Software Developers Are The New Investment Bankers

Software engineers make as much or more than investment bankers, work half the hours and are…well…less “douchey.”

The labor market for software developers is way more favorable for software developers than the labor market for investment bankers is for investment bankers. There is significant demand for software developers with comparatively small supply. There is a massive supply of people seeking investment banking jobs with comparatively smaller demand.

There is so much demand for software developers relative to supply that you can attend a three month development bootcamp and earn a salary of about the same as what an investment banker would be earning after four years of college. Around 98% of Flatiron School’s graduates find paid development gigs after the three month program, and they’re all getting a starting salary of at least $70k.

A development bootcamp costs about $10k. Four years of college costs about $200k, and many college graduates have trouble finding work at all, let alone earning over $70k. 53% of recent college graduates are unemployed!

If you want to make it in the startup world as a non-technical person you have to be really freaking good at what you do. It’s incredibly hard to get a non technical job at a startup right now. I estimate the average startup has about 7 technical employees for every nontechnical employee (complete estimate – probably inaccurate). I have seen many talented people spend months or more looking for a non technical job at startup.

In addition, promise of high priced exits and better culture is drawing people out of investment banking and consulting and into the nontechnical startup job market. This means even more talented people competing for same, relatively small, number of jobs.

It’s a great time to be a software developer!

Key Takeaways

  • There’s a massive supply of people seeking investment banking, consulting, and other non technical jobs.

  • There’s a massive undersupply of software developers relative to the demand.

  • The differences in the labor markets for software developers and nontechnical people make it quite favorable to be a software developer

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  • sandislin

    Definitely true, though for entrepreneurs, I’ve found that motivated non-technical people can often compensate for lack of technical skills better than vice versa, thanks to scrappy tools for MVP type iterations.

    • MFishbein

      Absolutely. I’m non-technical myself and I feel incredibly empowered with all the free or cheap tools there are out there.

  • modern_legend

    Flatiron School was an amazing, life-changing experience for me, and few people would dispute your assertion about the relative ease at which you can find employment in tech over finance, but I found your language frustrating and misleading. The statement implying “they’re all getting paid over 70k” right out of school is false. I am a Flatiron graduate, so I can speak to that both individually as well as for some of my classmates. Also, your first statement describing all software developers as not ‘douchey’ is a misleading generalization, and also false. The fact that you are even comparing investment bankers to software developers as vocational substitutes implies that there would exist the same douches in both industries, which there are. The industries are very similar. Both are male-dominated, high-salary verticals and both attract candidates with former financial backgrounds – the new constituents of tech are often would-be financiers who now see tech as a more attractive occupation while providing similar income levels, or simply couldn’t find employment back in their original line of work. Not to bash this article, but if you’re going to report, consider taking the time to be more professional about it, as it is unfair to mislead those who are taking your information in as truthful.

    • MFishbein

      re 70k – I got that from the Techcrunch article I linked to.

      re “douchey” – that was a joke.

      Point of the article was really just that there is imbalance in these labor markets. Not trying to “report” or be “professional”…entertainment purposes only.

      • modern_legend

        Appreciate the response. Didn’t see you’d linked to that tech crunch article, in which case, the school is either referring to the newest graduating class, or the statement is inaccurate for reasons beyond your control.
        re re “douchey’ – I realize it’s a joke, but it’s suggestive, and paints a false suggestion.
        Otherwise, good point about the market imbalance. Useful info for those looking for career alternatives.