Salary of a Computer Science graduate

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#1 j814wong  Icon User is offline

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Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 23 September 2012 - 02:47 PM

I'm greatly interested in Computer Science. It is regarded as one of the best majors for a high starting salary. However, there are some things that I'm unsure of.

For a computer science graduate, what sort of careers do they go into? Software engineering, computer programming, etc. Which of these careers contribute most to the high starting pay for fresh graduates?

Long hours and work in the weekend is common for computer science major graduates. Taking into account those long hours and official work hours, how much does one actually work?

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#2 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 23 September 2012 - 02:53 PM

around here, a lot of people are starting out at like 30k a year. typically, cs majors are programmers, some are S.E.

designing software, from what i hear gives more money, as opposed to coding it.
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#3 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 23 September 2012 - 03:06 PM

It's not overly difficult to find positions where you aren't working long weekends and where you make $45,000 or more (salary dependent on geographical area) as a software developer.
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#4 j814wong  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 23 September 2012 - 03:52 PM

View PostNecroWinter, on 23 September 2012 - 02:53 PM, said:

around here, a lot of people are starting out at like 30k a year. typically, cs majors are programmers, some are S.E.

designing software, from what i hear gives more money, as opposed to coding it.


What is the difference between designing software and coding it?

What is teh difference between a software engineer, computer programmer, and a software developer?

And what of those $60k starting salaries I read of?
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#5 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 23 September 2012 - 04:32 PM

View Postj814wong, on 23 September 2012 - 03:52 PM, said:

View PostNecroWinter, on 23 September 2012 - 02:53 PM, said:

around here, a lot of people are starting out at like 30k a year. typically, cs majors are programmers, some are S.E.

designing software, from what i hear gives more money, as opposed to coding it.


What is the difference between designing software and coding it?

What is teh difference between a software engineer, computer programmer, and a software developer?

And what of those $60k starting salaries I read of?


the way I think of it is, when you design it, you're the one making the documentation, coming up with ideas etc
the person coding the software is the person who actually makes it happen

software engineers do documentation, they often meet with clients to specify needs, come up with the ideas etc
programmers are the ones who do the coding, the true labor if you will

The term software developer is the same as computer programmer in my book.

those 60k (starting) salaries you heard of are really not accurate, especially in this economy. You might get 60k in NYC or LA, but thats not much in those places.

This post has been edited by NecroWinter: 23 September 2012 - 04:32 PM

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#6 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 23 September 2012 - 07:48 PM

Quote

For a computer science graduate, what sort of careers do they go into?
The most obvious is actual software development. That's developing the actual program. CS itself is theory, so jumping over to a research related role is also possible. There are hard problems out there in search of solutions. There are related support roles you could jump to, like system administration, etc.

Quote

Which of these careers contribute most to the high starting pay for fresh graduates?
So, to clarify, a variety of terms get thrown for the same positions, so don't try to delineate roles specifically. You can pretty much ignore the terms.

In general, if you're shooting for money, you're best off finding some specialized undersupplied niche, usually involving proprietary or unpopular platforms, or lots of specialized knowledge, and consulting or working for some company with big pockets. Example, COBOL programming. Usually brought up as a joke, but it pays...

Quote

Long hours and work in the weekend is common for computer science major graduates.
It depends on where you work. On my team, devs do not work weekends, and working too late or weekends without good cause is viewed negatively.

It depends heavily on company and team culture, and the variance over companies and even teams within a single company spans the entire scale.

Quote

What is the difference between designing software and coding it?
You shouldn't really be splitting apart the two. When they do get split apart, you get "architects", which are often overpaid people who come up with ideas that developers ignore. Just coding without thinking about design means you are a code monkey. This is an outsourced job, for lowest cost, because really, if all you advertise is hitting keys on a keyboard, you aren't going to command good pay.
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#7 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:21 AM

yeah if you want good money starting out, learn RPG IV and COBOL. Nobody wants those jobs, and youll see why quickly.
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#8 j814wong  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:19 PM

View PostNecroWinter, on 24 September 2012 - 04:21 AM, said:

yeah if you want good money starting out, learn RPG IV and COBOL. Nobody wants those jobs, and youll see why quickly.


What companies even use RPG IV and COBOL and why would they choose to stick with those languages?

View PostOler1s, on 23 September 2012 - 07:48 PM, said:

Quote

For a computer science graduate, what sort of careers do they go into?
The most obvious is actual software development. That's developing the actual program. CS itself is theory, so jumping over to a research related role is also possible. There are hard problems out there in search of solutions. There are related support roles you could jump to, like system administration, etc.

Quote

Which of these careers contribute most to the high starting pay for fresh graduates?
So, to clarify, a variety of terms get thrown for the same positions, so don't try to delineate roles specifically. You can pretty much ignore the terms.

In general, if you're shooting for money, you're best off finding some specialized undersupplied niche, usually involving proprietary or unpopular platforms, or lots of specialized knowledge, and consulting or working for some company with big pockets. Example, COBOL programming. Usually brought up as a joke, but it pays...

Quote

Long hours and work in the weekend is common for computer science major graduates.
It depends on where you work. On my team, devs do not work weekends, and working too late or weekends without good cause is viewed negatively.

It depends heavily on company and team culture, and the variance over companies and even teams within a single company spans the entire scale.

Quote

What is the difference between designing software and coding it?
You shouldn't really be splitting apart the two. When they do get split apart, you get "architects", which are often overpaid people who come up with ideas that developers ignore. Just coding without thinking about design means you are a code monkey. This is an outsourced job, for lowest cost, because really, if all you advertise is hitting keys on a keyboard, you aren't going to command good pay.


Thanks for this information. From what I gather, you say a company wants a strong coder who can also think about the code and make it efficient and well designed. So that is perhaps what seperates a designer from a person who simply programs.

View PostNecroWinter, on 23 September 2012 - 04:32 PM, said:

View Postj814wong, on 23 September 2012 - 03:52 PM, said:

View PostNecroWinter, on 23 September 2012 - 02:53 PM, said:

around here, a lot of people are starting out at like 30k a year. typically, cs majors are programmers, some are S.E.

designing software, from what i hear gives more money, as opposed to coding it.


What is the difference between designing software and coding it?

What is teh difference between a software engineer, computer programmer, and a software developer?

And what of those $60k starting salaries I read of?


the way I think of it is, when you design it, you're the one making the documentation, coming up with ideas etc
the person coding the software is the person who actually makes it happen

software engineers do documentation, they often meet with clients to specify needs, come up with the ideas etc
programmers are the ones who do the coding, the true labor if you will

The term software developer is the same as computer programmer in my book.

those 60k (starting) salaries you heard of are really not accurate, especially in this economy. You might get 60k in NYC or LA, but thats not much in those places.


I'm guessing Wall Street jobs are the only ones that pay that much then? So much for that really high demand and salary, no?
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:23 PM

there's always http://www.salary.com/
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#10 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:15 PM

Biggest factor is your experience and what you can bring to the table. I graduated in May with my Associates from a 2 year Technical College. Between my classroom excellence and the work that I did the last semester at a large company as a Data Analyst 30 hrs a week, I was able to land my current job as an Application Developer (Officially titled in the system as an Information Technologist I. The title is to make the position versatile among many agencies.)

The 60,000 starting salary for a Bachelors in Computer Science isn't necessarily a pipe dream, especially in the private sector. If you fit a much needed niche and can produce desired results, it's possible to start out better than that (*Note: The 60,000ish figure is usually BEFORE Taxes). One thing to weigh is salary vs. benefits.

In my current position, salary, not the best, BUT:
  • It more than pays the bills.
  • Don't work past 5p.m.
  • No weekends.
  • 12 Paid Holidays a year.
  • 10Hrs Sick & Annual Leave Accrual each month.
    (Sick builds unlimited, can max Accrual at 240.)
  • Excellent documented benefits: Health, Retirement, Etc.
  • I enjoy what I do, who I work for, and who I work with.


Right now I'm looking at around 3ish years to finish up my Bachelors (Not everything will transfer from one college to another), and by that time I will have substantial more work experience on my resume, and many projects under my belt and in my portfolio.

About the ONLY thing that I could wish for in my current state of being, would be the ability to telecommute. But I can't even really complain about this as in the worst of rush-hour traffic, I live 10 minutes away ^^
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#11 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:22 PM

cobol and rpg iv are languages that have a pretty limited domain, in that nobody wants to use them to create new applications. the only time youll do anything with them in most situations is maintaining an old application
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#12 wordswords  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 03 October 2012 - 03:38 PM

Software engineer, programmer, developer and software analyst and software designer are terms that are used interchangeably and the actual job content depends on the organisation that you're working for.

I notice the OP has not revealed which country he is in, let alone which area he is in, so all wage estimates are out. One way you can see how much a beginning developer can expect, is looking at the developer job adverts in your local area. If there are none, then you better think about moving to another area. Ideally you will want a junior/trainee/graduate developer position, but those are few and far between, so just look at anything that doesn't require X years of commercial experience.
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#13 j814wong  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:14 PM

View Postwordswords, on 03 October 2012 - 03:38 PM, said:

Software engineer, programmer, developer and software analyst and software designer are terms that are used interchangeably and the actual job content depends on the organisation that you're working for.

I notice the OP has not revealed which country he is in, let alone which area he is in, so all wage estimates are out. One way you can see how much a beginning developer can expect, is looking at the developer job adverts in your local area. If there are none, then you better think about moving to another area. Ideally you will want a junior/trainee/graduate developer position, but those are few and far between, so just look at anything that doesn't require X years of commercial experience.

I live in New York state and about an hour's drive to New York City.
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#14 CP3  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:37 PM

Median salary of a 4-yr graduate last year in CS from my school is ~60k. Some up to 85k. I think most larger companies are paying around 55-65 for starting programmers.

This is in the midwest.
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#15 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Salary of a Computer Science graduate

Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:55 PM

If you're in it for the money, get out now. Save yourself the trouble.

If you legitimately love what you're doing, have passion, and genuinely want to learn, proceed.

Without passion and drive, you'll be mediocre at best, and you'll be miserable at best as well.

I've seen enough people who just wanted a pay check and never cared about their jobs. They fail at what they do quickly and refuse to learn anything outside of the workplace. These types of people are not cut out for any type of tech job.

The real, true blue nerds will be aptly entertained that someone is actually willing to give them money for something they already love to do. These are the people you see building the latest and greatest, the innovators and the pioneers. Put a group of these together and next to nothing can stop them.

You can say I'm harsh, but I beg you to consider why you want this major before you realize 10+ years down the road.
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