I wanted to go to college for something to do with computers (maybe programing, game development) but im not totaly sure yet. I like to work with computers and Ive been doing it since I was 10. I have the desire and the ambition, along with the knowledge.
However, I would like to know what kind of salaries I should expect from one of these careers. Since I dont have any family in these careers im pretty much clueless.
Could any of you share what the average salary is for friends/family/yourselves that work with computers? Thanks!
There is a pretty wide variance of salary's in the field. It ran can range from $8.00 an hour (reportedly what they paid employee's at EV1Servers) upwards of $50.00 an hour, if not higher. I know we start our tech's out at about $45,000 an year where I work.
the salary will based on the following (probably in order)
role (sysadmin, management, developer, helpdesk for example)
experience-qualifications (depends on your current level really - entry jobs know they're entry jobs, and look at qualifications, further down the line companies want to know what you've done previously - people dont look at my education so much anymore)
age doesnt really come into it (or shouldnt do - in the uk im pretty sure its illegal to discriminate against someone because of their age)
There are multiple points on which a salary is based. It depends upon the role you are applying for, the qualifications you have, the relevant experience you have, and the location.
i. You must be clear about what sort of role you see yourself in and within what sort of environment you see yourself in. Note that the role and environment isn't the same thing. The role characterises your position while the environment also includes the sector in which you will work.
ii. Be sure to read something at university which will be relevant to what you intend to do. However, also ensure that it is quite generalist. For example, a degree in Computer Science from a decent university brings you into the field of computers yet at the same time is generalist as it is about much more than slaving away to learn a few programming languages. You may also want to consider going for a postgraduate degree after your Bachelor's.
iii. Location is very important. This has a great impact upon salary, as does the supply and demand within the area.
You may want to take a look at this website, an IT specific job site in the UK, or Monster, a general job site.
Location is definitely a big thing. In a low market like where I live, starting out you'll be lucky to get much above $30k. Of course, the cost of living here is --cheap-- and if you're frugal and do consulting, you can afford a house and nice car on that without accumulating debt.
In a bigger market, like Austin TX, you'll get about $35-40k to start out, but your cost of living can get stupid expensive. San Fran is similar, but the pay scale increases faster because the cost of living is just downright idiotic.
If your goals are money, move to a big market (Big city... > 1 mil people) and specialize in something that'll get you in doing either machine-level engineering (kernel stuff, drivers, cell phone machine language, etc.) or my preferred route, business logic (Web apps, SQL, etc.) There's tons of money in learning SAP.
If you have people skills, go through a Business/MIS program and get a job as a manager.
Game programming ... you'll end up doing a bunch of very competitive unpaid internships before you get a job, if you happen to be so lucky. I'd stick to business programming and do open-source games as your hobby if you like eating something besides top ramen while working 80 hours/week at your internship and 30 hours/week at gamestop so that you can afford rent.
It also depends on what company you work for, big companies could pay double the salary than what small companies would pay for... think of it as higher responsibility and libility... dedication and always improving yourself would get you up there.
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