Here are two great reasons to consider a finance job in technology (as opposed to one in banking, private equity, or venture capital):
(1) This year, Harvard Business School admitted significantly fewer applicants with banking, PE, or VC experience than last year, while admitting markedly more applicants with tech and manufacturing experience. Which means that, if you're looking to get your MBA somewhere down the line, a job in technology (or manufacturing), as opposed to one on Wall Street, might now be your ticket to a top-tier business school.
(2) Many of the fastest-growing tech firms in the world will be going public in the next 12 months: Facebook's highly anticipated IPO will likely drop sometime in the first quarter of 2012 (and it's looking like Zuckerberg & Co. will get their $100 billion-plus valuation); Groupon's IPO will be unveiled this year (which will make CEO Andrew Mason, pictured above, a very happy dude); and Zynga, the social network game developer behind Mafia Wars and FarmVille, will also be going public soon. Which means that if you can get on the payroll of one of these firms, and score some stock as part of your compensation, you will have a darn good shot at reaping some big benefit$ when your (future) employer goes public and its share price skyrockets.
To that end, all of these above firms, as well as others in the high-tech space, are now hiring entry-level and experienced finance professionals (and many slots require experience in banking).
Facebook, for example, is currently looking for finance professionals for these posts: Business Operations Associate; Business Operations Associate (Dublin); Business Operations Associate - Payments & Risk; Director, Accounting; Director, Business Operations (Global Direct Sales); Director, Global Supplier Management; Financial Analyst - Information Technology; Manager, Accounting Operations; and Revenue Accounting and Operations Manager. Perhaps the most traditional finance job of the bunch is the financial analyst - information technology position; its requirements include a "B.S. in finance or accounting, or equivalent, from a leading undergraduate institution and a top academic performer"; and "5 years financial analysis experience from a leading public accounting, investment bank, consulting, Fortune 500 or high growth firm."
Groupon, meanwhile, has these open finance positions: International Tax Director, Junior Analyst, Senior Analyst, and Technology Finance Manager. The senior analyst position would be ideal for a second-year Wall Street analyst looking for experience outside of banking; it requires a "bachelor's degree," "2+ years in a consulting or banking background," and "2+ years designing, developing and interpreting statistical and descriptive analysis/models." The most senior position of the four mentioned is technology finance manager, whose requirements include "a bachelor's degree in finance/accounting or related field;" "a masters degree, MBA, and/or a CPA a plus"; "8+ years business related technology & finance experience"; and "5+ years managing and developing staff."
Zynga has these finance and accounting positions available: Senior Financial Analyst, Studio Finance; Senior Accountant (GL); Senior Accountant, M&A Integration; and Fixed Assets/General Ledger Manager. The most traditional finance gig of these is the senior financial analyst post; it's based out of San Francisco and its requirements include "3-5 years in a financial planning or financial analysis role"; "world class analytical and modeling skills"; and "SQL, SQL server, Access, VBA, Advanced Excel and PowerPoint."
Perhaps the tech firm with the most finance jobs available (largely because it's the largest of the most desirable firms in the space) is Google. The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm is currently looking for more than 60 finance-related spots. Here are a few of the more interesting: (1) Business Intelligence Analyst, OpEx Planning and Reporting (preferred requirements include a "BA/BS degree with a strong academic record or equivalent in a numerate discipline"; "demonstrated experience and strong track record in project delivery/process re-engineering in a demanding business environment"; and "experience with financial planning, expense management and reporting"); (2) Financial Analyst, Content Acquisitions ("BA/BS degree preferred in technical or business fields with an excellent academic record"; "recent MBA or graduate technical degree a plus"; and "at least 3 years of relevant experience in management consulting, finance, corporate strategy or similar environment"); and (3) Senior Financial Analyst, Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis ("bachelor’s degree in finance with strong academic achievement is preferred"; "at least 5 years of experience in financial analysis and forecasting"; and "in-depth experience with financial statement analysis and working knowledge of corporate finance concepts").
(FINS: Hiring at Google, Jefferies and a Coalition of Big Wall Street Banks)
(Related: HBS Class of '13: More Women, Fewer Bankers; LinkedIn, Groupon and Facebook: The Great American Social Media IPOs)