Technology provided more opportunities than almost any other sector, including greater flexibility, benefits, and, for the fortunate, greater financial rewards. For young professionals, that made calculus simple. Ignore workweeks of 100 hours. Employees in the tech industry could put in less time for the same salary.
In 2023, things are different. Tens of thousands of jobs have been eliminated by tech businesses, and those still hired will receive lesser pay. Because of this, more young people are giving finance another look. According to their way of thinking, when the economy is in flux, one should go where there are jobs, or at the very least, where there have been fewer job losses.
Amy Lui Abel, a global talent partner at the talent agency Lee Hecht Harrison, stated that there was “a lot of upheaval in Big Tech” and that there had been several firings recently. But you work very hard and earn much money on Wall Street. That’s how it works.
Uncertainty is present outside of the tech sector, to be sure. Layoffs, reduced bonuses, hiring restrictions, and the most severe banking instability since the 2008 financial crisis have all affected Wall Street. Several well-known consulting companies, including McKinsey & Co. and Bain & Co., have also eliminated roles and postponed the start dates of certain new hires.
However, technology is worse. According to statistics collated by Bloomberg, the tech sector has shed about 200,000 jobs since October, more than twice as many as the financial sector, with companies like Meta Platforms Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. each cutting tens of thousands of people.
According to Levels, the balance between Wall Street and Silicon Valley has changed due to cutting back by tech companies. Fyi, a website that compiles statistics on industry pay, tech companies are reducing the compensation packages they offer to new hires, with overall compensation packages falling as much as 25% in March compared to the same time last year. Additionally, since the Nasdaq fell 33% last year, the prospect of stock options, which may enable tech workers to get rich quickly, seems less alluring.
Due to the unrest, many young individuals who had aspirations of working in technology and had sought degrees and internships that would have led them to prominent Silicon Valley corporations have turned to banks.
Emily Balogh, 26, had always pictured herself working for a large technology company and enjoying the rewards of a flexible schedule and laid-back work environment. She earned a master’s degree in strategic communication at Columbia University. Still, she decided to pursue a career in finance because she believed it would be more stable when internet businesses faced significant job layoffs. She received offers from Barclays Plc and American Express Co. but chose to work for the credit card firm instead.
I wanted a place where I could envision myself long-term, she stated.
The 23-year-old Anna Martirosyan also intended to work for one of the major computer companies when she travelled to New York to obtain a master’s in technology management. She looked into firms including Apple Inc., Amazon, and Meta, as well as Microsoft Corp. When other prospective employers informed her they were no longer looking to fill the posts for which she had applied; she realised her chances seemed bleak.
The situation was different at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where there were numerous opportunities. She finally obtained a position as a senior associate in product planning. Martirosyan said she was lured to the bank because it offered stability along with the flexibility and corporate culture she desired in tech, even though it was not what she had in mind when she immigrated from Armenia to the US.
“I don’t think many businesses will be able to hold onto their staff during a recession, but I think the finance industry will,” Martirosyan added.
JPMorgan has a history of aggressive hiring; its staff increased by 8% in the first quarter compared to last year. During that time, Bank of America Corp. increased by 4%, and Morgan Stanley added 7%.
Banks have been obliged to make cuts in some locations despite these expansions due to a protracted deal recession and persistent inflation. With plans to eliminate nearly 3,000 positions from its global workforce by the end of this quarter, Morgan Stanley is preparing for a new round of layoffs this month. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. started a plan to eliminate 3,200 positions in January.