I'm approaching 20 years in IT/Engineering. I do love it with a passion, but I realize the chances of hitting the level of pay I want aren't in the cards for me. I've grown professionally to demand a high salary, but in relation to my business contacts that work at brokerage firms, my annual salary though competitive, is dwarfed by such huge bonus structures offered to traders. I've started thumbing through Series 7 study guides and I'm seriously contemplating diving into trading and making myself marketable for work at a proper firm. I'm fairly young, in my mid 30s and I have no serious obligations. If anyone has any background in trading or has made a similar career transition I'd love to hear about it.
career change for more money
Going from one field to a COMPLETELY different field for the sake of money is usually a bad idea. You'll end up right back where you started only you'll be even lower on the ladder because you took a few years off. You wrote that you love IT. What you should be doing is trying to figure out where the money is in your industry and looking for promotions. Comparing yourself to someone who's not even close to being in your field is a bad idea.
Completely agree with VinnyMac. I live in the area known as "Silicon Valley of the East," and it's a common complaint amongst the techies being underpaid. In my neighborhood, I would rough estimate it around 1/2 of my neighbors are in the IT security or engineering field. A few are venturing out to start their own business. A possible option, I'm not sure where you are located, is to contract yourself out, you receive no benefits, but the hourly with overtime can be a sweet deal if you're out for the $$$. I would not sacrifice the experience you have already attained though, especially if you love your work.
If you try to learn how to trade / become a broker, you may (1) not be good at it if your skills are geared towards IT work and/or (2) hate it. If you're doing something to make more money, it sounds like you don't really have a passion for it like you do for your work now. Keep in mind that people who make a lot of money as brokers are probably great brokers and really think about whether you'd be great in a new field where you have limited experience.
There is no reason you can't have a series 7 license and continue with your current profession. Trade on paper for a few months and see how good you are. Another aspect of trading is selling. I'd advise doing some volunteer cold calling for whatever you think is a good cause and see how you like it. Some people absolutely hate it and usually those people are not very effective at it. Treat it as a hobby for a while and see if you want to get in full-time. Nothing to lose. Just my two cents.
+1 TO THAT! Selling is what keeps people out of a lot of jobs and advanced positions. If you're comfortable and effective at info-leveraging in sales and negotiation, you can go far in any field, including IT.
Thanks for the insight. I'll definitely stay with IT while preparing for Series 7 exam. IT pays the bills now and I still have a passion for it. There are some aspects of it that are enjoyable and there is some minutia that gets frustrating. I was actually consulting on a IT project for a hedgefund company that gave me some exposure to the trading floor and befriending some finance guys... So through those relationships the thought of transferring seemed appealing.
You're getting some good advice here. Try out the Series 7 , talk to brokers and see if you'd like a high-powered sales environment. I don't see anything wrong with changing careers for money; lots of people leave teaching, nursing and other fields for just that reason.
My only addition would be to consider several alternatives, not just one. For instance, you could check out options for online marketing and internet marketing, with your IT background.