Any struggling millennials desperate to escape a cycle of poor wages and crippling student debt (unemployed digital journalists, we’re looking at you) take note: Citigroup’s investment banking unit is joining the ranks of financial firms hiring thousands of coders as the ranks of equity analysts and other traditional i-banking jobs continue to thin.
Citi’s decision follows an August report that rival Goldman Sachs would shun its traditional MBA hires in lieu of an army of coders, signalling a profound shift away from hiring mostly business school graduates (who are now irrelevant in a world in which fundamental analysis is no longer meaningful), to hiring computer geeks, math PhD and others whose only contribution is making an existing tech process more efficient (read: faster frontrunning, replacing humans with algos, etc).
According to Bloomberg, Citigroup is planning to hire 2,500 programmers this year to join its investment banking unit, the latest stop in a trend of hiring more data scientists and computer experts as Wall Street struggles to fend off the onslaught of technology firms trying to force their way into traditional financial services businesses (if you need to be reminded of the stakes here, take a look at what Quicken Loans has accomplished with its popular “Rocket Mortgage” product).
Banks are also struggling to find savings anywhere they can (even among the ranks of senior management, as State Street showed us this time last year) using automation, AI and machine-learning. Citi has already used its tech workforce to automate news, analytics, pricing and trade ideas, using material gleaned from exchanges between employees and clients.