Software Engineering Salary

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>So I'm leaning towards being a Software Engineer but I'm concerned with the salary. On BLS it says the average salary is 90k/year for software engineers but I don't know if thats 1, 10, or 20 years experience. Some people say the starting is 50k...</p>

<p>I want to get into GTech and do the Joint BS/MS program for Computer Science and then go to work as a Software Engineer, so any ideas on what my salary would be? </p>

<p>I'm not trying to be greedy or anything but I want to make a high salary.. and I don't think computer engineering compares to becoming a dentist (my 2nd choice), salary-wise. </p>

<p>So basically, what would a starting salary be for a Software Engineer who holds a Master's?</p>

<p>The starting salary should be higher than 50K. More like 60-65K for a school like GT. More than that by the time you graduate.</p>

<p>Thanks! And that's with a Masters right? </p>

<p>How long would it take to reach a 100k salary? </p>

<p>I guess medical professions are paid on an enormous level :\ They can start around 100k right?</p>

<p>That is with a bachelors. A masters might start out a 10K more.</p>

<p>Time to reach any salary is dependent on you completely.</p>

<p>As a software engineer myself, your salary will be determined on a number of factors, mainly:</p>

<p>1) Demand of professionals in your area of expertise
2) Supply of professionals in your area of expertise
3) Years of experience
4) Certifications
5) Education</p>

<p>The more you concentrate on #1 and #2, the better off you will be. Let me type the following in capital letters to make this clear: </p>


<p>b) The Sun/Solaris expert will make more money than the windows expert</p>

<p>c) Database developers (especially Oracle or SQL Server) are always needed...basically because databases are a vital component to many organizations but the area of databases is still an "optional" elective in most CS programs...which causes supply issues.</p>

<p>I also work in INTEL and whatever the private sector pays....tack on and extra $25,000 to $50,000 just for having a security clearance to work on defense contracts.</p>

<p>Again...pick a high-demand/low-supply area and master it. Now if you wanna choose something popular and like competing against 100 folks for the same job...fine, but you will get paid less than other high-demand areas of expertise.</p>

<p>a) is true if the Northeast Montana State grad and the Carnegie Mellon grad both end up with jobs in the Intel Business in the DC/Virginia/Maryland area. a) is not true in general. In a low cost of living area, your public U grads can start at $45K with a BS. Microsoft and Google are known to start highly sought off BS grads at $90k. The northeast Montana grad, if he stays in Montana doing software development and not management, will cap out before he reaches the starting salary for some of the CMU grads.</p>

<p>^ Well cost of living changes the game, though. In a lot of ways, making $45k/yr in Montana is better than making $60k/yr in DC, I'd imagine.</p>

<p>Cost of living definitely factors in, but it exists for a reason. I bet many of the NYC types would rather jump off a bridge than move to nowhere Montana. A higher cost of living buys a more desirable area of the country to live in.</p>

<p>Ah, I see. Then what states would give the best salary that can be used to accommodate the best standard of living? (ie the state where you can buy the biggest house, more expensive cars, etc.)</p>

<p>You can't really compare really compare cost of living by state, since it can vary immensely within a state. Using CNN's calculator (Cost</a> of living: Compare prices in two cities -, $60k in NYC is the equivalent of $27k in Rochester, NY. You should compare by cities.</p>

<p>Oh yea, I meant city lol. Hmm but then in Rochester you get paid less right? A person wouldn't get paid 50k in NYC and 50k in Rochester for the same job?</p>

<p>That's right. However, it's not a direct correlation between salary and cost of living.</p>

<p>What some people do is work in a high cost of living area (NYC for example), but live in a lower cost of living area. The commute can be horrible though; I know people who take 2 hours to get to work each way. There's always some sort of tradeoff.</p>

<p>Oh wow, that's smart. I never thought about that. So work in NYC and use money in Rochester will get you a bigger house/better living than using your money in NYC? </p>

<p>My goal is to go to college and complete a joint program of BS/MS for Computer Engineering and hopefully make 100k in the near future? How hard is it to work for good companies like Google/Microsoft or even Amazon, Yahoo, etc?</p>

<p>Rochester-NYC is too much for a daily commute, but the concept is the same.</p>

<p>Haha, yea. Only time will tell :P</p>

<p>Does anybody know how hard it is to get a PhD in Computer Science/Engineering and how long it will take?</p>

<p>what are some high demand/low supply areas globaltraveler?</p>

<p>about 5 years past ur BS</p>

<p>Explorer, what if I get a joint BS/MS degree in Computer Engineering/Science that will take 5 years. How long will it take to pursue the PhD after those 5 years?</p>

<p>If I was a software engineer I'd be ***<em>ed if I didn't make 100K/year within 5 years of graduation. You can *easily</em> make that money if you are good.</p>

<p>"what are some high demand/low supply areas globaltraveler?"</p>

<p>As I always's all about data. Corporations want to be able to store, distribute and manage data.</p>

<p>Area #1: Databases. Yes, I am biased because that is my area of expertise but I have been able to stay in this area for years mainly because it is a "heart" for a corporations I.T. responsibilities. Also Oracle and SQL Server release new versions like once every 3-4 years, so once you master a version, you can ride the wave for a few years.</p>

<p>Area #2: Networks. How is that data (or databases) gonna get distributed? How is the data gonna be secured during transmission? You need networks for that. Network designers, developers, etc are always in demand...especially if they know the secure aspects of the networks (crypto, info assurance, etc).</p>

<p>Area #3: Operating Systems. What will that network and database operate over?...Yup, an operating system. Windows, Linux (all flavors), Unix and Solaris folks are always in demand.</p>

<p>Just like anything...make the "heart" of something depend on you and you will be in demand.</p>