In the current (bad) economy, jobs prospects might seem to be fragile than ever. Many people have doubts about whether a degree in business has the same prospects as it once had. However, there is a hint of hope for those who have battled through through an MBA program, even if it was just an MBA program online that has yet to establish itself as a prestigious institution.
Despite the increasingly hopeful prospects, very few young graduates have any knowledge about the jobs of Wall Street that they dreamed about while in school, and even fewer have realistic expectations.
If you are interested in Wall Street companies, what you should know is that the environment in such entities will certainly be demanding, as some activities involve intense intellectual consumption. Derivatives trading, buying and selling options and other activities of asset pricing are certainly not easy stuff, since in the past the Wall Street banks even imported physicists and mathematicians to do them. But that era seems to be gradually left behind, making way for a more institutional approach when hiring young graduates. Nevertheless, it should be common sense that high level skills are implicitly assumed. For these reason, tight deadlines in many M&A or Investment Departments will most likely generate long hours – during the busy season an average 60-65 hour work week is to be expected. This can surely be stressing at times, albeit the good part being that sometimes these situations can also bring about bonuses.
One other question that often doesn’t get answered is whether all the companies on Wall Street are hot-shots investment banks or hedge-funds? While there is some truth to this – big finance being virtually the essence of Wall Street activity, historically speaking, there are other opportunities as well. Bulge brackets are the prime employer of MBAs, but they are not the only employers on Wall Street. With the crisis still persisting and confidence levels fluctuating in the financial sector, a good shift might be towards technology companies from all around the country, which in order to cut costs have outsourced some of their financial duties (including equity operations on the stock market) to subcontractors on Wall Street.
Salary details presented by the National Bureau of labour Statistics show a diverse picture. The latest annual wage mean for a job in Financial Investment Activities was $100,960, Securities and Commodity Exchanges had $94,980, while for a related position of Management Consultant it was $84,660. Tangential jobs have a slightly less mean, though the absolute sum depends on individual firm variables like placement and contracts. Accounting, Tax preparation and Payroll Services were ranked at $69,840, Insurance Carries slightly lower at $65,980. From a geographical point of view, the best alternatives to Wall-Street employment are in California and Texas.
According to CNN, although the volatility of the economy was reflected in the job market, there are still opportunities on Wall-Street. Competent MBAs are still in demand, but in a more selective demand than in the past. The key to Wall-Street is timing, as the business major of tomorrow will have to leverage his strengths with greater agility than the business major of yesterday.