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Salaries for new grads - East Coast & West Coast

Hi,

What are the salaries for Grads in MS - Comp. Sci./ Comp. Engg. with 0-1 years experience, in the East Coast( Wall Street Firms) and in the West Coast(Microsoft)?

thanks,

Prakash S
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Even though you are concerned with the coasts, I thought I would chip in on the Midwest.  The average here is probably 45-50K for a new grad. 

Matt Watson
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

<B>I thought I would chip in on the Midwest. The average here is probably 45-50K for a new grad. </B>

You have _GOT_ to be talking about Chicago, maybe Detroit, right?

I'd say more like 35K for the mid-sized metropolitans in my area:  St. Joeseph, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Holland, Lansing, Indianapolis, South Bend.

There are a lot of companies around here that pay in the 26-30K range the first year - then, after you're trained, you can make some money. :-)

Of course, if you went to MIT or Carnegie-Mellon and have a 3.8+ GPA, I'm guessing you -could- make toward the 40K+ range to start in this area.

just my $0.02 ...

Matt H.
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

My experience has been closer to Matt's.  During the boom kids would come out & make 45K no problem.  Now I see jobs advertised for 35K - 45K and they want several years of experience!

the cluetrain
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I got out of school and in 2001 and got only 2 offers.  Both were 50k+ in Ohio.  I also went to school here at a respectable but by no means IVY League school.

Matt Watson
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

When I got out of school in '99, wanting to stay in my native Pittsburgh area, I only got offers ranging from 20-30K in that region, but had offers of 44K in northern Indiana & 41K in the Chicago area.

A friend of mine in Chicago says his company is hiring new grads at 30-35K these days.

van pelt
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

It's one of those corrolarys to Murphy's Law.  You will get the highest offers from the places that are furtherest from where you want to work.

If you want to work in the south, you will get extremely lowball offers from companys located there and the highest offers from those located in the arctic circle (Minnesota).

If you want to work in the north, you will get the highest offers from firms located in the rain forests (Georgia).

Apparantly, companys are impressed by people that are far away.

Steve Barbour
Tuesday, August 06, 2002


Check out Salary.com. It has a lot of salary data. It seems pretty accurate, but maybe a bit higher than reality.

http://www.salary.com

Zwarm Monkey
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

i'm in  college.  I'm making 65k, but I can only work full time during summer and part time during college. (unless someone offers me a dotcom salary :-D )

Vincent Marquez
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Is there a difference in salary for a fresh MS graduates as opposed to BS fresh graduates?
I think Prakash wants to know about MS graduates and you guys are talking about BS graduates.
van pelt, would you be willing tell me about the company hiring in Chicago?  I am a fresh MS graduate and live near Chicago :)

Fresh MS Graduate
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

In my case there would be no difference between an MS or a BS.  You are paid based on how much you contribute, not what your degree is.  An MS would probably matter more to a blue-chip company, but not here on main street USA.  The highest paid programmer we have didn't even go to college.

show me the money
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

What are these jobs? Programming, unix, dba, ...?

Jason S.
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Last year I work as developer in Papua New Guinea for US$ 3000 a month after tax, housing (fully equipped) and car provided. Of course you have to endure minimum entertainment and unsafe environment.

morea
Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Java Pro mag had an article a couple of months ago that the average salary for a Java programmer in the US is $90,000 USD. This is for experienced developers, if I remember correctly.

It seems the more boring the work (J2EE grunt coding) the more you get. Odd.

CompSci Student
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

>Is there a difference in salary for a fresh
>MS graduates as opposed to BS fresh
>graduates?

On second thought, most of these questions are silly. 

California, for example, has about a 60% cost of living difference over texas.  CA Developers have to be paid to compensate for this difference.

It's been my experience that, in general, job offers tend to be "what you made before, plus a little bit", unless they really want you, in case it's "what you made before, plus a lot."

So, the best way to make money is to take a job in CA for 2 years, then move to wherever you want to really work. :-)

That said ...

If you are smart enough to get all your cards punched (internship, impressive schools like MIT, Carnegie-Mellon, Johns Hopkins, 4.0, professional work during the summer, etc.) - and willing to move around, then I'd say you could make $70K+ out of Grad School, more if you start out in a MGT or Sr. Coder position.

HOWEVER, if all you want to do is make money, got get a job at a community college (typical teaching course load is 8 classes a year, with 2 semesters of 4 classes.)

After the first year, and you have cirricula, make sure your college allows you to over-clock your course load, or move to a college that allows this.  Teach 8 classes a semester, plus 2 to 4 in the summer.  Don't do any research or comittee work.  Use your office hours to grade courses.

Blammo.  Now you're making six figures.

Conclusion:  Money is important, but  it's not the only thing. :-)


regards,

Matt H.
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

"Conclusion: Money is important, but it's not the only thing. :-)" - Matt H.

I agree Matt, or you could go with good ol' Maslow who felt that Money was not a motivating factor in the workplace.  Only high priced management types will buy into that crap. 

Matt Watson
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

>>>It seems the more boring the work (J2EE grunt coding) the more you get. Odd. <<<

Yes. That is my experience. I have contracted on the dullest projects imaginable and have been compensated quite well.

Jason S.
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

>Conclusion: Money is important, but it's not the only >thing. :-)- Matt H.
Tell that to the people who have been unemployed for months and also have thousands in credit card bills :)

Fresh MS Graduate
Wednesday, August 07, 2002

>Tell that to the people who have been
>unemployed for months and also have
>thousands in credit card bills :)

Ok.  I'll try again:  Money is important, but it's not the only thing.  Is that better?  (How do you work BOLD face into this forum, anyway?  lessthan-b-greaterthan doesn't seem to work.)

I'll give an example:

A person has little "real" experience, and family around Boston.  Graduates from MIT with an MS in CS, with three offers:

1) $60K/year in Boston Area,
2) $90K/year in Texas Area,
3) $100K/year + possible bonus in CA Area

Which job should he take?

Answer:  IT DEPENDS.

Is he married (with her family from boston too?)?  Are they expecting children?  Is he going to need a baby-sitter or support network on short notice?  Or anytime in the next 5 years?

Any answer of "yes" above might be an indication that the boston job is the best.  And 60K/year should be enough to get your bills paid off.

If the 60K/year job is very-low-pressure and the 100K/year job is high pressure, 80-hours-a-week work, it might be possible to teach at a local community college at night, work similar hours, and end up with a total compensation package that's similar, but a better quality of life.

This is a big part of why SAS is starting too look more attractive to me than Microsoft.

In other news - instead of not working an getting an MS full-time, why not get the MS at night and get an employer to pay for it?  That's what i'm doing ... it's kinda hard on the family, but I think it's for the best.

regards,



If the answer to anything

Matt H.
Thursday, August 08, 2002

nice observations Matt.

Prakash S
Thursday, August 08, 2002

Matt's.

Prakash S
Thursday, August 08, 2002

> Apparantly, companys are impressed by people that are far away

No, it's called cost of living.  If you live in Alabama, with a $50k house, don't expect the same salary as in a city where an studio apartment costs you $2500.

Bella
Thursday, August 08, 2002

> >>>It seems the more boring the work (J2EE grunt coding) the more you get. Odd. <<<


Ha, isn't the point of all the J2EE APIs to REDUCE grunt coding?  Focus on business rules, blah blah blah...

Bella
Thursday, August 08, 2002

> An MS would probably matter more to a blue-chip company, but not here on main street USA. The highest paid programmer we have didn't even go to college.

Yes.  In technology, skills talk, degrees walk.

Bella
Thursday, August 08, 2002

"California, for example, has about a 60% cost of living difference over texas. CA Developers have to be paid to compensate for this difference."

This is not entirely correct.

I recently considered a move to Dallas (I work in Santa Barbara, CA - a very expensive place).

In the course of searching for jobs, contacting recruiters and talking to employers, I discovered that jobs in the greater Dallas area pay roughly the same as jobs in this area.  But Dallas has a much lower CPI than the Santa Barbara or even Los Angeles area.

You see, many CA employers (especially the ones in coastal towns such as SB and San Diego) act as though simply BEING in CA is a benefit of some sort and frequently don't offer compensation that's completely commensurate with the local consumer price index.

That's why people live in Lompoc and drive an hour to work in Santa Barbara.  That's why people live in Fresno and drive to work in the Bay Area.  That's why people live out in the high desert and drive into Los Angeles to work.

Make no mistake, CA employers by and large do not fully adjust compensation for the high standard of living.  Certainly, the wages are somewhat adjusted, but in all honesty most jobs you work in CA can be found in any other large city/state at a rate of pay that would comparatively put you ahead.

Norrick
Thursday, August 08, 2002

I agree.  It's much better of being in the boonies and making a lower salary.  You may make 30% less, but have a mortgage that is 70% less, and property taxes that are half.  If I had no friends in my overpriced suburban area, I'd move to Antarctica..

Bella
Thursday, August 08, 2002

Careful Norrick,

Dallas area isn't THAT cheap.  If you look for a job in the "Dallas area", you'll probably more preciesly be looking for work in the Plano area which is the nice part of town.  You probably will have no desire to live in Dallas itself.

And while I have no doubt that those prices are cheaper than Santa Barbara ( YEEEKS! ), they aren't really that cheap.  Or not as cheap as I thought they'd be until a friend of mine moved out there.  Same thing goes for areas like Denver and Atlanta.  Yeah, they're cheaper than the Bay Area, but they aren't as cheap as you'd think (or at least as cheap as I'd thought ).  Heck they aren't really cheap at all.

I do agree about employe compensation for Cali though.  It's salary is definitely not completely adjusted for the true cost of living.  I imagine that must be expecially true for living in a place like Santa Barbara, which is within sneazing distance of Bay Area insanity.

BTW, all of my viewpoints come from renting.  If you were to buy a house, then I'm sure the CPI is much more accurate and the gap is much wider.

Crimson
Thursday, August 08, 2002

Spending a large percentage of your income on a mortgage is not necessarily bad. It forces you to save loads of money every month. People in California are used to this. Just don't rent.

Don't be too simplistic in comparing housing costs. For me, being able to go outside in the sunshine and walk to nice places with lots of things to do, that's much more fun than living in a boxy air conditioned mansion tract home thing in the desert and watching Friends every night on a 6' TV.

Matt S.
Thursday, August 08, 2002

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