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Old 12-21-2010, 02:01 PM   #21
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To be honest, I would be skeptical to take it without some negotiating. Even in this market that's on the low end for an engineering job in the Northeast. A startup is not necessarily very stable either. Try to negotiate while playing the field, and don't just take the first offer you get. Coming out of school companies will give you all the time you need to make the best decision for you.

Hold that, just read your response again. I really don't like the major rush they are putting on you. That combined with the low salary would make me very uncomfortable thinking they are trying to prey on the vulnerable. Its up to you though to me, forcing a decision within a week of an offer and graduation is kind of sketchy. Talk to all your friends and be open with salaries and benefits on all their offers. Talk to the career center at your school and do some research on salary ranges.

Of course other factors come into play, mainly your view on relocating. If its helping you stay in a geographical area where you want to be then it could be worth it. Finding a job in a specific geographical area and your expertise is near impossible these days. Take it from an unemployed engineer herself.

Smart to wait to get a Master's until the company pays. One thing to look at is that they will then have a requirement to stay anywhere between 2-5 years after completion or else you will have to pay it back.

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Old 12-21-2010, 02:02 PM   #22
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Don't settle that low. Demand at least 45 or 50. I was in the EXACT same situation as you a year or two ago, and got screwed over PRETTY badly.

I wouldn't take that job unless:

1. you are really desperate
2. you think you can find another company to pay you more in a year from now (good luck)
3. you make an agreement with the company that they will give you a BIG raise after 90 days or a year.

you have a good degree and a good GPA. $40,000 isn't enough money to live on your own or start a family.

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Old 12-21-2010, 02:02 PM   #23
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Its in Blue Bell just north of Philly but I live in West Chester. So its about 40 min drive straight down 202. I think the last time I went on 76 was about a year ago. I have never seen traffic like that damn highway. I wouldn't even consider if I had to sit on that. One friend of mine thought he could brave it now he gets off work at 5pm and home by 8. Any GPS says its a 30 min drive for him

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Old 12-21-2010, 02:04 PM   #24
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check http://www.salary.com/ and put in your information (the free one is fine for what you are looking for). It will give you the ranges for the area and your experience. A lot of companies will pay for school, so that isn't a really big perk, but is nice if you are planning on doing it.

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Old 12-21-2010, 02:06 PM   #25
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JeepDiver I actually did that this morning it had me at 20%. See the thing I'm concerned about is that I am seeing stuff all over in different ranges so I really don't know what good and bad.

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Old 12-21-2010, 02:10 PM   #26
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Is the job an actual engineering position? I don't know what the national avg is for entry level engineers anymore. This certainly isn't the same economy I was hired into.

I started my engineering job before the economy took a nose dive, and was disappointed with a starting salary a lot higher than that. What a clueless idiot I was. I took the job of course, but little did I know, before I knew it my friends couldn't even find/keep a job. That really put things in perspective for me. I look back at that starting offer and think I'd have taken it for $15k less.

Take it; you're getting your foot in the door in a tough economy, and you & your career will be more valuable in a few years because you got good experience.

Oh, get that masters while you're young. Finish that degree before you start reproducing.

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Old 12-21-2010, 02:13 PM   #27
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Is it your only offer? If so, then you have an easy decision - take it. It's $41k more than you make now in your chosen profession. Next week or next month if you get a better offer, then you can take that one. That's generally not considered professional, but neither is 24hrs to accept an offer. Also, as others have mentioned, startups can go under overnight.

In my experience, startups often pay low...the upside being options/shares, normally after a year of work. You also get titles like "VP" or "xEO" if you have 2-3 direct reports, even though it doesn't fool many people.

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Old 12-21-2010, 02:13 PM   #28
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Also, do some hard thinking into what budget you can afford. You always need a bottom number. I know there are salaries that I just couldn't take and be able to sustain my bills (primarily student loans). I know most people are saying take any job you can get. But in engineering and specialties the first job you take sets the precedent for your career. Both in reputation and salary. Even though the first job may just be a stepping stone for experience future employers will judge you not just on your experience but also the reputation of the company (they figure the better the company the better qualified the person).

Also, nearly all job applications require the disclosure of your previous salary (stupid * required fields on applications) and I guarantee that hiring managers are only allowed to budge their offers within a certain percentage of your last salary. So if you start lowballed and don't get very high raises (which could be typical in a startup) you have to present a very compelling argument to your next employer to pull yourself out of the low salary ditch. It also can work the other way, I'm 100% positive that I've had at least a few hiring managers put my resume on the bottom of the pile because my previous salary was too high and out of their range.

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Old 12-21-2010, 02:15 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepDiver View Post
check http://www.salary.com/ and put in your information (the free one is fine for what you are looking for). It will give you the ranges for the area and your experience. A lot of companies will pay for school, so that isn't a really big perk, but is nice if you are planning on doing it.
A lot of these services are crap, in my opinion. Some of them allow anyone to go in and punch in their salary without any corroboration whatsoever. Others don't take into account experience (so they throw those with 1 year experience into the same bucket for averaging with those who have 15 years experience). For example, my job TITLE shows that I should be pulling in $10k-$45k more than I am, yet for this area, just having graduated 2 years ago (almost exactly actually) what I'm making is actually on the high end for the area.

They can be a guide, but I wouldn't walk in demanding to match what that shows.
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:17 PM   #30
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Thanks again. I think if they cover my masters I will take it. Yes, my title will be "Software Engineer". I talked to a cousin of mine who started as a QA Analyst and he said he started at 39k a while back, 2006 I think. This position would be for experience only. Just online I keep seeing people saying starting should be around 50k. I know I can easily get by with 40k right now. I am actually 28, I had to work my way through school, lot of money trouble with the family (mom & sisters) and I had to help support. Last year when both the sisters were done and left home to be on their own is when I started full time college so I could finish.

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