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Salary Research

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Queried the site for "Salary Research" but came up with nothing that I was looking for.

 

I am hoping you folks have some general advice for researching salaries. I was asked today what my salary expectation was for a position in Montreal.

 

1) What resources do you use to research salaries in other cities/regions?

 

I am searching for entry level programming positions, and it would probably be useful to know how to find starting salaries for different cities. I've been looking at payscale.com but that is just one reference, it would be great if I could cross reference the numbers I see there with another source of salary information.

 

2) How should/do I factor in educational background?

 

I don't have a degree, so I would expect that should restrict any salary numbers from the employer's end. Should I subtract from the low end figures I see, or from the medians? Perhaps there is a better way to factor it in?

 

Edit

These are the links I found to help calculate a salary.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/ - Calculated *my* cost of living in a city

https://www.glassdoor.ca/index.htm - Found salary ranges for a field in a city

http://www.payscale.com/ - Found salary ranges for a field in a city

Edited by coope

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They've got like 10 years of history doing the annual salary survey.

 

As always, your salary is whatever you negotiate. Every job is different and every negotiation is unique.  A company that desperately needs people will pay more than a company that is generically slowly hiring with a huge list of applicants. If you have specific skills they want you may negotiate better salary than if you don't match perfectly.

 

Your pay is whatever you negotiate.  People who have a similar background, sit side-by-side, do the same job, hired near the same time can still make very different salaries.

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2) How should/do I factor in educational background?

 

I don't have a degree, so I would expect that should restrict any salary numbers from the employer's end. Should I subtract from the low end figures I see, or from the medians? Perhaps there is a better way to factor it in?

 

That is totally up to the employer... I have seen both, some where EXTREMLY picky about your degree (tended to be university spin offs or positions in universities themselves though), some flat out don't care other than distinguishing between two different applicants (one with, one without degree).

 

I wouldn't sell yourself "at a reduced rate" just because you happen to have no degree, or whatever else is your limitation. Ask for what you think is a fair pay for someone with your capabilities, in the area where you are applying, WITH a degree.

If the employer is not ready to pay that fair rate BECAUSE you lack the degree, they will tell you (and if they are interested, the end result is most probably HIGHER than what you would have gotten if you would have lowered your expectations because of your missing degree).

 

Chances are your future employer does not care too much about your missing degree (or that the difference in pay is negligible and thus they don't care too much to pay you the same as someone WITH a degree), and you do get what you THINK only someone with a degree should get.

 

 

Never undersell yourself, and ALWAYS ask for a little bit more. Better to have your future employer say "no" and meet somewhere in the middle, than have them enthusiastically accept your expectations (which means you could have asked for 20% more :)).

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http://www.glassdoor.com is another site. Has a Salaries section. Don't know how exact the numbers are but I heard this is useful site.

This.

 

I would imagine you've most likely come across the yearly survey, which is good in general, but doesn't give a correct assessment on a per-company basis.

If there are glassdoor entries for a business you are interested in, it is likely a source of interest.

Of course, it relies on people actually being honest which, despite the anonymous nature of the exercise, may not be the case.

If you have several entries, it would be easier to average and determine expectations, whereas 1-2 entries might be hard to work with.

Still a valuable tool for me.

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The value of a degree (in software) is highest early in your career, where it helps to get a foot in the door.

 

You may well end up working on a team where half the people have graduate degrees in CS, and half dropped out of college. The further along your career goes, the less important formal education is.

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