Would you take low pay for the right experience?

hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
Quick details: I'm 23, have a couple degrees (one in Computer Systems Technology), have a year of experience, have the CCNA R&S, Net+, A+, and MTA Networking. Started a new job in a major east coast city for a small firm (65 users) in September but first 6 months in an internship (they told me this week they are offering me permanent status though). Intern company offered 12/hr and I asked for 14/hr and got it even though I know it's still too low.

What I like is that I'm basically the guy. There's 2 developers and a CIO but they are not very relevant to my work, only the Sr. Systems Engineer is. It's close to home, and he shows me a lot of stuff which I like. I'm getting the VCP:DC and MCSA Server 2012 next year, so this is a good set up for me to learn about those technologies while I get certified.

I do all the desktop support here, plus iPhones, VoIP phones, iPads, etc. Manage pushing out our updates each month over the network, manage our weekly/monthly backups, physically set up all new equipment, do help desk type stuff like creating new users or mailboxes, research and test products, work directly with vendors to resolve issues, do some technical writing. It's pretty good experience.

My question is, should I stay here after the last half of my internship ends despite the pay? I see all kinds of jobs out there that pay more. Even people who just log tickets and reset passwords make more, and I'm over here learning about vmWare and Exchange, etc. My CCNA doesn't get put to use here either, which is fine, but the knowledge from studying all that becomes rusty.

What would you do? I think I'll just stay till after I get the MCSA and VCP but if someone has a similar experience I want to hear it.


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    ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Will you be getting relevant experience to go along with those certifications? What are your long term goals?

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
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    hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yes, we will be looking to convert our servers to 2012 next year and the Sr. Systems Engineer is a VCP so the potential is there to get some good hands on experience. I want to be a Network/Systems Engineer and eventually an IT Director. I know this is kind of generic, everyone wants to be a Network/Systems Admin.
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    NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Are your degrees AAS or BS or ? The pay sounds low but it is a small shop. If you don't have other prospects, I'd take it - sounds like a great experience builder.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
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    JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 Mod Posts: 2,835 Mod
    Experience is king so if you can get the experience, do it now while you still can. Keep building your resume, skills, and certifications and you'll be able to turn that into a much higher paying position down the road.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
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    hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    AS and AAS. It's a 'small shop' but an investment firm handling billions of dollars in assets. We have free lunch everyday and everyone has iPhones and $2000 laptops issued to them.
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    SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,731 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I absolutely would. Coming in at lower pay lets you get experience, earn promotions, make contacts ect.
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    hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks guys. I guess I just get frustrated when I see jobs online paying more than what I make that are a step below. I need the experience though so I really do not want to leave for awhile, at least until next year once I finish my next round of studies.
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    bradl3yCbradl3yC Member Posts: 67 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You could always ask for more money. Take a look at all of the duties you perform for your company, research comparable jobs in that area with your qualifications/experience and present that to management.
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    hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I plan to ask for more once this goes permanent, I just don't know how much more it will go. On one hand I don't feel like I have enough skills or experience to command much money but on the other hand NJ is expensive and I see comparable/lower jobs paying more. I'm not worried about a huge pay day, that will come later on when I reach my goal. Just want enough to pay off my student loans and bills in the mean time and be able to save a little.
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    Tpresto1Tpresto1 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yep, as long as I can learn as much as I can taking a low pay is no problem for me.
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    ArabianKnightArabianKnight Member Posts: 278 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would, especially if you want to break into security. You can double your salary in about 5 years so the low pay would not last!
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Cash is king experience is a close second. IMO
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    ratbuddyratbuddy Member Posts: 665
    I would, especially if you want to break into security. You can double your salary in about 5 years so the low pay would not last!

    If he's only making $28/hr in 5 years, something is seriously wrong.

    OP, I'd have a frank discussion with management. Express your interest in staying if the price is right. See if expectations on both sides are in alignment, and if not, bail as soon as you find something better.

    Personally I think you're nuts working for $14/hr with a year of experience and a degree, even if it's not a BS.
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    instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    The one thing to be careful about is whether you are going to continue to do new things and be paid for them, or if you're going to continue to be paid low, and keep doing the same stuff, year after year.

    The pay seems a bit low for your qualifications, as I thought that a major East coast city would be more costly to live in than San Antonio.

    You should do your research so when the offer is made for permanent, you have a good idea of how much you should be billing them for your services.

    Keep in mind that you can always look for other positions if they bring you on permanent and low-ball you. I was fortunate that the last time I got low-balled for a permanent offer, I could turn around the next day and provide my two week notice.

    That is to say, you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure to be out there talking with others in your market, so that you have some leads if things turn sour.

    Hope this helps. :)
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    PlantwizPlantwiz Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod

    Chasing the money doesn't solve matters. Work satisfaction and a great team of people makes for a much more enjoyable life...IME.

    Everyone must learn for themselves though....I'll never chase the money over job enjoyment again.
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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    doublehunterdoublehunter Member Posts: 59 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am doing a help desk job and planning to switch over to desktop support but the deal breaker is lower salary than my current role. We kinda have the same situation, debate on pay vs experience, except that you are where I want to be. What I can say is you're already there. Don't even think of doing ticket logging and password resets for a higher paying job. What you can benefit from your current role is the right exposure on the technologies that would be relevant to your dream job. If you can survive at $14/hr, I say stay till you get certified. If not then you might need to consider things. Best of luck!
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    XavorXavor Member Posts: 161
    If you're not struggling on the income, then stick it out for that year until you finish the certs. I did a similar path and worked on an intern salary for 2 years, but it gave me access to a lot of different fields (just like the "work for MSP advice given on the boards").

    After 2 years I finished my BS and tripled my salary. I finished my VCP a few weeks into the new job, and now 8 months later I'm looking at another 30% or greater increase in January once they finalize the bidding on a contract.

    Once you get that magic 2 or 3 years of experience you can see the doors open. You have to be prepared for the opportunities and have confidence in your abilities.

    I'd recommend choosing a path for your next job and get really good at it. You have a wide selection of certifications.
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    techfiendtechfiend Member Posts: 1,481 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm in a pretty familiar situation but earlier along and getting a little better pay but really unsure what the future holds in the position after we upgrade to 2012. What I would do is a few weeks before the internship ends ask a manager what would be changing after being employed, they may bring up pay, if not, bring it up. If they like you and they're growing a bump in pay shouldn't be too much to ask. These jobs are quite fun though, so much better than a high stress call center, I'd take lower pay to do it and it gives you great experience.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
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    Snow.brosSnow.bros Member Posts: 832 ■■■■□□□□□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    Cash is king experience is a close second. IMO

    Just out of curiosity, how long have you been in IT before your move?
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    pevangelpevangel Member Posts: 342
    Chase experience over money specially early in your career. You will make more money in the long run. Think about what your resume will look like for future opportunities.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    @ Snow

    First of all I am a career changer started in my late 20's early 30's.

    I was at my job for almost 2 years before moving onto a more senior role. I am a careerist, I am looking for promotions and big raises annually. If I don't get the money I want I start looking. I usually do a yearly self assessment to see where I am at. If I love the place I'll stay 6 months or maybe longer but financials usually end up winning out. I keep making more and more by doing this so it's been good for the most part.

    I have also taken short contracting jobs (3 months) to gain more hourly and experience.

    Couple of key points

    If the job is a FTE position I usually try to stay at least 1 year and most likely 2. Obviously if it's a contract I try to complete it, I like to leave on a good note.

    I make it very clear to management what my intentions are, that is I set expectations in our one on ones very early in the process, usually around month 4 - 5.

    For example in this current position I am tracking for a first line management role in a fortune 20 company. If I don't get this position I'll wait another 6 months to see if something happens if the message is loud and clean no then I'll start looking internal at the positions in other departments. Then last but not least outside work for at least 20 - 30% higher.
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    hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the feed back. I'm not 'struggling' for example, but I'm not saving very much. My real role here is desktop support with jr. sys admin functions. I'm a smart guy, you realistically couldn't find someone better for what they pay me. I am just considering being here for the next year while I get my MCSA/VCP since it's close to home and good experience. 2 years experience with degrees and quality certifications will look much better anyways and make it easier to move up.

    I'm just very aware of the average IT salary in general and understand people start in help desk roles (I skipped this basically) and people making $10-$16 in those roles, and then people making $16-$22 for desktop support (these are rough numbers of course). When I was making $17/hr on the contract I was getting overtime too and it was plenty of money (and an EASY job). This job is much more difficult and I'm much more independent and doing much more. Our weekly backup didn't run properly this morning, so after this post that's what I'll be working on.
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    ChitownjediChitownjedi Member Posts: 578 ■■■■■□□□□□
    My lady just took less in her role that she just got this week then what she was getting on a help desk position before... She gained two additional certs and 7 months of of experience in that role, however the place she's going to will train her in sql,.net, C# and other things that actually support her long term goals of back end SharePoint administration.. She's no where close to being able do sharepoint admin, and probably won't for 2 years honestly, so in this case the experience is worth more than the extra 6.00 7.00 per hour she could have fetched...

    At least, that's the hope!!! If you not hurting for the cash... soak up all you can, and then consolidate your gains and make your moves once you have a few more certs and real world experience. My only suggestion is is make your move within the next 12 months... the field changes fast
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