Friday, July 10, 2015
Why Engineers Wind Up Having Finance Careers
In the world of high finance, it takes a unique combination of skills to succeed. Business knowledge, dealing with a variety of people and a willingness to set a goal and work toward it are just some of the attributes most successful finance professionals bring to the office each and every day. However, what surprises many people familiar with Wall Street is the fact that more and more engineers are trading in their bridge building and product design jobs for careers dealing with stocks and bonds. While at first this may seem like an unnatural alliance, there are in fact many similarities between the two careers.
Attention to Detail
When it comes to paying attention to the slightest details, engineers are at the head of the class. Both careers place an extremely high priority on this skill, since one wrong calculation when building a bridge or executing a stock trade can prove disastrous on many levels. Along with attention to detail, engineers also have quantitative reasoning skills that can come into play when analyzing stocks and other options for clients.
Long Hours at the Office
For most engineers, a standard work week consists of a minimum of 50-60 hours or even more. While this may sound like a detriment, for those seeking a career on Wall Street it will work in their favor. Most investment bankers and other financial professionals work long hours, sometimes putting in 80-90 hours a week if necessary. With such a strong track record, engineers have proven they are more than capable of handling long hours and tight deadlines.
Engineers are also known for having excellent communication skills with a variety of clients. Very comfortable with making presentations to large groups or small ones, engineers are excellent at being able to explain complex details in terms the ordinary person can understand. This will be very beneficial when working with clients of various backgrounds, since some clients will be very familiar with the concepts of high finance and others will be relying on the expert advice of their Wall Street professional.
Both engineering careers and finance careers on Wall Street provide a number of challenges that allow these highly-motivated professionals to use their entire skillset to achieve excellent results. Whether building a new highway or examining the latest trends in the stock market, it's clear engineers have the right stuff to work on Wall Street.
Jonah Engler is a financial expert from New York City.