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Google and Facebook are decidedly more attractive to tech talent than investment banks, but have they now taken away banks' trump card - earning more?

Do jobs at Google and Facebook offer bigger salaries than investment banks?

Forget the fact that investment banks are Googlising their offices and shaking up their tech teams to include Agile working practices and innovation hubs to compete with start-ups and large IT firms, the financial sector could have a bigger concern – it no longer leads the way on pay.

Investment banks have always been the market leaders for paying technology talent, which has been seen as an attempt to make up for the lack of innovation and more hierarchical working environment. Table football may be absent, but the pay cheque makes it all worthwhile.

Now, ironically as technology becomes ever-more important for investment banks, they could be losing this lead, particularly in areas where competition for talent is tight. Speaking on the need for investment banks to get to grips with Big Data, Vincent Kilcoyne, UK and Ireland capital markets industry lead at SAS, told Euromoney: “If you look at the salaries being offered by companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook, they are far outstripping anything the investment banks are offering for real leading talent. The amount of equity being given out to attract the best is considerable.”

Is this the reality? Let’s strip out the anomalies and look at the averages – there’s an ongoing rumour that an unnamed Google engineer is pulling in $3m a year, while those at the top of the tree in investment banking technology can easily make over $1m when all bonuses and stock options are factored in.

We’re more interested in what the rank and file can bring home, however, and have looked at job titles across Google and Facebook, taken from employee reviews on Glassdoor, and compared them to their nearest counterpart in investment banks – taken from figures provided to us by specialist recruiters Thomson Keene and, where necessary, other financial services recruiters.

The results suggest that investment banking is still (marginally) ahead in most areas, although both Facebook and Google are more inclined to shell out for their technical staff than banks, who are decidedly more generous with ‘softer’ technologists like business analysts and project managers. The question any aspiring techies will be asking themselves, though, is whether such a small salary differential makes it worth working for a bank.

Software developer/engineer:

Google salaries: $118.9k average (possible to earn up to $215k)

Facebook salaries: $118.4k average (possible to earn up to $193k)

Investment banking salaries: $89-129.5k (little or no banking experience, C#/Java specialist)

Senior software developer/engineer:

Google salaries: $153.3k average (possible to earn up to $250k)

Facebook salaries: $149.3k (possible to earn up to $185k)

Investment banking salaries: $129-194k

Programme manager:

Google salaries: $108.5k (possible to earn up to $156k)

Facebook salaries: $144.1k

Investment banking salaries:  $178.2k-243k

Project manager:

Google salaries: $104.2k (possible to earn up to $135k)

Facebook salaries: $107.3k (possible to earn up to $155k)

Investment banking salaries:  $121.4-178.1k

Data scientist:

Google salaries: $156k

Facebook salaries: $131.9k

Investment banking salaries:  $150-350k

Business analyst:

Google salaries: $80.5k

Facebook salaries: $99.5k (possible to earn up to $120k)

Investment banking salaries:  $137.6-$178k

Information security:

Google salaries: $110.5k (possible to earn up to $140k)

Facebook salaries: $140.5k

Investment banking salaries: $129k

 

Related articles: 

How to get an entry level job in investment banking technology

Nine people you need to know if you want a job in investment banking technology

The top 35 MBAs for getting a job in investment banking

 

author-card-avatar
AUTHORPaul Clarke
  • Go
    Googleman
    25 October 2014

    This is not a well thought out comparison. Sure the salaries for tech are higher but anybody that knows anything about investment banking comp knows that you don't do investment banking for the salary but for the BONUS at the end of the year. Bonuses are typicall 100% or more of the entire salary. Which dwarf what Google and FB are paying. With that said, I would still rather work at Google for the other perks and work life balance.

  • Ja
    Jack T
    3 October 2014

    What level seniority is this data in reference to? How many years experience?

    thanks

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