How To Get A Finance Job From An Engineering Background

24 Apr

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It is something quite private, a very crucial thing. Hell! It is a loved ones motto. Are you ready Jerry? I want to make confident you happen to be prepared, brother. Here it is: Show me the cash. SHOW! ME! THE! Funds! Jerry, it is such a pleasure to say that! Say it with me a single time, Jerry.”

-Rod Tidwell, “Jerry Maguire” (1996)

“If I’m an engineering significant, how can I get into finance? Show me the funds!”

I find myself answering this query a lot, possibly due to the fact I am from a non-finance background myself. Or maybe just since everybody desires to get into finance.

How you can leverage your technical background to land a job in the jungle of finance? As a technical person proper out of school, you have two ways of breaking in:

Get an investment banking analyst position in the technology or TMT (Technology, Media & Telecom) group of a bank. You will use none of your quantitative/analytical background and instead use your interest in the sector/work ethic to get in.
Get a quantitative job at a hedge fund or performing trading/fixed earnings at a bank. You will leverage your quantitative and probability abilities to get in.

Of the two, the second is easiest for most engineers. Wall Street has by no means been more quantitative, and it’s only getting more quant-focused every single day. Even with some recent issues in the credit market place and some high-profile difficulties at prestigious funds such as Goldman Global Alpha, this trend will not cease anytime soon.

Hedge Fund And Connected Jobs

On-campus recruiting for these positions is much less common than it is for banking analysts, but it is there if you seek it out. Citadel, 1 of the biggest hedge funds in the planet, does undergraduate recruiting for its rotational system, as does Jump Trading, based out of Chicago.

The good news is that if you happen to be an engineering key at a best university, you have a good likelihood of landing 1 of these jobs, even with no earlier finance encounter. If you are in this position and go by way of on-campus recruiting, you want to emphasize your interest in finance because this is how they select candidates. Here’s a direct quote from a Citadel recruiter:

“To be sincere, we know you are all fairly good quantitatively… following all you got an engineering degree at a single of the best applications in the nation. You require to show us that you’re interested in finance because that’s what differentiates you.”

In the course of interviews they will ask you quantitative concerns but it really is critical that you show them you have had a sturdy and steady interest in finance. Have some excellent stories prepared, specially on individual investing and why you are especially properly-suited to be a trader.

For trading jobs the “fit” part of the interview is even much more crucial than it is for banking. If you never trade stocks in among classes and wake up early every morning to read monetary news, gambling is a good hobby to mention. I was asked if I played video poker/online poker and other casino games when interviewing for hedge fund jobs. You want to emphasize hobbies/interests that show you can believe about risk vs. reward.

No Thanks, I Really Want To Be A Banker

Full disclosure: you can do this, but the hours are going to be far worse than trading, the spend will not be significantly greater and you’ll have to do truly menial, low-value-add work. The benefit is you do have a wider range of exit possibilities – performing engineering and then banking sets you up really nicely for venture capital, for example. And the perks are good.

As a technical person, you have many things going for you right away: no one particular will question your intelligence, and they probably won’t ask you brain teasers or math questions. If you can get a degree in Electrical Engineering, you can do Excel calculations in your sleep. And no one particular will query your focus to detail (or at least not as much as if you were an English main).

What you will require to concentrate on in recruiting and interviewing is demonstrating your 1) interest in finance and 2) capacity to manage the hours/pressure of the job, which are considerably worse than those of an engineering/tech business.

A couple of more certain tips: when you discuss your interest in finance you need to mention tech businesses if you’re applying to a tech group in a bank. And don’t just mention Google or Facebook. These are the most visible tech organizations by far, but any person can learn about them by reading TechCrunch or by listening to pals.

You need to have to show true interest in the market, which indicates taking the initiative and talking about less properly-known businesses. Prior to my interviews at tech groups in banks I created a list of significantly less properly-identified startups/other organizations I found interesting and had a story ready about every of them. You must do the same.

As far as the second point about handling the pressure/hours, as an engineering key you must have had numerous extended project classes… these are all very good to mention, as are any internships where you launched a product that needed “crunch time” at the end.

34 Responses to “How To Get A Finance Job From An Engineering Background”

  1. Ricardo January 12, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    I’m a soon-to-be former Schlumberger worker and wondered if you will find any companies available prospecting from Schlumberger employees? I labored like a cased-hole wireline engineer.

  2. Jae February 1, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    I am really concerned about the economy and searching for a fast certification in order to possess some kind of qualification just in case it totally goes under. I discovered a 14 credit hour alternative energy certification in a college. Do you consider this is going to do worthwhile for locating jobs?

  3. Josef February 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    I’d like to live in Canada for a couple of years with my girlfriend who is allowed to live and work there. It seems to me that, like most other countries Canadian jobs will be in high demand. Should I go for the Skilled Worker visa and work to get the experience needed? Or get the visitor visa and seek a sponsor while I’m there? Thanks for your help. PS – For the cynics, I’m not going to Canada to leech money. I just like travelling and working around the world. Thanks all

  4. Louise February 21, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I am currently working on my undergrad in chemical engineering and maybe I might double major in finance, how can I get into the pharmaceutical field once I am done with college?

  5. Ching February 21, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I’ve been looking into psyche careers and engineering fields i can’t afford to get into literature but over never though about business is this a fun and rewarding career?

  6. Kit February 21, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    OK so I’m about to be 19, and for some reason the very real reality of the world has been apparent to me the the past year. We can psycho analysis me later. I’m very heart set on getting a job that pays about 100k+ a year. I already know what I have to do to get this job so I’m not worried about me actually making the money, I just don’t know what to do with it. I’m very ignorant to the world financially speaking, it’s just something I never learned or asked about. So if any of you know a lot about financial planning or how much money is enough money to live off of, please tell me anything and everything.

  7. Tamatha February 21, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    What is the process of getting a job in Human Resources? Do you need a degree?

  8. Salvador February 21, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    best way to work towards that if I have engineering/construction background? Without a finance major I cannot obtain a position w/ any firms, would it be better to start as project management of construction, or as a property manager? Which is more related, and allows an easier transition to such a position?

  9. Chester February 21, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Im really considering a job as an investment banker after going to grad school but ive heard that you will not have any life at all, and have no time for family.
    Is The Money great and will you usually be working in New York or are there other places.

  10. Jay February 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    I’m a senior in high school and the concept of a hedge fund is rather intriguing

    I’ve read that it is very quantitative nowadays, which is one of the reasons why such a career is intriguing to me

    I plan on majoring in engineering and have no idea what to do afterward to reach this goal help!

  11. Malcolm February 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    I have a few yrs of engineering under my belt. Could I get a job in the finance world with an MBA? Or would I have to take the management path?

  12. Rossie February 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Which degree should I get to get a job in a company wherein I am assigned to travel abroad frequently on business trips? Is it an MBA? If it is, then under MBA there are many sub divisions, which one do I have to go for? And, how many years of work experience would I need to get to this level of a job?

  13. Verona February 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    I am planning to Masters in management. I would like to know whether MBA or MSc in Management has more job opportunities. I am confused because MBA is a more generic study of management rather MSc in management involves specialization of 1 particular field.

    Further information . I am planning to do the masters in UK. Also I have 2 years of experience as a software developer. Kindly let me know which one suit a person with my profile. Also i have distinction in MSC Computer Technology.

  14. Alana February 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    One of my friends took an accounting course last semester and she failed the course. She has no intentions of repeating the course because she doesn’t like math and analyzing word problems which is required to pass the accounting course. So, is my friend stuck in her boring job since most employers are selecting students with business majors these days?

  15. Pura February 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Hi, im a structural engineer looking to become a CFA and i wanted to know, would companies look down on me if i started from a construction industry, versus if i had done my degree in finance or accountring and then gone unto becoming a CFA?

  16. Kristan February 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    I am writing a data table of 5 different jobs that would be needed in building and furnishing a shopping mall. I chose retail land developer, real estate agent, lawyer, architect, and interior designer. I have to also write how much knowledge of physics and chemistry should each worker know. Please help me, thank you!

  17. Kera March 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    And the job profiles that can be chosen with each of those branches. Suggestions about the best colleges regarding the same will be apppreciated.
    Thank you.

  18. Dian March 29, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    I will be graduating with a BS in Civil Engineering soon and I am not sure I want to do civil engineering in the current economy. What other options are there for a career with a civil engineering degree?

    I feel that a civil engineering degree is so 1-dimensional, unlike a mechanical engineering or electrical engineering degree that can lead to banking and IT consulting.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

  19. Adam April 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    I am unable to decide the right career path for me. I have done my engineering and now I cant decide where to go. I am poor at inter-personal skills and specially the verbal communication. I have good at reasoning and analytical skills. If somehow, I manage to do an MBA, is it worthy eniugh to leave the current job and go for studies?

  20. Maryalice May 9, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    I am graduating from university of waterloo (canada) in april 2007. I am currently working in an engineering firm for my last coop/intern term. I only have 4mths experience in the finance industry, and I am currently enrolled in CSC. I just want to know how I can better prepare myself for a career in the finance industry, possibly equity trading?

    The main problem I have is that I am holding an eng degree with 2 yrs of eng experience. I am not the biggest fan of engineering, and I am quite lost in terms of career choice. I had the chance to see what the finance world is like, and the fast-paced environment with the money incentive seems perfect for me.

    Going into finance might mean a starting salary of $35-45K, and that’s a big difference when I can command $50-60K with my eng background. I have a strong interest in following the market, and investment. Am I wrong for making such big career switch? Is there anyone out there with similar experience and would like to share with me?

  21. Staci May 10, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    I’m really good at Maths and science and I hope to go into that type of field one day. I know there are millions of careers involving Maths but I really don’t want to go into finance or IT. A few people have suggested engineering or stats, but what are they REALLY all about? Anything with travel oppurtunities is an absolute bonus!

  22. Delmar May 15, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    I’ve already seen a lot of them i just need something new to watch,no old movies from like the 1970’s or anything.

  23. Loma May 22, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    My background is in finance and strategy but id like to try and broaden my experience with an MBA. I would also love to get some expertise in engineering so I can be effective in my career. I am considering looking into clean tech companies.
    Also, any dual MBA mechanical engineering degrees from good schools?

  24. Bess June 10, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I have a bachelors in engineering and abour 4-5 years of experience in it. but now i want to go to the field of investments, I am doing my MBA and also just registered for CFA exmas for this december, so im busy with that. but i want to get an entry level job in investments, what would it be and where is possible to find it ?

  25. Jamie July 8, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    The song that plays when he’s walking into the airport.

  26. Travis July 31, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    I just want a list of job titles that you can delve into as a career, all I know is radio host. I’m a freshman in college and I’m just trying to decide what I want to do for a living

  27. Felipa August 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    im graduating in 2011 with my BS in planning and was wondering what jobs are out there in the private sector? where are places that i can work with this degree? basically where can i get a job with this degree?

  28. Leo August 24, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    I want to work on Wall Street, meaning I want to work with money (raise capital, invest money). I am counting on a double major in Economics and Finance so I can understand how the economy works and how finance works. I think those two majors like give me outstanding knowledge and credentials. I am also counting on a minor in Mathematics so I can compliment my double majors; economics and finance are all about numbers and the math behind them. Will my plan work out?

  29. Lionel August 25, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    I want to go into the field of business after college and would plan on getting a MBA. As i was looking into some schools, I saw that they dont have undergraduate business. So what would be best to major in for business, at schools that dont have a business major? Along with that, what is the best business major to get now and days (finance, marketing, hospitality ect)? thanks

  30. Shena August 28, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    I hold a PhD in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt with my masters in CE from Berkeley and my undergraduate degree in CE from Auburn. I have a very strong background in probabilistic methods and optimization, and have taken coursework in structural mechanics, including dynamics (highly ODE based) and finite element methods (PDE based). I am currently an assistant professor at VU. What do I need to do to get hired by a bank?

  31. Ronnie August 31, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    I am from engineering background and also possess experience for man management, materials management and diverse requirements say finance, IT etc. I am 40 years now and want to plan for my post retirement life after 60 years of age.

  32. Shannon August 31, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    I am a recent grad with a Bachelors in Communications. I am considering an MBA or a Masters in Management because they have been recommended to me by people I know professionally. Really what I want to do is get into public relations. I guess what it comes down to is I would like to find a good paying job (who doesn’t?!) and enjoy what I’m doing. Is there a different direction I should be heading for my Masters? Thanks!

  33. Thomasena September 2, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    One of my friends took an accounting course last semester and she failed the course. She has no intentions of repeating the course because she doesn’t like math and analyzing word problems which is required to pass the accounting course. So, is my friend stuck in her boring job since most employers are selecting students with business majors these days?

  34. Anja September 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Hi guys! I have no previous experience in health care….
    I am currently pursuing a degree, MBA in Health care management.

    With no previous job experience in health care, will I be able to break into the health care field after obtaining my MBA in Health Care?

    If not, what type of job experience is necessary?

    If so, what types of jobs are available?


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