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Old 12-21-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
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Default Is it a good idea? Calling all Engineeers and Software guys!

Ok this really doesn't relate to brewing, well I guess it could if you think I can't brew unless I get a paycheck. I just graduated last Friday from Penn State with a degree in software engineering with a 3.3 GPA. I plan on going for my masters as soon as I get a full time job. No reason to add more debt without an income.

My problem is I received an offer for 41k a year, benefits, and 2 weeks vaca. I'm new to the market so I don't know if this is standard but it seems low from what I have read online. The company is fairly new, but a software company where I would gain A LOT of experience. I tried to talk some more out of them but they would not budge. They also want an answer by today after they made the offer only yesterday. They said they want me to start the first week of Jan so that is the reason for the rush. I just want to make sure I am not being taken advantage of because I am new.

What do you guys think?
(Once again I know its not about brewing, but I've come to trust people on this forum and respect the knowledge they have. That is the reason for putting it on here)

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Old 12-21-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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41k isn't terrible to start but that really depends on your area and cost of living I guess. Even if it is low for the profession I would take it personally. The job market is looking pretty bleak and you are coming right out of school. If it has decent benefits package and they are willing to reevaluate you in a reasonable amount of time (3-6 months) it sounds like a good deal. Worse case you work for them for a year or two and take that "LOT of experience" with you to another company.

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:14 PM   #3
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In this economy I would take it. Turn it down and you might be looking for another 8 months. Hard to say. You can always take it and if it's not your thing then in 6-12 months start looking for something else.

Not sure what the going entry level rate is these days. But if you are good, get your foot in the door and then if you perform you will get promoted / raises.

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:19 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I just want to make sure that I am not getting some huge low end or something. The company is fairly new about 1 year old. With this job I would be working with a handful of senior levels and actually diving into code and working on new stuff. Languages are Asp.net, c#, SQL, and some others. They mentioned they have something in place to pay for my masters as well ( I told them when I was being interviewed I wanted to go for it).

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:07 PM   #5
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As mentioned, the pay could be extremely low, high, or just right depending on the cost of living where you are. Where I am, that's roughly where I started two years ago, and it has afforded me the ability to live beyond comfortably. Its not the salary I was hoping for when I started college, however I'm also not doing what I thought I'd be doing when I started college either. Instead of working in a software engineering/development field, I get to tell all of the software engineer/developers that their code is broken (QA Analyst).

You might want to get clarification as to what they mean about "something in place to pay for [your] masters". It might just be a hook to get you landed, or it could be something pretty amazing. Knowing what my girlfriend is paying for grad school, if her employer was paying that, it'd be dang near half that salary (again, depends on school, location, etc.).

Also as mentioned, you can always take the job, and if you find something better move on. "Something better" isn't always easy to quantify though - so keep that in mind.

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:12 PM   #6
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As long as you don't have to move far away for the position, then there is not much harm in taking it. You can always use it to resume-build and switch employment if a better oppurtunity comes up.

I have friends that are in software and are having a hard time finding work. I am in a different sort of engineering, but I think everywhere is hurting to some degree.

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:29 PM   #7
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Ok.. so I happen to have a LOT more experience with this than with brewing... I happen to be a software development manager and I can say with certainty that you should take it. It is a low number but it is a start. In a few years you will have gained the right experience to add significantly to that number if you make sure your skill set grows and matches what the market is looking for and are willing to go looking. Your value in the market will jump a lot after 5 years experience.

If they are willing to pay for your Masters degree this makes up for a lot of salary... and is a good indication that they will take care of the $'s over time.

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:49 PM   #8
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I would ask more about them paying for your masters. This isnt uncommon for businesses to do, but there is often a catch. If they are paying for your masters they expect you to stick around for a certain amount of time, otherwise you have to pay them back. Make sure you check the fine print with them.

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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If the experience you can gain is really good, it's a no-brainer. Take the job.

I started out from college with an EET Degree making like 30k/year (14 years ago). That was low for the industry standard. But I learned every aspect of controls engineering while there - quotes, design, drawings, programming, panel build, instrumentation, startup, documentation and anything else I forgot to mention. Most of my friends were working in jobs where they only were learning a few of these things - or if in a different field they were only learning parts of their process.

I worked there for 4 years, built up a good resume, found a job paying a LOT more money and told the old company goodbye.

Just be smart with your money. I see a lot of guys newly out of school buying new cars and lots of expensive toys. Get yourself a few things, but save that money and buy the fancy things later when you get the big paycheck.

And let us know how things go.....

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Old 12-21-2010, 01:55 PM   #10
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Once again thanks for all the info everyone. I just felt like 41k was the low end of the stick. I asked about paying for a masters and the guy said that he had to speak with the financial manager. He said he knows they have something but not sure and the financial manager was already out of the office. Should hear about that today

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