Why is the average starting salary for Imperial Software Engineer grads so high.

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AW AFR
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It's around 50k...such starting salary seems ridicolously high.All other courses at Imperial have way less than that and Computer Science/Computing/Software Engineering in other unis have starting salaries of mosly 20k-30k...but 50K IS JUST INSANE!
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CheeseIsVeg
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(Original post by AW AFR)
It's around 50k...such starting salary seems ridicolously high.All other courses at Imperial have way less than that and Computer Science/Computing/Software Engineering in other unis have starting salaries of mosly 20k-30k...but 50K IS JUST INSANE!
Hi there
I have put your thread into the careers forum for engineering and science :yy:
Hopefully this will help you get an answer to this
You can also check out the forum for imperial college london
Best wishes,
Cheese :bump:
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Rabbit2
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(Original post by AW AFR)
It's around 50k...such starting salary seems ridicolously high.All other courses at Imperial have way less than that and Computer Science/Computing/Software Engineering in other unis have starting salaries of mosly 20k-30k...but 50K IS JUST INSANE!
I disagree. That is about the average starting salary for IT graduates here in the US: BSCS {Bachelor of Science Computer Science}. Check any of the US job sites for IT jobs. It's supply and demand. If you need good ppl, you have to pay the going rate. Who are you to say that IT salaries should be comparable to dishwashers?? At least those graduates probably know how to spell "ridiculously" - even without a 'spell checker'. Cheers.
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AW AFR
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(Original post by Rabbit2)
I disagree. That is about the average starting salary for IT graduates here in the US: BSCS {Bachelor of Science Computer Science}. Check any of the US job sites for IT jobs. It's supply and demand. If you need good ppl, you have to pay the going rate. Who are you to say that IT salaries should be comparable to dishwashers?? At least those graduates probably know how to spell "ridiculously" - even without a 'spell checker'. Cheers.
I was talking about Imperial College London IT graduates in specific and according to their websites the figures are around 50k.Also according to Uniguide website.Pretty much for any other course in UK the starting salary ranges between 20-30k.Anything above 30k is really good as starting salary.50k is just astonishing.

If you check uniguide website you can see these figures.

I am just a science student and I am just commenting the facts provided by different websites.It seems like you are confusing US starting salary for IT from UK ones.
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alex282
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There are huge discrepencies in salaries for tech jobs such as engineering and IT/CS in the UK.

Most small-medium companies (which make up a large percentage of jobs but aren't well advertised) will take on graduates and pay minimum wage or slightly above with slow progression and a low ceiling such as £30k after a decade.

Big companies (which are mainstream advertised) often start somewhere around £30k for graduates with faster progression, but it is very competitive to get in.

A £50k starting salary seems like a position for only the very top graduates who may already have experience in programming competitions/summer placements etc and who will work beyond the norm. Also you mention London which usually has a salary weighting due to high living costs. Realistically a job in London should pay double than what it would somewhere up north but usually it will be something pathetic like £5k extra.

I studied EE and some people in my class went to London to start on £27k salaries which is pretty poor for London, but probably not as bad as my £18k small company masters in electrical engineering graduate with experience salary.

I heard of a relative of a relative who studied computer science being offered a job in London with a starting salary of £50k (after he done a placement there or won some sort of competition), but I would say this is very exceptional. Nowadays more and more people are getting degrees so competition is fiercer than ever, unfortunately it has led to most tech graduate salaries stagnating for the past couple of decades whilst house prices have skyrocketed in the same time, thus leaving most millenials living half the quality of life of the previous generations
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(Original post by alex282)
There are huge discrepencies in salaries for tech jobs such as engineering and IT/CS in the UK.

Most small-medium companies (which make up a large percentage of jobs but aren't well advertised) will take on graduates and pay minimum wage or slightly above with slow progression and a low ceiling such as £30k after a decade.

Big companies (which are mainstream advertised) often start somewhere around £30k for graduates with faster progression, but it is very competitive to get in.

A £50k starting salary seems like a position for only the very top graduates who may already have experience in programming competitions/summer placements etc and who will work beyond the norm. Also you mention London which usually has a salary weighting due to high living costs. Realistically a job in London should pay double than what it would somewhere up north but usually it will be something pathetic like £5k extra.

I studied EE and some people in my class went to London to start on £27k salaries which is pretty poor for London, but probably not as bad as my £18k small company masters in electrical engineering graduate with experience salary.

I heard of a relative of a relative who studied computer science being offered a job in London with a starting salary of £50k (after he done a placement there or won some sort of competition), but I would say this is very exceptional. Nowadays more and more people are getting degrees so competition is fiercer than ever, unfortunately it has led to most tech graduate salaries stagnating for the past couple of decades whilst house prices have skyrocketed in the same time, thus leaving most millenials living half the quality of life of the previous generations
The same sort of salary/housing price squeeze is going on over here. In my county [Loudoun County, Virginia - about 35 miles west of Washington, D.C.], the average income [according to county government] is about $139,915 [105,467 Quid]. House prices (according to one estate agent) run from low $200k [150,760 quid] to upper $600k [452,280 quid]. I found that when i graduated [in 1969], with a BSEE, money was going out as fast as it was coming in. I figured that if i didn't do something, i was going to be in the same place financially when i contemplated retiring in 40 yrs or so.

As a result, i looked around, and found an 'overseas tour' that i was qualified for, that was 'meals and quarters furnished'. Now this job would not appeal to everyone. It was hundreds of miles from anywhere in the near east. It was an 'unaccompanied' tour - i.e. strictly bachelors, with no social life at all. The nearest 'night life' available was in the capitol - and that required a 3 hour plane ride [on the project aircraft]. In order to get a ride - it had to be something 'special' - like a medical or dental appointment.

You couldn't arrange one of those more than every 3 months or so. By not spending much, and staying for 2 years, i managed to buy most of a house with some of my proceeds when i returned. It turned out, that the government agency that i was working for basically had no usable retirement system. The "Retirement Affairs Branch' insisted that i'd have: "All kinds of money to retire on in 2000". After browbeating them for nearly 45 minutes, they put a number to "all kinds of money" - and it turned out to be $1300 per month. Now in 2000, that amount of money wouldn't even get me a flat - much feed me, or run a car - so i tossed in my cards, and went to work for a contractor [with a 37.5% salary increase]. Now, i get about $2200 a month off of social security, which i can live on. A couple of me mates, who stayed on with the government, are now having a rough time of it. Well, i may not be a CPA or a MBA, but i know how to count and estimate inflation. Best of luck!!!
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swelshie
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£50k is exceptionally high starting salary.

Its double the UK engineering average. Graduating from a top university a typical engineering graduate could expect a salary of between £27k and £29k. This salary range would apply to the top 16% of engineering graduates so those making £50k would be in the top 1%.
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alex282
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(Original post by Rabbit2)
The same sort of salary/housing price squeeze is going on over here. In my county [Loudoun County, Virginia - about 35 miles west of Washington, D.C.], the average income [according to county government] is about $139,915 [105,467 Quid]. House prices (according to one estate agent) run from low $200k [150,760 quid] to upper $600k [452,280 quid]. I found that when i graduated [in 1969], with a BSEE, money was going out as fast as it was coming in. I figured that if i didn't do something, i was going to be in the same place financially when i contemplated retiring in 40 yrs or so.

As a result, i looked around, and found an 'overseas tour' that i was qualified for, that was 'meals and quarters furnished'. Now this job would not appeal to everyone. It was hundreds of miles from anywhere in the near east. It was an 'unaccompanied' tour - i.e. strictly bachelors, with no social life at all. The nearest 'night life' available was in the capitol - and that required a 3 hour plane ride [on the project aircraft]. In order to get a ride - it had to be something 'special' - like a medical or dental appointment.

You couldn't arrange one of those more than every 3 months or so. By not spending much, and staying for 2 years, i managed to buy most of a house with some of my proceeds when i returned. It turned out, that the government agency that i was working for basically had no usable retirement system. The "Retirement Affairs Branch' insisted that i'd have: "All kinds of money to retire on in 2000". After browbeating them for nearly 45 minutes, they put a number to "all kinds of money" - and it turned out to be $1300 per month. Now in 2000, that amount of money wouldn't even get me a flat - much feed me, or run a car - so i tossed in my cards, and went to work for a contractor [with a 37.5% salary increase]. Now, i get about $2200 a month off of social security, which i can live on. A couple of me mates, who stayed on with the government, are now having a rough time of it. Well, i may not be a CPA or a MBA, but i know how to count and estimate inflation. Best of luck!!!
The way I see the problems with tech careers in the UK just now:

1. Universities now let almost anyone through as they are ran as a business. There is also no tuition fee in Scotland + in the whole UK student loans are only paid back after earning a higher salary, so people don't think twice about the cost of education.
2. Engineer is not a protected term so the average person on the high street doesn't know that engineering varies from designing nuclear reactors to the handyman that unblocks the primary school gutter, both jobs are advertised with engineer in the title.
3. Programming or design engineering can be outsourced to other countries + a lot of industry has left the UK and relocated in countries where it is cheaper to manufacturer cars etc.
4. There's so much supply of desperate graduates, companies realise that they don't need to pay much more than minimum wage, which means that someone has just spent 5-8 years of extra study and aquired a student loan doesn't earn much more than unskilled workers. The big companies do pay better but the competition is harder than ever with more graduates and declining industry.
5. We are more of a "gig economy" than a "job for life" now. If a company needs an engineer/programmer for a project they just want someone with experience who can do it fast, rather than spending time and money training up graduates.
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Rabbit2
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(Original post by alex282)
The way I see the problems with tech careers in the UK just now:

1. Universities now let almost anyone through as they are ran as a business. There is also no tuition fee in Scotland + in the whole UK student loans are only paid back after earning a higher salary, so people don't think twice about the cost of education.
2. Engineer is not a protected term so the average person on the high street doesn't know that engineering varies from designing nuclear reactors to the handyman that unblocks the primary school gutter, both jobs are advertised with engineer in the title.
3. Programming or design engineering can be outsourced to other countries + a lot of industry has left the UK and relocated in countries where it is cheaper to manufacturer cars etc.
4. There's so much supply of desperate graduates, companies realise that they don't need to pay much more than minimum wage, which means that someone has just spent 5-8 years of extra study and aquired a student loan doesn't earn much more than unskilled workers. The big companies do pay better but the competition is harder than ever with more graduates and declining industry.
5. We are more of a "gig economy" than a "job for life" now. If a company needs an engineer/programmer for a project they just want someone with experience who can do it fast, rather than spending time and money training up graduates.
AMEN to #2. On this side of the pond, if you try calling yourself an 'engineer' without a BSEE minimum - you will quickly find yourself in the same position as someone at a hospital who empties the bedpans expecting everyone else to refer to him as 'doctor'.

as to #3: I read an interview with a guy running a computer company. He was asked why his firm had all their circuit cards made in the US. He said: Overseas fab IS cheaper, but the problem is that if those guys figure out that they can save 5 pence by eliminating a capacitor, they will do it immediately. It doesn't make any difference how badly you make them bleed when they do it without permission, they will do it over and over. Your only clue is when you have 20,000 customers that can't run Windows, because that capacitor has been eliminated. So now, we spend a few dollars getting our ckt cards made 'on-shore' - and save the thousands of irate customers who cannot run their favourite application, because some dweeb eliminated a 5 pence capacitor.

The answer to #4 is to broaden your horizons, and job search overseas. I did a 2.5 year overseas tour [with the US Govt - who i was already employed by], and - since i was lucky enough to find one that was 'meals and quarters furnished' - i had no living expenses for 2.5 years. Upon return to the states, i bought a house with some of the proceeds. Doing so - reduced my per-month living costs from about $1000 to $257 per month. Now, there was ABSOLUTELY no 'social life' where i was posted, but as one wag remarked - "at least the sheep were cute". Just like the 'party till you drop' peeps who are 'oh so concerned' about social life at uni - to the exclusion of all else, are you going there to party, or to get an education. I was going there to make money & get a place to live!! I also got a chance to ski for 3 weeks in Europe (twice - each of my paid yearly vacations).

As to #5. After i left the government, i went to work for a private company, and came up with a system to target cell-phones. I found a relatively inexpensive radio 'scanner' that could be modified to do the job - this reduced the cost of a 3 radio system from about $30,000 to about $3000 - which put it in the realm of practical. My employer, seeing that my 'project' was becoming successful, decided to 'cut costs', by laying me off & replacing me with cheaper help. The problem was that i was the only RF engineer on the project - and i had been modifying the radios so they could be controlled by a standard PC. The 'cheaper help' hadn't a clue what i had been doing, and due to the 'press of work' - virtually nothing had been written down. Net result was that it took them over 2.5 years to build the next working system. I had been turning out 3 modified radios in 3 weeks - which was what was required to build one complete system. The outcome was that they lost the market, and a potentially lucrative project was strangled in it's crib. So much for 'the cheapest worker wins'. Cheers.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by AW AFR)
It's around 50k...such starting salary seems ridicolously high.All other courses at Imperial have way less than that and Computer Science/Computing/Software Engineering in other unis have starting salaries of mosly 20k-30k...but 50K IS JUST INSANE!
do you have a link for that? I don't in general trust uni stats on salaries.
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de-culus
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Imperial is a top-tier uni and is leading in the STEM field, it is likely that a lot of their graduates flock to Silicon Valley and can easily earn a big fat salary within a few months.
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AW AFR
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(Original post by ajj2000)
do you have a link for that? I don't in general trust uni stats on salaries.
From Imperial's website:

https://discoveruni.gov.uk/course-de...G600/FullTime/
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My first reaction to salary quotes [particularly from schools], is to ask for at least 6 references to recent graduates who are making that salary, and check with them directly, as to their actual salaries and experiences. I did that before starting my engineering degree years and years ago, and would recommend it to anyone before they start a degree study program. Cheers.
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de-culus
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(Original post by Rabbit2)
My first reaction to salary quotes [particularly from schools], is to ask for at least 6 references to recent graduates who are making that salary, and check with them directly, as to their actual salaries and experiences. I did that before starting my engineering degree years and years ago, and would recommend it to anyone before they start a degree study program. Cheers.
You can do that? That's such a good tip!

Would you just directly contact their admissions folk?
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(Original post by de-culus)
You can do that? That's such a good tip!

Would you just directly contact their admissions folk?
Yes, or whoever gave you the salary quotation. Another source is to contact the Alumni office, and ask them to give you the contact info on relatively recent graduates [within the last 5 to 10 years], who graduated with the degree you are seeking, who would be willing to talk to you about their experiences at the school, and their jobs & salary information. The school wants ppl to enroll for the degree, so it is to their advantage to see that you get factual and accurate info from graduates. Call [or otherwise contact the graduates - if they give other than phone numbers, like emails - use those to contact them]. Set up appointments to talk to them. MAKE SURE TO SHOW UP ON TIME!! Make up a list of questions ahead of time, such as "What other careers did you consider, What would you have done differently in your education, if you had it to do over, Have you worked overseas, Did you like it, What advice would you give me (yourself) about working overseas, Where do you see yourself in 5 yrs, 10 years, etc... Take notes, type them up when you get home, and read them over. Compare the responses of different references to the same questions. After you go over your notes/recordings, send the reference a 'follow-up' thank-you note, expressing your gratitude again for their help. Don't forget to thank the reference for their time and trouble. If your reference does not object, you might want to record their answers to your questions, as it's quicker and more accurate than taking notes. If you come up with other questions, you may want to go back to the reference, and ask if you could return with more questions. Bear in mind that you are using their time and resources - so you might want to buy them lunch/dinner to avoid being a pest. I worked overseas for about 3 years after graduation, and i found the experience very valuable. I wish i had stayed longer, but hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Best of luck!!!
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Gent2324
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its very plausible.
ICL is a high ranked uni.
a small proportion of people flock to silicon valley, their starting salaries + stock + sign on will be $150-200k.
there will also be a small proportion of people in uk grad jobs that pay around £90-120k
there will be a slightly larger proportion of people working at FAANG where their salary + stock + sign on is £60-85k

even though most will be 25-30k those small proportions of people will drive up the average by a lot.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Gent2324)
its very plausible.
ICL is a high ranked uni.
a small proportion of people flock to silicon valley, their starting salaries + stock + sign on will be $150-200k.
there will also be a small proportion of people in uk grad jobs that pay around £90-120k
there will be a slightly larger proportion of people working at FAANG where their salary + stock + sign on is £60-85k

even though most will be 25-30k those small proportions of people will drive up the average by a lot.
Do the figures include overseas earnings? I'm not clear on how the stats are compiled - it seems to counting people living in the UK and based on median earnings. The imperial number referred to above is only based on a sample of 30 people, but looking at overall figures for IT grads may well be reasonable.
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Do the figures include overseas earnings? I'm not clear on how the stats are compiled - it seems to counting people living in the UK and based on median earnings. The imperial number referred to above is only based on a sample of 30 people, but looking at overall figures for IT grads may well be reasonable.
all are UK except for the ones in dollars which is US.
i will stress its a very small minority that gets those jobs in the US, and i do think they pick whichever average is the highest as well to make it look better. that being said, most of the people who go to faang in the UK are from unis like this.
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(Original post by Gent2324)
all are UK except for the ones in dollars which is US.
i will stress its a very small minority that gets those jobs in the US, and i do think they pick whichever average is the highest as well to make it look better. that being said, most of the people who go to faang in the UK are from unis like this.
Not my point - do the statistics only record salaries of people working in the UK, or do they ask for income wherever in the world people are working? My guess is that they use median rather than mean figures (the details in the links to the report seem to intimate that but I couldnt confirm definitively. Even so - I'll bet there are a decent number of Imperial grads at FAANG and trading houses all of whom would exceed the salary stated, and by a lot if HMRC data rather than base salary were the benchmark.
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Not my point - do the statistics only record salaries of people working in the UK, or do they ask for income wherever in the world people are working? My guess is that they use median rather than mean figures (the details in the links to the report seem to intimate that but I couldnt confirm definitively. Even so - I'll bet there are a decent number of Imperial grads at FAANG and trading houses all of whom would exceed the salary stated, and by a lot if HMRC data rather than base salary were the benchmark.
from the article: "The LEO data shows how much graduates working in the UK were earning three years and five years after graduating. The data shows these statistics for the same cohort of students."
so not including silicon valley salaries.
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