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Is Programming a Lucrative Profession?

itwbennett (1594911) writes | more than 4 years ago

Programming 4

itwbennett (1594911) writes "A pamphlet distributed by blogger Cameron Laird's local high school proclaimed that 'Computer Science BS graduates can expect an annual salary from $54,000-$74,000. Starting salaries for MS and PhD graduates can be to up to $100,000' and 'employment of computer scientists is expected to grow by 24 percent from 2010 to 2018.' The pamphlet lists The US Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as a reference so how wrong can it be? 'This is so wrong, I don't know where to start,' says Laird. 'There are a lot of ways to look at the figures, but only the most skewed ones come up with starting salaries approaching $60,000 annually, and I see plenty of programmers in the US working for less,' says Laird. At issue, though, isn't so much inaccurate salary information as what is happening to programming as a career: 'Professionalization of programmers nowadays strikes chords more like those familiar to auto mechanics or nurses than the knowledge workers we once thought we were,' writes Laird, 'we're expected to pay for our own tools, we're increasingly bound by legal entanglements, H1B accumulates degrading tales, and hyperspecialization dominates hiring decisions.'"
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4 comments

US Statistics match observations (1)

EMB Numbers (934125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894346)

$60K starting salary for a BS Computer Science or Computer Engineering is typical where I work and at all similar companies as far as I know. $100K plus positions are common after a few promotions or with 10 to 20 years of experience. Graduate degrees typically increase pay about as much as equivalent experience. An MS is worth about three years of experience.

Note: typical benefits include tuition reimbursement, so I recommend getting a job right out of undergrad and letting the company pay for the graduate degree.

Note: I am in a relatively low cost of living area.

Look at any salary survey for the area where you live. A CS degree is still lucrative. Performing help desk or "IT" may not be so lucrative anymore.

Salaries appear right to me (1)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30894552)

I work in downtown Chicago. My last position involved lots of hiring, and we normally started people with a Bachelors in Computer Science in the mid $50,000s to low $60,000s. I have a Masters Degree and make over the $100,000 mark. This is pretty typical around here. I have never paid for my tools (unless it was something that I personally wanted in preference to a different tool the company already had). I have never dealt with any legal junk - that is why my company has lawyers. Most of the folks I work with have either Masters or Doctorates. We definitely are not treated like auto mechanics or nurses.

Be careful as the figures do not stack up (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30902528)

The figures do not stack up for a programming job as they are very few and far between paid salaries you are looking for, Here in the UK the amount of people I know with excellent IT and networking skills cannot find a job and it is scandalous. You either have to be very lucky like a few people on slashdot, but I have a friend who was a Juniper Networks Guru and is now at PayPal programming. He is only making $86,000 per year despite his guru status. Well paid IT jobs are few and far between, so do not get your hopes up too much. It is more a case of who you know and what you know. a degree does not guarantee you a well paid job. Hope that helps. Regards, NSN
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