For Ambitious Grads, investment banking and management consulting represent careers that provide opportunities to earn a lot of money right out of school, often with only a bachelor’s degree.
Investment banking and management consulting are like Quinoa and Guacamole (made with avocados). They both attract the elite, they both pay well, and they both involve some serious time commitments / academic achievements. So… which is right career for you?
Do You Want Higher Pay? Choose Banking
The average starting salary range for 1st year consultants ranges from $65,000-$100,000. (This depends on the company you will be working for, and the region of the country.)
Compensation at most of these banks are on a base salary plus a bonus structure. The base pay ranges from $80,000 per year, but assuming an employee gets all of their bonuses, they can expect to make closer to $150,000 in the 1st year.
A note of caution: Once you hit MD-level in an investment bank, compensation starts to plateau; but in consulting the trend is upwards. If you play a long game in consulting, you’re likely to come out on top of the bankers.
Are You Looking for Job Security? Choose Consulting
The odds of having a 15-20 year career in consulting is much greater than having a career in banking for 15-20 years. In recent research it shows that the number of bodies in consulting just seems to rise; whereas in banking, almost all banks are under pressure to cut costs and people over the years. In the 5 years following 2008, American banks have cut 400,000 jobs according to the U.S. census.
Want a $100K+ job in i-banking or tech?
Check out: “The Ultimate Guide to Wall Street & Silicon Valley Careers” with all you need to know about getting and keeping one of these jobs.