Career Starting Salary

posted on 28 Mar 2011 | Rant

Every now-n-then I read threads on forums to do with pay & salary in the IT industry, and it always frustrates me when I come across posts where people are whinging about junior / no experience jobs being offered for 'low pay'.

The latest thread can be seen here:

In the thread the original poster was complaining about a job ad being advertised at 35-40k, for a grad position. It seems that a lot of people agree with him. Some of the comments are:

35k is shockingly low. You could walk out and get an office job with no training and no stress for that amount. As a grad you will have to be learning things in your spare time etc.

> In IT you need to be good to get good money. If that's not you then change your career, plenty of industries where you get good money even if you are just average or worse... > I still think it's dangerous practice to offer an absolutely disgraceful salary like $35k to gradutes > 35k is a a stupid sallary for a new Grad in this day and age. Heck, as a grad I would even consider 50k too low. Good luck trying to fill that role !!

And one of my favourites:

$35k is terrible... what's the point of going to uni and graduating with a degree if 35k is all you get... u might as well get a basic admin job that pays $40-50k...

That's just a few of the comments from the first 4 pages of 19+ pages.

I don't understand how people find this low, I don't know how things work in America, but in Australia and New Zealand a grad student in IT simply cannot expect to work out of Uni and into a 100k job.

When I started working about 7 years ago at 18, I started on 35k. (for the record I never went to university, I did a couple of diplomas then started working).

I was discussing this with a good friend of mine, last night and he told me he started on $10.30/hr (about 21k), without asking him I bet he would say it was worth it, he's very experienced and works for a great company.

I just don't think grad students or 'tafe' (as it's called in Australia) have the knowledge to sit down at a desk and cut code, you need to mentor them and hold their hand.

That's not to say ALL grad/tafe students need to have their hand held, you may end up with someone like Mark Zuckerberg, but those types of people are different, Mark was doing programming in the 90's when his father taught him BASIC.

I think the problem stems from the fact a lot of people get into programming because they think it's easy money, sure with ~10 years experience and good references you can get 100k+, but you just don't walk out of Uni or Tafe into that sort of money. Programming is more of a hobby than a career, it's something you do because your passionate about it, not because you want to get paid lots. After you've been in the industry for... 15+ years? Then you can worry about being paid lots, but prior to that, should be happy you're doing something you love.

I think 35k is justified because it actually costs the company you're working for, to mentor you, and hold your hand for at-least the first year of your career.

After a year it's easy to move up the food chain, that first year is the hardest to find a job, and I think it's selfish to whinge for low pay, when an employer can't rely on you to get a task done without asking a billion questions.

The excuse that you can get an admin job for 40-50k is silly, after a few years in such a role, you're still going to be doing the same old boring shit, at least as a programmer you're going to move up onto bigger and better projects, harder problems to solve, and what you seem to crave so much... more money.


comments powered by Disqus