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Offline AdminTopic starter

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CMU salary right after graduation
« on: February 13, 2009, 05:28:18 AM »
Every year CMU posts starting salary for fresh graduates:
http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/employ/salary/CIT-All.pdf
more details: http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/emp_rel/salary.html

for 2008 averages, with just undergrad degree:
mechanical engineering $57,850
electrical engineering $68,459
computer science $75,848

Also, I've noticed that number going up about $2k+ per year, meaning slightly faster than average annual inflation.

Makes me question why I did mechanical engineering . . .

And no, there is no data for those with a Masters or PhD in robotics. :-[

On another note, tuition+expenses comes out to $35,000 per year now, with tuition going up every year. It'll probably cost you $150,000 total, assuming no need based grants or financial help.

Offline SciTech02

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 08:54:56 AM »
And no, there is no data for those with a Masters or PhD in robotics. :-[

That's a pity.  The above numbers look quite promising and it would be interesting to see how the higher degrees compare to them.  Then again, is it common in engineering to earn these higher degrees?  (I know it is with the physical sciences, but I never heard much about engineers with doctorates)

It's funny, I always thought computer science was rather basic and mechanical engineering was more "advanced"; so the pay would be higher for a mechanical engineer.  Looks like my assumption was the exact opposite of reality.
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Offline hgordon

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 12:10:26 PM »
Interesting numbers.  You can see that Microsoft and Google recruited heavily in the computer science department, with 20 going to Microsoft and 8 going to Google.  CMU's grad school seemed to land a bunch of the graduates as well in MechE and CompSci

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Offline Asellith

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2009, 01:12:08 PM »
makes my pay check 3 years out from graduation look pathetic. But I work for a non-commercial radio station. That might have something to do with it. Oh and I work 40 hours a week not 60 to 80 hours a week :)
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Offline pomprocker

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2009, 01:28:42 PM »
luckily I have the GI Bill paying for my tuition, and i'm a computer science major...although not from CMU, I wonder how much difference that makes.

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2009, 08:00:25 PM »
Quote
i'm a computer science major...although not from CMU, I wonder how much difference that makes.
Quote
It's funny, I always thought computer science was rather basic and mechanical engineering was more "advanced"; so the pay would be higher for a mechanical engineer.  Looks like my assumption was the exact opposite of reality.
It might have a lot to do with the ranking as well as companies that CMU flirts with. Intel, Microsoft, and Google absolutely love CMUs graduates, so they fight over graduates with nice pay. Intel and Microsoft both have significant office space devoted towards them on campus. Google started recruiting at CMU back in 2000, before I even knew what Google was.

I hear stories of Microsoft occasionally hiring people right out of graduation with $100k/year salaries. :o

CMU is always rated in the top 3 for CS, but only recently made top 20 for mechanical engineering . . . for electrical engineering its in the top ~10 if I remember right.

Offline Dscrimager

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2009, 08:49:46 PM »
My experience is purely from from the US market but includes over 20 years experience working in consulting, software shops, corporate jobs, small/medium/ large companies and research organizations as grunt, middle level manager, senior level at smaller companies and independent contracting. No Microsoft/IBM/Google but large/small vendors, large/medium/small consulting firms and large fortune 5900 companies...

Since the pop of the internet bubble where fresh faced grads from middle tier schools were getting >$80K/year to start and reporting to people with 10+ years experience who were making but $10K-$20K more it has slowed down quite a bit. Those heady days of having 3 jobs offers a week for $15K more were great but short lived. We hired poetry majors in consulting if they could spell VB or write anything in JAVA.

If you are graduating from CMU/MIT/Dartmouth, etc you are probably going to a top 1% job or at least have those options open to you. When I worked at a certain very large insurance company in NorthBrook Illinois we attempted to hire from CMU and the grads stayed about 6 months to a year before they figured out that regular corporate life SUCKS if you have the kind of capability and creativity to get through  CMU. Now if you come from Eastern Illinois University it was a perfect fit ( no offense to eastern grads, but the school barely prepared most of the kids to write workable code...).

For the vast majority of recent computer science graduates (I cannot speak for the other engineering degrees because I don't hire/interview them) expect greater than 40 hours per week (50 is probably the minimum if you want to be competitive and get good reviews) and salaries in the $40-$60K range. And expect to be competing with folks from India who work for $20/hour offshore. Good people will always be in demand but the middle and low end computer jobs have long since flown overseas or depreciated back to historical levels. A common report from HR is that a basic computer job posting may fetch 2000 resumes in the first week. All pretty much unqualified or reporting expertise in like 20 areas with 3 years experience ( yeah right...). If its straight programming it's usually pushed offshore these days. In most places that I have worked or consulted it's probably 10 contractors for every one internal person.

If you have a masters, good +10K more probably. If you have a Phd, oops, now you are overqualified outside of academia and few organizations who support research.

When I started in CompSci/programming more than 20+ years ago the average programmer worked about 50 hours a week and took home $30K to $50K tops. ( and we had to walk our punched cards up the hill ...both ways) and I would say the average corporate worker in the US still sees much about the same situation today. If you are management (and don't get to write a single line of code) but deal with all the crap that rolls down from upper management expect the same or more hours, more stress, less hair and about $100K/year in a major metro area like Chicago.

If you get a chance to go someplace like Google or Microsoft ( for the right position), or get a shot at research institution where you can truly use your knowledge, creativity and training then absolutely go for it.

Doug

P.s. Ohh, I I need to add that today you are never off the clock, since you are reachable and expected to be reachable 24X7....the true privilege these days is actually being unplugged.. not connected at all times...
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 08:54:12 PM by Dscrimager »

Offline pomprocker

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2009, 09:48:45 PM »
I'm already making between 50-60k a year without a degree as a unix sys admin with only 4 years experience. My boss at my last job is the one who got me going back to college for computer science by telling me he could pay me $75k a year if i had my BSCS. Now I may consider my master's as its only an extra year of classes, and I am going to try applying to the SPAWAR new professionals program after I graduate to get into robotics if I can. I have 4 years of Navy service so that counts towards service credits with SPAWAR.

You can see the payscale at the bottom with cost of living allowance and its broken up by major:
http://www.spawar.navy.mil/sandiego/np/Employment_benefits.htm

http://www.spawar.navy.mil/robots/





Offline Asellith

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2009, 07:50:06 AM »
I'm considering getting a Masters in CS to compliment my BSEE. However I'm not sure my company will compensate me for it so I am struggling trying to justify it. I wasn't planning on staying here forever but the work is easy and I can do almost whatever I want. In about a year I'll be the chief engineer for the station and take care of most of the network. With my General Radio Operators License (required to be chief operator/engineer of a station) and actually being the chief engineer I might make upwards of 40k. Still not great but cost of living is low and as a single guy I don't have many bills. Just feeding my computer/robot addictions.

Not sure if I could do better someplace else but my health conditions prevent me from working really long hours and I enjoy this job so might stay a while. That and I definently did not go to a big name school with a well established EE degree. My degree was an experiment. I was the first of the assembly line. i did get hands on education. There where only 3 of us in the degree. Well started as 4 and one guy had to sit out a year. 
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Offline MaltiK

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 06:52:16 PM »
Wait so why is CS the highest annual wage? Is it that they are the least in population? The most wanted of all of them/useful?

I have wanted to major in EE for a long time now, but this is making me want to reconsider...
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Offline pomprocker

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2009, 07:23:39 PM »
Wait so why is CS the highest annual wage? Is it that they are the least in population? The most wanted of all of them/useful?

I have wanted to major in EE for a long time now, but this is making me want to reconsider...


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Offline Asellith

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009, 08:28:23 AM »
CS is only the highest from CMU. Before you get to excited check some other colleges first. I would also bet that there are more EE jobs paying more then CS jobs. 5 really high paying CS jobs or 25 EE jobs that pay slightly less. I'd still go with EE. I think those numbers are skewed from the norm because like some have already said big name companies pull the top grads and give them a ton of money. Unless you plan on being the top graduate level CS major at CMU stick with EE if thats what you love.
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Offline Dscrimager

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2009, 06:51:17 AM »
And as regards a fairly mainstream track of work in industry, companies (rightly or wrongly) hire EE majors all the time for more CS style jobs ( like programming and operations and such).

The advice to do what you like is the best of all. However for most jobs what you do in school and what you do in your job will not even resemble each other. Do you sit in 20-30 hours of meetings in college?

Understand you will apply about 5% of what you learn in college to your job for the average (non-research) corporate job. You will have a lot of OJT with overtime.  The degree is crucial, for the most part ( although there is always a story about someone doing really well without one) US companies will not even consider your resume without a degree. In addition, any certifications you can get are VERY helpful. Consider PMP, CIISP, Oracle, Microsoft, etc.

The market in the US is very competitive for technology job because they do tend to pay more than the average unless you are some place like Dartmouth College ( which literally pays their internal IT people like 50% of market rate; which is amazing considering the quality of teaching they do) or a certain insurance company in NorthBrook Illinois which targets to pay about 10% below the average coming in.

Doug

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 05:32:43 AM »
Remember that those are *average* wages already offered. It will probably change in 4+ years when you graduate. And will change even more after 10+ years into your career.

What it does show however is that getting a masters in some fields is a really good idea financially.

Offline hoosier122

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2009, 12:14:39 AM »
I've had several friends graduate from Rose Hulman with various degrees (EE/CS/ME)  All are highly competed for after graduation by big companies.  One was hired by Lexmark and the other by a NASA contractor.


Offline tralfam

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2009, 02:33:01 AM »
I'm surprised that the starting salaries for MEs and EEs are so average at CMU. Makes me not feel bad about going to the relatively inexpensive, top 100 engineering program, in-state school. I have spoken with plenty of EEs and MechEs, and their average offer seems to be about 68K starting, +5K if you have the FE under your belt. I guess those numbers are very dependent on cost of living, sub-disciplines, and if you choose to work somewhere like a public utility for much less money, but also better hours.

I've also heard from many people that a Master's degree probably won't increase your salary much, but it will allow you to work on more interesting projects during your career.

Does anyone know the how starting salaries might breakdown within EE sub-disciplines? I've heard a lot of things. Tons of old-timers in Power about to retire. A lot of people choosing Digital driving down salaries. Anyone know?

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2009, 07:13:09 AM »
Just to put things into perspective, a pharmacist straight out of pharmacy school (equivalent of a masters) makes $110K+.

Offline hoosier122

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2009, 03:05:22 PM »
Just to put things into perspective, a pharmacist straight out of pharmacy school (equivalent of a masters) makes $110K+.

Pharmacists have always been paid well.  There always seems to be a high demand.

Offline SmAsH

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2009, 03:07:12 PM »
well we all need drugs don't we?
and some would argue that pharmacists are trained very well so they earn they're pay.
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Offline hoosier122

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2009, 07:53:43 PM »
well we all need drugs don't we?
and some would argue that pharmacists are trained very well so they earn they're pay.

Yes, but I think the actual jobs a pharmacist has to perform has diminished.  In the past pharmacists mixed their own cough elixirs and such...lots of chemistry.  I'm not slamming the job, because they must know about drug interactions and reactions, but now most of that is done with computer programs.  It's now mostly a job that's mandated by the government because of control reasons.  They have already started making vending machine pharmacies.  You insert your prescription (like a credit card) and the machine fills your prescription and takes your payment.

Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2009, 08:21:02 PM »
I think im stuck!  I need some advice: I want whatever career I go into to be invlolved with mechanical, electrical and comuter engineering...not just mechanical or electrical, but all of them  (am i too greedy?).  what type of program could i take which involves all of them?...i also (maybe) want to be involved somehow with NASA, astronautical engineering...

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2009, 09:36:08 PM »
I think im stuck!  I need some advice: I want whatever career I go into to be invlolved with mechanical, electrical and comuter engineering...not just mechanical or electrical, but all of them  (am i too greedy?).  what type of program could i take which involves all of them?...i also (maybe) want to be involved somehow with NASA, astronautical engineering...
Robotics, dood!

If you don't have that choice, pick the one you like the most, and fill up all your electives with the others (thats what I did).

Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2009, 10:37:26 PM »
To tell you the truth, I was planning to go into robotics.  Then one day i met someone who had graduated from MIT with a manufacturing engineering degree (he was one of 6 people from 300 who passed).  I talked to him about what I wanted to do and mentioned I wanted to go into robotics.  He told me that it wasnt the best direction to go in because i would have to constantly keep myself always updated on new technologies and stuff...  so thats why im stuck...and have been for about a year and a half now...and im running out of time...(well ive got a year and a quarter..but still...)

The one i like the most would be... no clue actually.  Im the same with sports...I like swimming, biking, and running, but don't want to do just one...I cant just make a choice of one and drop the other two...instead I joined a triathlon club! and its great! ;D...

Offline hoosier122

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2009, 10:58:55 PM »
To tell you the truth, I was planning to go into robotics.  Then one day i met someone who had graduated from MIT with a manufacturing engineering degree (he was one of 6 people from 300 who passed).  I talked to him about what I wanted to do and mentioned I wanted to go into robotics.  He told me that it wasnt the best direction to go in because i would have to constantly keep myself always updated on new technologies and stuff...  so thats why im stuck...and have been for about a year and a half now...and im running out of time...(well ive got a year and a quarter..but still...)

The one i like the most would be... no clue actually.  Im the same with sports...I like swimming, biking, and running, but don't want to do just one...I cant just make a choice of one and drop the other two...instead I joined a triathlon club! and its great! ;D...

Most technology fields don't have to completely change their primary skills more than once every 8-10 years at most.  If you know C, you can do C++ or C#.  Your project might change, but your role on the team shouldn't.  If you work in robotics (in a big environment) you will have very specific assignments.  You might only be in charge of developing the software for interpreting data from a single sensor.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 11:00:37 PM by hoosier122 »

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2009, 09:39:00 AM »
Quote
He told me that it wasnt the best direction to go in because i would have to constantly keep myself always updated on new technologies and stuff...
Well, your other option is to stay in a field where nothing changes. Just same old same old for many many years. ;D

Just keep up with state of the art stuff, hang out at SoR, and you'll be fine. Only lazy people want to stop learning after graduation :P

Offline chelmi

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Re: CMU salary right after graduation
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2009, 11:36:14 AM »
Quote
He told me that it wasnt the best direction to go in because i would have to constantly keep myself always updated on new technologies and stuff...
Well, your other option is to stay in a field where nothing changes. Just same old same old for many many years. ;D

Just keep up with state of the art stuff, hang out at SoR, and you'll be fine. Only lazy people want to stop learning after graduation :P

Forget high tech if you don't want to keep yourself up to date! For instance, look at the progress in electronic integration for the last 15 years!
And IMO that is what makes this interesting to do ;)

I convinced that the most valuable skill for a programmer is to be able to apprehend new concept quickly.

 


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