Is the City a good career choice?

nobrainer

Active member
112 2
I've got a 15 year old son who needs advising if the City would be a good career choice.Any useful advice would be much appreciated as to whether on getting a good degree he'd have any problem getting a good job, salary prospects etc.
 

herbie14

Junior member
48 0
Hi,
I have worked in the city since my a levels i think alot is the right place at the right time and who you know, the city can be very boring unless you have a good job which are very difficult to get...... ask alot of people in the city would you like to stay and there answer will probably be no i would love to be a teacher etc etc... it have great aspects and bad.... i would say get a good education then if you like it great if not you have qualifications to take you to another area of work
 

Robertral

Well-known member
446 3
herbie14 said:
Hi,
I have worked in the city since my a levels i think alot is the right place at the right time and who you know, the city can be very boring unless you have a good job which are very difficult to get...... ask alot of people in the city would you like to stay and there answer will probably be no i would love to be a teacher etc etc... it have great aspects and bad.... i would say get a good education then if you like it great if not you have qualifications to take you to another area of work
I agree with herbie14. I think in todays market one needs the highest education possible due to the competition for jobs.
Do a degree, maybe an MSc after adn then he will be in a better positon to decide. Try internships while at uni....that is an awesome way to find out if the city is for him
 

mully

Established member
967 3
Like any other private sector career, the very, very top rewards very well. Unfortunately, that knowledge means that the competition to get to the top is very, very intense. If you have the dedication, you are prepared to do the hours and sell yourself to the business then maybe. I did 23 years in the the city, culminating as a partner in an investment bank with all the rewards. But for every partner there were 20 people who didn't make it but still did the hours for a fraction (and I mean a fraction) of my reward.
The choice is yours. Does 6.00 am to 7/8.00pm 5 days a week and if you get to do corporate work a majority of weekends appear attractive. Then if the job entails travel- week in Far East, or three days in US, or day trips to Europe- all do nothing for stress levels or marriage/children care.

The advantage, if very, very, very successful, is seven figures etc.

However, the divorce rates/ health problems that some of my colleagues endured are not compelling- hence my current absence from the city at a relatively early age.
 
Last edited:

TWI

Senior member
2,527 252
I echo the sentiments of all those above. The front office can be great once you have settled in but there's bucketloads of stressing, often more about the politics than the job. It pays well but there were many times I thought I would trade the salary for a better life with more free time. On the upside there were other times when I thought I had the best job in the World.
I would certainly say have a go, but he better be sure about what he wants to do, be ready to work like a dog, fight like hell and he better believe strongly in himself cos any weakness will probably be exposed.
I have friends still working hard every day in the IB's, they are all good earners and have had a 5 year exit plan for the last 10 years.
For trading/origination/sales jobs it helps to have a good degree certainly and analytical subjects are preferred but you do not need to be Oxbridge and have 3/4 A's at A'level, although of course that kind of thing helps.
Other routes in are through the major accountancy firms, often openings for qualified ACA's but this is no easy option either.
 

BBB

Experienced member
1,071 3
Some one once said stress is misplaced energy. I really do believe people make their own stress in life. It's all in the mind (man).

If you lose it all tomorrow - so what. As long as you have your health and determination, it will come back.

We're born with nothing, we go back to nothing. Anything else in between is profit.

Make the most of it.
 

TWI

Senior member
2,527 252
I wish I had always been able to take that detached point of view BBB.
I think it is a human failing that we get embroiled in trivial things in the immediate future without asking whether anybody will give a toss in another day/week/year.
There are very few people who have never experienced stress despite the fact that in the bigger picture concept everything is fundamentally subatomic or superstring or God or something like that .
 

STE1

Junior member
20 0
Asking if the City is a good career choice is like asking if "manufacturing", "transport" or "retail" are good careers. The City encompasses a vast array of functions, jobs etc. For example he could get a job in:

- IT hardware
- Accounting
- Law
- PR
- HR
- Trading
- Sales/Marketing
etc etc

Its much more likely that your son will have an aptitude for a particular range of skills rather than whether the City itself is a good career choice. If you hate detail and numbers forget accounting, if you get tied in nots by complex language forget law etc...

It just so happens that the City requires many of the same skills that other areas need (apart from good quality business management ;) but that the salaries tend to be higher. It doesn't even have to imply long hours or anything like that. Its just that generally the competition will be slightly higher because you're competing with not just people who were born or live nearby but with everyone in the world who can work in London.

Ste1
 

anley

Senior member
2,730 229
My advice is yes for the City but be a little bit shrewd and don't go for the glamour jobs. Go for the safe and often very lucrative job of Compliance.

Send him packing to Uni trying to take some sort of financial services degree, this should help a lot. A compliance officer with say 5 years experience can easily be earning £50-£150k. A top job can pay many hundreds of thousands.

If I had my time again, this is the route that I'd take.
 

Robertral

Well-known member
446 3
anley said:
My advice is yes for the City but be a little bit shrewd and don't go for the glamour jobs. Go for the safe and often very lucrative job of Compliance.

Send him packing to Uni trying to take some sort of financial services degree, this should help a lot. A compliance officer with say 5 years experience can easily be earning £50-£150k. A top job can pay many hundreds of thousands.

If I had my time again, this is the route that I'd take.
Someone has to do the 'glamour' jobs, why can't it be him?

Uni is the only route. An internship in what ever field he decides on will confirm whether or not he wants to work in the city.
 

anley

Senior member
2,730 229
Because the glamour jobs are high risk, high return. Compliance jobs have very very very low risk often combined with an excellent salary.

I'd go as far as saying that a Comp. job is as good as a job for life these days, assuming you keep your nose clean and tow the company line. If the company you work for goes bust then I'd say a couple of phone calls would be all that's needed to get another job.

Remember also that with the glamour jobs you often only see or hear about the top boys at the tip of the pyramid. How many wannabees are there at the base?

Go for the safe job and get wealthy over time is my advice.
 

JTrader

Guest
5,741 506
"A compliance officer with say 5 years experience can easily be earning £50-£150k"

What is a compliance Officer?

Thanks.
 

Robertral

Well-known member
446 3
anley said:
Because the glamour jobs are high risk, high return. Compliance jobs have very very very low risk often combined with an excellent salary.

You obviously have no clue regarding this topic.

Is sales high risk high return?
Is quant high risk high return?
Is model validation high risk high return?

Why is comliance low risk? What happens if you make a mistake and you have a law suit on your ass = ££££££££ ?!?!?!?! Make a mistake in the FO and you get your risk manager or your boss on your back for a while, unless you are super sheeaaa at your job.

You are only calling the FO jobs 'glamor jobs' as sometimes traders get in the press as they play with huge amounts of money and 99% of joe public haven't got a clue what people in the city really do.

Is auditing a glamour job?

Of course all the wannabes start at the bottom....I know I wouldn't let a junior trade a £2M book if he can't even get the £20 coffee order correct. Everyone starts at the bottom in the city, unless you were working at LTCM :D

The truth is that this guys son needs to get into Uni, decide what his talents are and then see what jobs are inline with his talents. No good saying, "yeah yeah yeah dad I want to be an IR derivs quant" when this guy has a BA in whatever.
In the summer he should apply to various summer jobs and see if he actually likes them while studying his ass off. If this guy gets straight A's and a 1st from a top 10, he will be laughing as he will get interviews at all the top IB's with ease.....£40k a year basic in first year at an IB.....and that is trading,
 

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