Looking for mustachian Jobs in CH

Dear all,
I am looking browsing for some mustachian job in CH, preferrably Zurich area.

I have a BSc in Physics, and Engineering MSc & PhD all from ETHZ, and I started my first job last summer in some average (non-big-4) consultant company in ZH, earning me a bit less than 100k/y. It’s an ok-ish job for me, but not good enough for keeping me from looking around.

I am not a Software-guy like most of you here, but not at all IT-phobic. I could dive into anything, given a textbook or any other form of (self-) education.

Salary is not the only important thing of course, but due to my mustachian ideals more important than for average employees.

Do you have any ideas, suggestions, known positions, etc?
Thanks :slight_smile:

Do you know Math-Jobs (and also Tesla-Jobs :slight_smile: ), link here ?

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What do you mean “mustachian”?

I am not a Software-guy like most of you here

Software pays top dollar currently. But don’t worry, many of the best programmers are self taught or only have tangentally related formal degrees (physics, math, econ…), your physics phd will be viewed favorably by employers as long as you can actually code

preferrably Zurich area

The big bucks are all in the US, and don’t underestimate the difficulty of getting there, odds of winning H1B lottery were 1:3 last year, so you wanna make sure you’re in the draw every year

Salary is not the only important thing of course



I am/was in the same spot, ended getting a job related to my bachelors degree(product management, not software, but did consider learning to code and go that route)

You keep mentioning going to the US for a job. There are ton of things keeping me from doing that, but thats another topic.

So let’s also assume I want to go into software to earn the big bucks in the US. I have a business degree and no coding experience. How does my timeline look like?

  1. learning to code (what do I master, java, javascript etc.?)

  2. getting into the US

  3. Getting a high paying job?

Like how does this work exactly? I fly to the US and start applying and hope for the best? Or do I find a company in Switzerland that first has to hire me as a Software Engineer and then ask to relocate to the US, while hoping to get paid more? Or switch jobs after getting to the US?

Basically am asking this: Lets say I can make 100k in Switzerland and save 50k of that. How do I go about earning and saving much more than that in the US (so that the switch to US is worth it), with no experience or contacts to the US?

For someone with your background, have you considered an analyst position?
You’d have to look up some jobs and see what programming language is required. I was looking into some marketing analytics jobs and they mainly wanted JavaScript, Python and R.


Hey i was talking to physics professor here not you

I can tell right here already this is not going to end well. Some passion for coding/tech or at least perseverance to learn is a must. Learn-coding-get-rich-quick bootcamp graduates are the worst

Always useful, but word on the street is frontend doesn’t pay that well 'cause any monkey could do it, But don’t take my word for it, i’m more into backend/datasci, all that npm shit and gazillion frameworks out there just scare and confuse me

That’ll get you on a very short leash called L1B tied to that company. You wanna full H1B lottery experience here, no cutting corners. Those are transferable allowing you to easily ditch your employer in two weeks’ notice for a higher pay next door

Although you could get in with L1 first and keep going for an upgrade to H1B or green card while you’re there…


Thanks Joey for the good questions you formulated and hedgehog for your very direct responses :wink:

high-paying, primarily. but i wouldnt want to work 60h per week on average, my life’s joy is still valuable to me :slight_smile:

there is a reason why i look into this direction. one of the few things that frequently motivated me to work through nights & weekends was my matlab/python scripts for my (imaging) data processing. I really wouldnt mind to use that for my profession. Everything self-tought, up to now… with some C++ introduction from university added

apply with my CV to some job around San Francisco, apply for visa/greencard at the same time, hope to get lucky and repead next year?

actually yes, i applied a handful last year, but i didnt make it to the interviews.

haha i actually know what a backend is, and i’d chip in on this. all this graphical stuff, not where my fascination lies. what languages/ concepts would get me this direction?

the US was not my focus 2 years ago, but today i wouldnt be so strict about it anymore. I’ll read stuff here… still, i have some incentive to stick to CH, maybe even Zurich. but yeah, i do have some time for all those considerations

thanks again for your thoughts. more?^^

at least for H1B, you need an offer first (since you get sponsored by the company).

That said, is the disposable income in the Bay Area really higher than Zurich for equivalent tech jobs? (assuming you don’t have a 2*2 hours commute in order to live someplace more affordable).

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CV will land you an interview but you still need to clear it

Yeah, well, that’s not going to cut it, get on leetcode or codeforces and start grinding 'em

It is sure quite a bit more expensive than here, maybe add 20-30% to your swiss salary before even considering going there. Some points I remember below. I’d really love to model the differences more carefully some day from an angle like ‘same time to exit with $X millions’

  • Taxes are higher: federal tax for high incomes is about same as total swiss taxes in Zurich. It’s the best in WA - no state tax, in CA you have about 10% or so state income tax and in some cities like NYC there’s even city tax level. And then there’s CGT and exit tax.
  • Housing is crazy expensive and lower quality (cardboard houses essentially) than in Switzerland, maybe like 50% more rent and forget about buying
  • Quality of life generally lower, income disparity higher with corresponding problems, like junkies and hobos shitting on streets in SFO is everyday reality. Better climate than Zurich though
  • Less vacation days, less social security
  • Food is cheaper but lower quality. More varied than what you can find next door in Switzerland, that’s a plus. Eating out is ok for family budget unlike here
  • More fucked up medical system than in Switzerland, going to a wrong hospital/ER could ruin you financially even with insurance
  • Pension system different, didn’t research much but I get the impression employer contributions are generally lower, but the system is much more flexible, more interesting possibilities for financial engineering, more competition among providers than in Switzerland
  • Pay scale is much different, while 150-200k is the top of the market in Switzerland (with few exceptions paying even more), it’s merely O.K. in SFO, and the higher end goes much higher there

Feel free to mention other stuff I missed


Great info, thanks!

anybody has more on the swiss area?

Well, in IT in Zurich avarage junior probably earn less than 100k, few years of experience should place you between 100k-120k, as a senior you can count on 120k-140k. Above 140k is more nuanced as it depends a lot on the company and your experiences.

PS. In programming options are much better than in operations. Basically on average salaries are 10k lower.

There is also a markup on SAP related stuff, I would say around at least 20k for comparable other IT roles.

For example system admin vs SAP Admin, Java Developer vs ABAP etc

I only halfway agree with the “programming is better than operations”. It’s depending on the area of operations. At least in the SAP area, the salaries are also good in operations.

Also, you can code in SAP (ABAP or JAVA). It’s a lot better paid than a plain JAVA programmer. 140k as an inhouse consultant (e.g. for Business Warehouse) are normal.

But it takes time to get to a decent level (2-3 years). Also, you might need to attend courses from SAP, which are quite expensive (but usually paid by your employer).
It’s really hard to find good people in the SAP area in Switzerland, so the salaries are quite high.

@FIREstarter, could you educate me on a basic lvl? is it like SAP is Java based, and learning it & doing some certificates from SAP i could go coding for some SAP-partner company?

SAP is either ABAP or JAVA based. 10 years ago, there was much hype regarding JAVA. Hence SAP thought: “cool, we’ll have plenty of coders available then. Let’s go for this JAVA stuff”.

Nowadays, JAVA is still used, but most of the development is still being done in ABAP. Additionally, if you know how to code for UI5, that’s a plus. Most of the SAP code is still ABAP-based, as far as I can judge (I’m not doing programming in SAP, but operations).

Theoretically, you can do some certifications from SAP and then apply at a company which is using SAP or a SAP-partner company. Still, to be able to pass the exams, you’ll need some practical experience as well. It’s not just theory.

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In order to get into SAP you can start as a Java programmer in consulting companies that specialize in SAP. There is quite a few in ZH and BE. They are willing to train people as well as long as they are young and cheap.

I myself went that route but then went back to the “sane” IT world because SAP projects absolutely suck in my opinion.


If you’re really interested in big money, just become a senior programmer at Google or Credit Suisse or perhaps other big bank. I know people with few years of experience who earn 170-200k and they’re working with a way less boring tech stacks than SAP.

yes but getting into SAP is actually easier when you are not a coding god :wink:

edit: one of the reasons why working with SAP is actually so terrible

i consider it far-fetched to think of me as a sleeping coding-god, but who knows :wink:

what kind of stuff do they do as progammers @bigbank? any typically used tools/ languages, or…?

It depends on the environment. Probably Java, Jax-RS and Angular if they have a modern stack. I dont think React is very widespread adopted yet.
Some still do JEE with JSF or some arcane self made framework. This is actually quite common.

I would imagine they have a ton of indian contractors that wrecked havoc on many applications as well.

I noticed that when you look for certain technologies, sometimes job offers from banks also come up. I found some interesting toolstack at Julius Bär last time I checked. I was kind of surprised, I expected them to be more conservative in their tool choices.

By the way is anyone on this forum working at Glencore by any chance?