Fresh Engineering Grad want to switch to Banking - Page 2 - Salary.sg Forums
Salary.sg Forums  

Go Back   Salary.sg Forums > The Salary.sg Discussion Forums: > Income and Jobs

Income and Jobs Discuss jobs, career options and of course salaries




Fresh Engineering Grad want to switch to Banking

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 27-05-2011, 07:55 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default an ex-engineer chips in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Don't switch to banking. Its saturated enough. Didn't you read that engineers are one of the most sought after positions in singapore? Stay in engineering, you'll do well
Agreed with the OP. I was a engineer for a few years, and I decided to move to banking for the same considerations. I loved my engineering job, but there's clearly a problem in terms of career & salary advancement in engineering :-

- Most of the jobs are factory and manufacturing type jobs - very stable both in terms of employment, and unfortunately, in salary. Typically, you get 3-6% pay rise every year. And getting a SGD1k pay raise will take forever (unless you work at a place like Exxon or Shell).

- If you are in a design engineering job, not easy to job hop because people in these roles in other companies tend to stick around for a long time, so not many vacancies. If you want to hop to a unrelated industry, you will likely have to take a pay cut.

So in essence, I agree with you in that, if salary is what you are after, do move to banking. And am happy for you that you have come to that realisation earlier than me.

But do note:-
- finding a banking job is not easy. it was very very challenging for me. knowing people in the industry that are willing to give you a chance definitely helps, especially in the front office roles. Be ready to get a foot into the industry via an internship (very critical), even if it means a pay cut.

- front office jobs in foreign banks definitely are less stable than engineering jobs. I've seen many colleagues laidoff in the financial crisis in 2008. And my older colleagues have seen several rounds of layoffs.

- Work life balance is much tilted towards work in the early years and 70-80 hr weeks are not uncommon.

So, its a balance - go in with your eyes open. But from a pay perspective definitely better, cos banks have to pay you market rate or you can easily run off to a competitor bank (and unlike engineering, there are many many other banks which have exactly the same function you are in, whichever function that is).

Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 27-05-2011, 10:05 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

As someone who had a short stint in the finance industry for 2 years, I always tell my friends from various jobs who are thinking of moving to banks to think twice before leaping. Too many of them always say want to go banking, but most don't have a clue what it means to work in banks.

First off, if you are thinking of moving to back office bank operations like IT, Compliance, CC, Marcom, HR, Accounts etc, then really no need to join a bank. Not much difference in terms of pay, maybe benefits a little better that's all. Progression also similar to other MNC, bonus maybe a bit higher but also very volatile.

Front office operations generally a lot of the 'banker' roles got fancy titles, but most of them are actually glorified sales or business development. Like most of this kind of jobs, the money from incentive really more dependent on individual capabilities than you joining a bank. It is a common misconception that bank / finance co. pays the highest sales incentive / bonus - not true at all.

I moved from a US trading house at downtown CBD to a lok kok shipping brokerage firm in Chinatown area. The shipping firm pays nearly double incentives on a meet KPI basis. I also know a lot of peers in niche industries where people with a flair for CRM or trading can make much more than in bank.

In short, think smart, dun just follow the herd. The banks & finance co. know reputation for them is very good and many ppl are fighting over one another to join them, what this means is also they can afford to pay less since supply is endless and many ppl willing to accept less pay just to put a bank name in their CV.

Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 27-05-2011, 04:49 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

PP,

My guess is you are a shipbroker?

I do not understand why everyone wants to switch to finance. If you are not interested in Engineering, fine then but because of bonuses, benefits? Think again.Many i-banks are quietly drawing up plans for redundancies as revenues this year has slumped. Plus ome banks are actually losing market share, so they can't have too many mouths on expensive packages to feed.

Anyway I am not bullish on Singapore. It can never pit against HK now or Shanghai later. The rising cost here is not helping too.

Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 28-05-2011, 03:30 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default ex-engineer chips in

I read the various responses with interest, and there have been fair points made on both ends of the spectrum i.e. pro-engineering and pro-finance.

At the end of the day, my view is that, for a graduate with 2nd upper and above, its a very simple question of stability + work life balance (enginneering) vs salary (finance).

There is no question that finance pays better for graduates with 2nd upper and above. And this is not only true for front office IB and Treasury functions, as is commonly mentioned.

Typical starting salaries for for higher potential graduates in banks are as follows:
- Management Associate (Local Bank) : S$3-4k
- Management Associate (Foreign Banks) : S$4 - 5k
- I-banking / Treasury Analyst (fresh grad) : S$8-10k
- I-banking / Treasury Associate (MBAs) : S$10-13k

Conversely, typical starting salaries for for higher potential graduates in engineering firms are as follows:

- Local Manufacturing Co : S$2.2-3k
- MNC Manufacturing : S$2.5 - 3.5k
- Oil Majors : S$3.2 - 4.5k
- Govt (DSTA etc) : S$3.2-4k

That's for starting salaries. What about going forward?

Well, people in the banking sector tend to enjoy quicker jumps in salaries for the following reasons:-
- Market pricing : As mentioned by others in this thread, for every role in banking, there are likely a few other banks out there doing exactly the same thing, and a strong performer can easily jump if the salaries are not market competitive. For engineering, that's very hard to get a big pay rise via a jump. In the banking world, I sometimes get a few calls from headhunters a month (or a week sometimes when the market is good). In 3 years as an engineer, I never received even 1 call.

- Dynamics of manufacturing industry is not conducive for pay raises: Most engineers in Singapore work in manufacturing companies. The plant manager is evaluated on how efficiently he runs the plant, and productivity is broadly defined as output divided by input. For most manufacturing plants, output is capped by plant capacity, hence effectively most plant managers are gauged by how well they keep costs down, and salary is usually a big component of cost. Hence, in other words, your big boss is indirectly incentivized by keeping your salaries down.

So what is the nett result? Lets just look at base case and optimistic scenarios 6-8 years after graduation (and ignore highly opimistic scenarios, which are possible but unlikely)

In engineering:
- Base case : Likely to be a senior engineer in MNC drawing S$500 to 1,500 more than starting salary i.e. about S$3.5 to 4.5k pm assuming a starting of S$3k
- Optimistic case : S$7-10k pm, assuming started at an oil major or 1st class honours at DSTA, and assuming a promotion

In finance:
- Base case : VP, which will draw about S$7 - 12k, depending on bank or dept
- Optimistic case : VP in i-bank/treasury, which is S$15 -22k (depending on bank), plus 6mths to 18 mths bonus

The above is based on my observations of hving been in both industries for sufficient time. In finance, I've seen folks make director in 8 yrs, which is abt $25 - 35k per mth excl bonus, but thats rare.

Other engineers or bankers, pls feel free to comment if the observations above do not tie in with what you have seen.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 28-05-2011, 04:39 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

To all the engineers with good brains,

Why do banks make so much money and can afford "spoil the market" to hire the best talent?

I read somewhere that this phenomenon is the same throughout the developed world, but only in recent decades. One theory says that it's all due to the liberalization of the investment banking industry in US many years ago.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 28-05-2011, 09:12 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post

Typical starting salaries for for higher potential graduates in banks are as follows:
- Management Associate (Local Bank) : S$3-4k
- Management Associate (Foreign Banks) : S$4 - 5k
- I-banking / Treasury Analyst (fresh grad) : S$8-10k
- I-banking / Treasury Associate (MBAs) : S$10-13k
Sorry, base on my experience this is definitely not true.

Management Associate can be $3-4k, but many of them are on 12 month basis. So if you convert to 13 month it's only $2.8-3.5k, this is not very different from most management trainee program in big companies / civil service. In short, if one is so good that can get into hipo programes in big companies, joining a bank doesn't really add anything in terms of starting salary.

Up to 5k for foreign banks I am very sceptical. Maybe some niche positions, but definitely not a general starting pay. Treasury Analyst are paid rather high, but 8-10k sounds way too high for a fresh grad, more like 6-8k if you ask me.

As for MBAs, salary range is more like 3-30k. It kind of depends on your previous experience and what kind of MBA it is.

I know is not good to generalize, but then hor something I want to say is many banking people really like to hao lianz one. They will seldom tell you how much they earn exactly, but will always do or say things indirectly that imply some sort of very high number. This one from my observation, no offense intended to any particular persons. So if you are hearing things especially about pay & bonus from banking dudes, take it with a barrel of salt!
Reply With Quote

  #17 (permalink)  
Old 28-05-2011, 09:36 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default an ex-engineer chips in

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Sorry, base on my experience this is definitely not true.

Management Associate can be $3-4k, but many of them are on 12 month basis. So if you convert to 13 month it's only $2.8-3.5k, this is not very different from most management trainee program in big companies / civil service. In short, if one is so good that can get into hipo programes in big companies, joining a bank doesn't really add anything in terms of starting salary.

Up to 5k for foreign banks I am very sceptical. Maybe some niche positions, but definitely not a general starting pay. Treasury Analyst are paid rather high, but 8-10k sounds way too high for a fresh grad, more like 6-8k if you ask me.

As for MBAs, salary range is more like 3-30k. It kind of depends on your previous experience and what kind of MBA it is.

I know is not good to generalize, but then hor something I want to say is many banking people really like to hao lianz one. They will seldom tell you how much they earn exactly, but will always do or say things indirectly that imply some sort of very high number. This one from my observation, no offense intended to any particular persons. So if you are hearing things especially about pay & bonus from banking dudes, take it with a barrel of salt!
Sorry - should have made myself more clear.

The salaries I mentioned are for hiring in specific programmes within banks for high potential graduatnew hires, hence my comment on 2nd class upper and above qualification (i.e. Managament Associate Prog. / BB Analyst or Associate Prog) :-

- Up to S$5k is for MAs in global banks i.e. Citi
- S$8-10k is for analyst programmes in bulge bracket banks

You are probably right in respect general fresh grad salaries in banks, but my general comment on banking being better than engineering from a pure salary standpoint stands.

Of course, life is not all about pay. There's work-life balance, and there's job stability and of course, there's passion for the job. So on balance, everyone has to make his own call as to what industry is most right for them.

Rgds
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 30-05-2011, 12:24 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I notice every time the word "bank" get thrown out, there will be a wave of "experts" all claiming to be from the banking sector dishing out advice on pay and bonus one after another. I always think if banks can really offer out of the world salary to so many, then why anyone bother to work in the other 99% non-bank companies?

I duno man, all the friends I know who work in banks dun seem to have the pay that anonymous people online always say they have. Either all the bank people I know are all bottom losers who cannot command all this fancy money or there is a lot of loose big cannon fairies here.
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 30-05-2011, 01:54 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I think you have to distinguish "commercial bank" from "investment bank". If you work in the commercial banking operations of one of the local banks, your salary will be unremarkable and you will get just a few months bonus.

Investment banking does pay very well, but often requires an almost unreasonable time commitment. Generally engineers make poor investment bankers. The training is just different. Investment bankers have high EQ, are creative, like to deal with people, are imprecise (i.e., can bullshit well). Engineers are generally the opposite. They have high IQ, like to be precise, are often introverted etc...
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 30-05-2011, 11:43 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default its reality... take it as you will

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I notice every time the word "bank" get thrown out, there will be a wave of "experts" all claiming to be from the banking sector dishing out advice on pay and bonus one after another. I always think if banks can really offer out of the world salary to so many, then why anyone bother to work in the other 99% non-bank companies?

I duno man, all the friends I know who work in banks dun seem to have the pay that anonymous people online always say they have. Either all the bank people I know are all bottom losers who cannot command all this fancy money or there is a lot of loose big cannon fairies here.
Well, reality is, I have been on both sides of the fence.

I've been the engineer racking my brains as to how I am ever going to hit S$4k with my $50-100 annual increments.

And I've been the intern that was shocked at the intern pay - I was hoping for an intern pay of S$4k per month and quite disappointed to see that it was only S$1,200 per month...
Until I looked more closely to see that it was actually S$12,000 per month as a MBA intern.

So that's the reality. And I wish I knew that reality earlier.

Hence, all I do here is to provide information that I wish I knew many years ago, to help me decide on that is the right industry or sector to go into. Not only starting pay (which can easily be verified if you check with NUS, NTU or SMU career services), but also the likely pay 6 to 8 years down the road (the salary ranges can be easily verified if you talk to any VP in corporate banking or ibanking).

Take it as you will - whether as gospel or with a barrel of salt, that's your choice. But it is reality as I have known it, and I hope that it benefits some folks in making their career decisions.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
banking, change, engineering, jobs, switch

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fresh Grad with Masters starting salary in banking Novice Income and Jobs 18 09-02-2016 08:57 PM
Fresh Engieering Diploma holder to continue Engineering or move to Finance ? sadsack Education and Personal Growth 26 07-11-2010 02:59 PM
Aerospace Engineering vs Computer Engineering vs EE engineering john Education and Personal Growth 30 14-07-2010 03:11 AM
Lost As an engineering grad rampa001 Income and Jobs 4 14-05-2010 09:57 AM
Mid-career switch to banking and finance? Salary.sg Income and Jobs 2 12-04-2010 09:25 AM

» 30 Recent Threads
Factual Local Bank Salaries - DBS... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
340 Replies, 158,253 Views
Civil Svc/ Statboard - Typical... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
3,019 Replies, 1,376,107 Views
Anyone work for Casino (RWS/MBS) ?... ( 1 2)
19 Replies, 19,086 Views
How is life as a doctor in... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
1,916 Replies, 1,158,981 Views
Roles in accenture singapore ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
1,164 Replies, 344,901 Views
Compare civil service salary ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
11,644 Replies, 6,621,610 Views
Q: Management Associate at SGX ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
107 Replies, 58,796 Views
What is the best local degree? ( 1 2 3)
26 Replies, 1,236 Views
Python programmer skillz and pay ( 1 2)
11 Replies, 1,138 Views
Q: Big4 - Yearly salary increment ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
1,303 Replies, 952,564 Views
Credit Suisse Sg Hierarchy
3 Replies, 143 Views
Should I pick up programming? Why... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
77 Replies, 3,806 Views
Comp Science Frsh Grad Salary ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
575 Replies, 43,386 Views
Lawyer Salary ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
10,741 Replies, 3,684,669 Views
Compilation of MAs/Analysts Gross... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
441 Replies, 81,770 Views
Dsta ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
910 Replies, 643,177 Views
Civil Service Performance Bonus ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
2,558 Replies, 1,810,959 Views
SIM-UOL fresh grad starting pay ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
5,640 Replies, 1,506,348 Views
ST Electronics ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
1,912 Replies, 408,431 Views
UBS Financial Services Industry... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
174 Replies, 49,372 Views
GIC career ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
281 Replies, 397,736 Views
MAS : Mid Career Professionals ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
292 Replies, 186,226 Views
Restructuring and insolvency
0 Replies, 74 Views
What are the valid and good...
7 Replies, 488 Views
Job Offer Advise
2 Replies, 247 Views
Reference check?
6 Replies, 326 Views
Pay grade at CSA ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
169 Replies, 58,239 Views
Salary working for SEA FP&A... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
35 Replies, 11,139 Views
DBS Graduate Associate Program ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
1,965 Replies, 465,111 Views
fresh grad seeking a career,but no... ( 1 2 3... Last Page)
53 Replies, 23,665 Views
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2



All times are GMT +8. The time now is 09:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2