High Paying Careers

I work in the automation industry and get the feeling that academic titles are extremely important. Most of the management has a phd title. It’s a nobilitation and in some cases opens doors (or ceilings).

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Fair point. But then I’d like to add something to your argument as well :slight_smile:

If you are doing a PhD and have a side project, that suddenly takes off or even results in a startup/product, your professor might claim ownership, if it has the slightest thing in common with your research at the lab. I saw that happen twice. Professor now talks about “his” startups when in fact he had nothing to do with them.

Wait, when you say “uni”, do you mean as a Bachelor/Master student or as a PhD student? Two completely separate things I believe.

Thanks, good to hear :smiley:

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In some cases it also closes doors :wink:
I believe in the end it comes down to how hard you are willing to work and how much effort you put into things you do. Some companies tend to hire PhDs, because they know these people are willing to work 24/7 if necessary. But if you can show similar resilience and knowledge, you should not have a huge disadvantage without a PhD. Unless you are looking for jobs in research of course.

Apologies for all the off-topic, but this topic has eaten me up for a long time and I have the urge to share all thoughts I collected meanwhile.

EDIT: Boy, a meetup with Swiss moustachians would surely bring opportunities for lots of discussions :sweat_smile:


Hi, this an interesting and timely topic for me - I’m finishing my CS studies at ETH next year and need to decide what to do carrier-wise.

Best paying tech jobs are obviously in the US and I’d love to move there to work for FAANGSs but with chances of winning H1-B lottery like 30% I might be stuck here for some years. From what I hear biggest (>2k people) and best tech company here is Google Zurich and they pay Bay Area-level TC (!). But assuming I don’t get so lucky what are my other options here? Swiss companies i hear don’t pay anything close to top tier US tech companies.

There’s a few small (I think) offices of other big american tech (which opens up a way to move to US via L1-B visa), Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Nvidia, Cisco - anyone knows what are kind of projects they working on and the pay? How about swiss finance industry, what’s the pay at hedge funds around here?

I was interviewing senior programmers for a position in our office, and all of them requested at least 120k - 150k annual salary, without a PhD. I don’t want to name the companies that they are coming from, but apparently there are plenty bigger companies that are currently paying them these amounts.

BUT, these people I met are all looking for another job mostly because their current positions are boring. They don’t care about the generic fintech product that their company is developing, or they are devops or something like that and feel unfulfilled.

If you are considering doing a PhD, I would recommend you get to know the research lab where you would do it, in case you are not already familiar with the team. I would never sign up for a PhD without knowing the professor and the team really well. It astonishes me how many people apply without having met the prof in person. I would start out as a research assistant for a few months while you are looking for the Silicon Valley jobs. If you can’t land a job you find interesting, and it’s because you lack a PhD, why not do it?

When deciding to do a PhD because of the probably higher salary, I would be afraid of being disappointed after 5 years of hard labor in the event that the huge dream salary did not become reality. I’m just saying you should have at least one more reason besides $$$ to do a PhD… in my opinion. But then again many people build their entire career on maximizing the salary ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I guess I can’t call my line of work very fulfiling, but I suck it up, because I only need to do it for a total of 10 years, not 40, if I keep the mustachian lifestyle. And once I’ve reached FIRE, then I can think about doing something interesting.


From my understanding 150k is below even junior developer comp at Google both here and in silicon valley - top tier tech pays very well

What do you think of the value of Msc degree? It is only 2 years waste of time but every quant finance job i’ve seen wants at least an MSc but not so much in tech

I was checking some numbers. I’m quite impressed by the salary in banking:


Is it the reality?

As far as I know, people start off their career in banking in the 80-100k range [EDIT:after graduating university] and then many move to 100-130k after some years.
Moving beyond that is harder, but it’s still quite possible if you are skilled and hard-working.

I have no idea about boni though.

Some numbers seem too high and some even too low, at least in Corporate & Retail banking. I don’t know anything about the others. Most of the people I know of are in the 65-90k range. Bonus between 5-35k depening on your KPIs. Branch managers usually 90-130k with a bonus between 10-50k.

I’m 29 years old (no bachelor degree) and work as a private client advisor. 83k base salary and 10-20k bonus (my last one in February this year was 18k).


But what kind of advisor are you? Investment, Pension, Mortgage? Are you just trying to sell some products to your customers? How many clients are you advising? How different is your job from a relationship manager?

Speaking of high salaries I’ve discovered with this tool that my dad made more money when I was born than me now.


Basic products, retirement, investments and mortgages. ~550 clients (probably ~350-400 families) with a total volume of ~130 million CHF.

For more details, PM.


But does it include bonuses ? because with a 10%-30% bonus the difference is high

This might be of interest for you guys. Latest data from Switzerland and gross salaries (includes everything like 13th salary, bonus etc.).

Looks very promising for me! I work in finance and I earned 96k in the last 12 months, so I’m probably in the lower 1/3. One out of 4 earns >150k in finance! Can’t wait to be in that region :smiley:


Source bitte? :slight_smile:
Thanks for sharing.


How do these statistics work? If you’re a DB admin for SBB, does your salary get counted as “transportation and storage”? Is a restaurant owner classified together with all the waiters in “food service activities”?


Why you want win more money ?
More you win more you pay. I view a nice youtube movie but lost the link who speak about hire people for they pay taxes for you with their income :slight_smile:

I prefer win almost nothing and pay nothing so probably decrease job percentage if I win too much for keep low income.

I think he’s trying to convey: Mo Money Mo Problems