back to article Reg careers live chat: Upgrade or go home with Dominic Connor

Are you looking to switch jobs, skill-up or go back to college? Have a browse of The Register’s Careers’ Live Chat now. City headhunter and Reg contributor Dominic Connor and the Reg’s group editor Joe Fay hosted an hour's worth of career-enhancing discussion to help your next steps. We threw open the doors at 1.30pm to allow …

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Pint

Is this a trick question?

Upgrade or go home with Dominic Connor? Tell you what, I'll upgrade and you can go home with Dominic Connor. Beer, because yours has been spiked.

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Go

Perhaps we will find new ways to motivate them

Finish the space station faster or go home with Dominic Connor!

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Happy

Re: Is this a trick question?

Yes, "downgrade and go home with him twice" is the alternative I believe?

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Anonymous Coward

Dominic has been *provoking* guiding Reg readers...for the last couple of years

With his masochistic acerbic sarcasm, its no wonder people are avoiding IT careers!

The US military is calling though. They have a placement for a Full Metal Jacket drill sergeant...

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Yes I have taught drill

As the AC says, I have indeed taught drill, albeit in the UK rather than the US, no one died.

I don't quite get the "masochistic" reference, I enjoy my work.

I fear there has been a mis-parsing of the title."upgrade or go home with Dominic Connor" term...

It is in fact (Upgrade or go home) with (Dominic Connor), no one is invited to my home, in fact I will be at a pension conference in Italy that day.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't quite get the "masochistic" reference...

"....I enjoy my work."

All Masochists do!

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Pint

Re: Yes I have taught drill

So help ourselves to the beers in the fridge until you get back?

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Alert

Re: Yes I have taught drill

There won't be any pensions, especially not in Italy.

There, I saved you going on that trip.

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Anonymous Coward

Finance vs Data Science Salaries

Rob here from the chat.

You said finance pays better than data science but is this really true? Perhaps its not realistic but I have the impression as a data science person straight out of academia there is the possibility of earning 6 figures USD in California for data science jobs. I haven't seen anything like that available in entry level UK finance positions - but perhaps I'm looking in the wrong places.

I am sure finance would get ahead long term with the extra risk factor (having sacrificed 10 years of earnings for academia I would definitely now consider myself on the risk averse side - but seeing it spelled out like that is very useful). My current plan is to try for one of the CA positions (I have dual UK /US citizenship) in an established data science group within a well known internet firm to build up some experience - with a view to heading back the UK or elsewhere in a few years for a more senior position, perhaps in a newer/smaller group. I am thinking of real-time bidding or healthcare analytics as potential long term growth areas either of which I would be keen to position myself in if the opportunity presented itself.

Thanks a lot for your time,

Rob

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Re: Finance vs Data Science Salaries

AC: On average finance pays better than most other things, all things being equal.

Straight out of academia people do get 6 figure $ salaries in both finance and non-finance Data Science.

I trust you are familiar with stochastic dominance ? well it's like that.

IT pay in the UK is considerably lower than in the US and particularly at the more skilled level, UK employers are simply not willing to pay more for better people, except in finance and not always then.

That's the core reason there isn't a UK IT industry as such.

Your plan looks fine by me.

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Missed this ...

... as I was too busy in my current job!

The questions I had were:

1. How important is (financial) product knowledge for developers? A lot of the job adds I see for working in finance are asking for product knowledge but I'm not sure how important that really is. My current experience is in FX (nice and simple) and OTC Derivatives (the complete opposite).

2. What's the best way to find good agents? I've mostly used those that have been recommended by colleagues in an attempt to avoid getting my CV spammed around, but that doesn't leave me with very many.

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Re: Missed this ...

@interested Party, it varies but the better jobs do want product knowledge, often around the Paul Wilmott Introduces Quant Finance level.

Meeting agents is a good way of getting a feel, but you're right the reputation of agents is not what it ought to be.

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Anonymous Coward

web presence

Thanks.

Another question that just occurred to me in case Dominic is still checking:

In your experience, how important would you say web presence (blog, github, stackoverflow) is? I have been planning to spend some serious time on this since I thought it could be a valuable way to show employers you are capable of producing coherent output etc. but does anyone actually spend the time to look over this stuff?

Robin

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Re: web presence

Web presence is marketing and getting a job is sales and they are basically different activities.

I got one very good contract from answering questions on a topic that I had deep knowledge of, but that was partly because I used my real name online and partly because people "joned the dots" of my contributions.

By that I mean they realised it was the same person saying the good stuff, but usually people don't connect the person who said useful thing A with B, so it's actually quite rare to get work this way.

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Devil

Breaking into senior management

Hi Dominic,

A question submitted too late in the live chat:

I'm an IT consultant (sorry), considering a move into industry. There's a particular bank I would very much like to work for, but they are not currently advertising any roles at the level I would like. Any advice on the best way to find a way in? I'm wondering about contracting in a more junior role for six months, but that could be dangerous if it establishes me at that grade in people's minds...

Appreciate any advice!

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