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Most prestigious job/company in high-tech

jmkahnjmkahn Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
edited July 2011 in Engineering Majors
I was wondering if there are companies in high-tech that are perceived by social masses to be of the same prestige as KKR/goldman sachs/warburg pincus are to the finance world or Bain/BCG are to the management consulting world.

There are some high-tech companies everybody has heard of - intel, yahoo, IBM. However, unlike finance world where some brand names are correleted with power and prestige, I, having had multiple years of experience in high-tech, still have not seen similar correlative effect in high-tech. There exist numerous small companies that are virtually unknown to anyone who is not fully immersed in high-tech world, but are highly regarded and have the prestige factor (if you can define such a factor for high-tech) by people in high-tech community.

What do people here think - is there something as desirable/prestigious/selective in high-tech industry as KKR/top-tier VCs/GS are in finance?
Post edited by jmkahn on

Replies to: Most prestigious job/company in high-tech

  • johannes1430johannes1430 Registered User Posts: 299 Junior Member
  • cosmicfishcosmicfish Registered User Posts: 4,213 Senior Member
    I do not think so, and here is why - everyone in the financial sector is essentially doing the same thing. That whole industry is essentially selling the same batch of services, which makes comparison between them relatively easy. Further, that product is one that is universally understood (well, a little) and in demand.

    Compare that to the tech industry, where comparatively few companies are making any given product, and many of those products are marketed to very restricted groups. Public prestige only happens in those few areas where the market is relatively large and consumer-driven, like the automotive industry - companies that market to governments or corporations are never going even going to be really known to the public (how many people on the street have heard of Johnson Controls?), and companies that only have one or two competitors are going to be too hard to distinguish from each other as anything other than a matter of personal preference.
  • compscifancompscifan Registered User Posts: 850 Member
    @jmkahn: An IIT grad !!!

    And yes Google and Apple are amongst the most desirable/prestigious/selective corporations.
  • TippuSultanTippuSultan - Posts: 3,174 Senior Member
    IMHO, most prestigious/rewarding place to work for is one's own start-up.
  • ken285ken285 Registered User Posts: 3,919 Senior Member
    I actually don't know what KKR and Warburg Pincus are and what they do. Does the random person off the street really know what or who they are?

    Funny... I actually do know of Johnson Controls, but only because they are one of my contractors on my project.

    What I'm wondering is why the prestige in the eyes of the masses is important?
  • GLOBALTRAVELERGLOBALTRAVELER Registered User Posts: 2,886 Senior Member
    What I'm wondering is why the prestige in the eyes of the masses is important?

    I wonder the same thing. I rather bill the government $80 to $100/hour and could care less about some damn "prestige".
  • jmkahnjmkahn Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Apple, yes, is well respected even outside of hitech and is known for its creativity and innovative influence. I have talked with some people with business management and mba backgrounds, and I got the impression, that they thought that you have to be close to some genius to be working at Apple; so clearly they regarded Apple very highly for reasons that are clearly shaped by society's perception of apple as a company.

    Other names can be Microsoft/Google: People think very highly of them possibly due to their very selective hiring and also due to their business influence.
  • sakkysakky - Posts: 14,759 Senior Member
    What I'm wondering is why the prestige in the eyes of the masses is important?
    I wonder the same thing. I rather bill the government $80 to $100/hour and could care less about some damn "prestige".

    Whether we like it or not, we are all social creatures and we all crave the social approval of our fellow human beings. As an extreme example, this is why more women don't become strippers and porn stars even though they would clearly far more money doing so than in working a regular job, probably by several multiples. As well-paying as those jobs are, they are socially stigmatized. By the same logic, let's be perfectly honest, the real reason why people buy luxury cars is to signal their social status. (If all you care about is a reliable ride from point A to point B, just buy a regular Accord, so why do I always see myriad BMW's, Benz's, Audi's, and Caddy's on the road?)

    And besides, there's an economically rational reason for desiring prestigious employers, and indeed is analogous to the reasoning for choosing prestigious schools. Most obviously, the exit opportunities may be superior - having a 'name-brand' employer on your resume will signal to future employers that, if nothing else, at least you were good enough to have been hired by that name-brand employer. Indeed, this is precisely one of the main selling points that top strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey and BCG leverage to attract top college graduates; while new hires are unlikely to work for the firm for no more than a few years, the brand of the firm can be used to open doors. Similarly, a few years ago, listing a firm such as Microsoft or Oracle, or nowadays Google, Apple, or (especially) Facebook, on your resume signals to the market that you are probably a top-flight employee.

    The second major reason - and again akin to why people choose prestigious colleges - is the superior networking. I believe Businessweek once published an article regarding the multitudes of successful startups founded by the 'ex-Google-employee' diaspora. Prestigious companies can serve as focal points for meeting high-talent people.

    Hence, even if you don't care about prestige, then whether you like it or not, other people do care. And those other people may have something that you will want in the future, whether that's a job offer or a business contact.
  • Inmotion12Inmotion12 Registered User Posts: 1,042 Senior Member
    "You must contrive for your future rulers another and a better life than that of a ruler, and then you may have a well-ordered State; for only in the State which offers this, will they rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are the true blessings of life."
  • onecircuitonecircuit - Posts: 637 Member
    I wonder the same thing. I rather bill the government $80 to $100/hour and could care less about some damn "prestige".

    GLOBALTRAVELER, I think that you are missing the point again. KKR and Warburg Pincus are not only prestigious, but they offer tremendously exciting work (the kind that you look forward to getting up in the morning to go to work) and allow you to potentially make a little more than $80-$100/hr - probably closer to $5-$20 million/yr.
  • ken285ken285 Registered User Posts: 3,919 Senior Member
    I would agree that the more prestigious companies do tend to offer the more exciting and challenging work in any field. These companies are well known to those working in those particular fields, but I would question if they are "prestigious" to the average person.
  • Inmotion12Inmotion12 Registered User Posts: 1,042 Senior Member
    onecircuit, you have a very fanciful notion of what it's like to work in high finance. Many people would not enjoy working in PE, HF, IB, or VC, while others would. In many of those firms the stress, deadlines, pressure, hours, and work environment are very tough on people. And you are aware of the law of diminishing marginal utility right? It's a law that explains why as income continues to increase, the life satisfaction curve reaches an apex and becomes linear. The greater the supply of one's own wealth, the less satisfaction each dollar brings, until each additional dollar brings no additional satisfaction.
  • BanjoHitterBanjoHitter Registered User Posts: 1,497 Senior Member
    Bain/BCG are to the management consulting world.

    Bain and BCG are by no means the most prestigious company in the management consulting world. Excite -
  • GLOBALTRAVELERGLOBALTRAVELER Registered User Posts: 2,886 Senior Member
    I am quite familiar with the high finance career option for engineers. Here is the catch....it is a very small niche industry. Frankly, I don't know why it is mentioned so much when 90% of the engineering grads cannot even get into the industry to begin with. Just to get into high finance requires:
    - Graduation from a top 10 school
    - A 3.999999999 GPA
    - A whole bunch of extra-curricular activities
    - By the way, you need leadership roles in the activities
    - A bunch of recommendations from networking
    - Rounds and rounds of interviews...basically 100,000 kids trying for the same 500 jobs.

    That is just to get IN the industry...let alone what Immotion12 posted as far as the work involved.

    As far as the money....the $5 million that was mentioned, that is for the top VP's. There is a separate IB thread on here and it posted the salaries of the entry level high-finance workers. The ones working the long hours like Immotion mentioned and there salaries were not much more than engineers (if it was higher). I asked a question about the non-VP salaries and was told like Sakky said about the goal was the exit benefits.

    While I understand the exit benefits, those benefits are dependent on how outstanding you are. When you add in outstanding schools, outstanding GPA, outstanding IB worker to become a VP and outstanding VP to get the REAL money in high-finance, that is sure a lot of "outstandings" for a very small niche industry.
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