Assuming you are smart enough to do both (I know big assumption), are you better off being a SWE/data scientist at FAANG or equivalent level at MBB (based on YOE) from a compensation:WLB ratio?

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SWE hands down

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Data scientists are compensated at minimum on par with software. Both are generally compensated (initially) much higher than MBB.

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All else equal, FAANG pays more for fewer hours. I would argue you need to consider CoL as well. Many of the high paying FAANG jobs are in high CoL areas, whereas MBB pay is standard across the US. $165k in Houston goes further than $200k in San Francisco. It also matters if you want to live in a place like Houston or a place like SF.

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I live in SF - skiing, surfing, Wine country, Silicon Valley, nob hill, the mission, the marina, Berkeley, better views, weather and Houston has... suburban sprawl? Homeless drug addicts in the tenderloin/soma, but nobody is telling you to live in those neighborhoods. No state income tax in Texas but I’d take San Antonio, dallas, and Austin all long before I tried Houston

SWE for sure, but in my experience most people end up choosing the second option (MBB) when they have the choice

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SWE at Big Tech, hands down. Friend of mine's son is a E6 SWE 5 years out of grad school at FB in SF and is on track for ~$600 TC this year and normally works well fewer than 50 hours per week.

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Newbie here, what's SWE?

Thanks!

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