ebb and flow of economies can't really leverage these systems to make money for them.
adoreyourself
If you do want to get into finance, and specifically trading I'd personally sit a computer science degree, then take the financial qualitfication - the CFA Smile
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