Job offers, need some help...

Stan27Stan27 Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hey guys, I'm hoping you can lead me in the right direction and answer some of my questions.

First off, I'm an 11th grader, so one more year of high school.

I was first offered a student tech job for one of the local schools.
The superintendent then offered me the job of THE tech for the school, so better position and probably more pay.

Now I have 4 people trying to get me into either of 2 jobs in 1 organization...
I am absolutely positive that I can fully perform any duties they assign. They told me some of the things I'd be doing, and were quite surprised that I could follow along and talk about the subject to prove that I can handle things.

The tech and the student tech working there right now are complete wastes of space. The student tech took 25 minutes to identify a speaker problem(unplugged cable), the official tech has directed everyone in the school to print their PDFs using one of the office computers. This is because Word opens them by default on all of the machines, and he just hasn't figured out how to have Acrobat Reader open them(we're talking about a college educated adult).

They offered to put me into a computer class at the school to help me out(it's a basic A+ class), and were shocked when I refused because I'm already certified.


The question is: how much should I expect them to offer me?
Can I negotiate that?

I expect their offer to be low because I'm still a high school student, but I am a great deal smarter(computer-wise) than the computer people they have working for them.

I also see this as an opportunity to get into the field and get the experience that will put me into a better job sooner, but if they offer me minimum wage, I'm ready to tell them to kiss my ass.

They want me to fill out an application for formality's sake, and the damned thing is about 30 pages long. I have to sign that I swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution(who puts that on a job app?), and almost sign my life away just to find out how much money they'll give me.

Sorry for all of that, just wanted to give some background information so you all know the situation I'm in.

My questions are:
What should I expect to be offered?
Is it appropriate to say "I want more"?
What's the longest job application you've encountered? :P
Is it appropriate to ask about pay before a formal interview?


Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate any help.

Comments

  • PashPash Posts: 1,601Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Would this be your first job overall or just in IT?

    Im not sure what year US youg adults leave school, i think it maybe 18 if im correct? Anyway, if this is going to be your first job overall and you can afford to say "kiss my ass" to minimum wage..................id say you are very lucky to have people support you in your life without having to work to earn a little.....i had my first job at 16, which I bent the hours around college....was hard. Btw im not being judgemental here, because I dont know your story......but i must be on track?

    I am in my first job in IT currently......gaining experience as I go and learning from a few industy vets (ex ISP engineers, communications engineers, university network admins etc etc). Truth be told, I was very lucky to land this job........at the time I would of taken any IT related job to gain experience (being new in the field).

    So my advice to you would be: take the job that will get you the most experience, because if you can afford to earn less money (depending on your situation) then the experience is worth x100 more.

    And sorry I cant answer your questions, for regional and inexperience in the field reasons.
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • StoticStotic Posts: 248Member
    I agree. I don't believe they'll lowball you, but if its less then you're expecting still with it. The experience is not only valuable for your future career, but shows future employers that you've been in the field at such a young age. Having something like 'Head Tech' at a High School shows that you've been trusted with a high position in the past. So as long as its not 50 cents an hour or something rediculous like that, take the job! Your resume will thank you later.
  • Stan27Stan27 Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    No, Pash, I don't have others supporting me. I am 17, and I earn money doing small-scale computer things for home users. I hope to eventually turn this into a larger business, doing work for large companies(networking kind of stuff).
    I'm sure you'd agree with me that no matter the age, something that requires this level of knowledge and experience(I have done very similar work before, just for friends who were teachers at another school) deserves more than minimum wage. I understand that I should be happy with having a steady job where I won't be easily replaced, but am I supposed to be happy with having to maintain 200+ computers at two or three sites and then making as much as somebody who flips burgers?

    I do, however, want something more steady though, and something with some proof of work. What I'm saying is, what employer believes "oh, I worked for myself for a while"?

    Another choice I have is to do a summer internship at the Ford dealership. I've spent a few months there, with the intention of gaining business-oriented experience, and I really like it. I never thought work could be so enjoyable, which is why I hate to reject this opportunity which could later turn into a full-time job as well.


    I see the computer job being the right choice, because I know it's hard to get started in the field, but it's still a hard decision. The school district isn't exactly a glamorous employer. Teachers were picketing in front of the school a few weeks ago, and the district has already broken contracts that would have given me a job a while ago.

    I have been told by a few teachers that the school will try to pay me as little as they can get away with, and, however immature it may be, it bugs me that this other guy would get more money than me even though he isn't as qualified for the job, mostly because of his age. That really makes one feel taken advantage of. Like I wasn't hired because I was qualified, but for cheap labor.

    What do you other readers think somebody in my position should be earning?

    I hope I cleared it up a little bit, and I see I'm double-spacing my sentences(damn essays).
    Thank you to both of you for the help, I guess I just need enough people telling me "take the computer job," and maybe a place to write my thoughts down so I can compare better.

    Also, Posh, if you don't mind entertaining me, how has your experience in the field been?
  • the101sthe101s Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    schools dont pay huge amounts of money, its your first job though right.... take it, you can always leave in 6 months with 6 months experience, which is a shitload better than nothing.

    depends on the hours... i dont know what the rates are like in america, over here i reckon thats worth 12-15k ($23-30k ish) a year for a 35-40 hour week

    i wouldnt try and negotiate, you dont have too much leverage and you can always try for a raise later, you might be getting paid the same as burger flippers. but. 1. youre only 17 and thats still ok money. 2. you arent flipping burgers are you, and your career prospects arent senior burger flipper or burger flipping manager.
  • PashPash Posts: 1,601Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    http://www.techexams.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20618

    Is a small progress thread about my work so far. Im a baby in the field of IT, I know very little but I learn steadily. Im going on with about 4-6 hours sleep a night currently while trying to study for my exams and the 3hrs lost on commuting doesnt help either. The reason im busting my ballz now, is to gain experience...I do 50% support for SMB (including a trading floor with Reuters Bloomberg ICE etc etc) and 50% project work with a little of everything.....no week is the same...which is good as the same time as bad....i dont get enough of the same to "specialise" in anything. the company I work for pay's for my cert exams if i pass or fail, but im not established enough yet to get a training budget or anything like that. I earn what would be considered a good starting wage in IT here in the UK (as advised from friends)....in my old line of work it would of been considered managment worthy wage.

    Stan Thank you for clearing up your current situation to allow me to give you advice. Hey we are all adults here....we all know that money is important....i have been paying my own way for many years now....also being young money has extra meanings (not just for paying bills but for recreation also).

    My original advice still stands..if you can afford to take an awful starting sallary for the chance to gain massive experience....do it. I gather your work here and there so far in IT has been short lived and not for 200+ users?

    Yes it will be annoying to know that your colleagues are on more money than you but do not have as wide a range of technical skills. Take it on the chin.....work hard and gain some certs and your cv in a year or so will look incredibly attractive...they will notice your performance and will have to pay you in sync with that.

    As for taking a "computer job", if you have a passion for technology and an urge to advance in the most important (and ultimately competitive) industry in the world, then this is it. But any person at any age can choose his/her career....its true. But that choice is down to you obviously.

    Good luck.
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • mrhaun03mrhaun03 Posts: 359Member
    the101s wrote:
    schools dont pay huge amounts of money, its your first job though right.... take it, you can always leave in 6 months with 6 months experience, which is a shitload better than nothing.

    depends on the hours... i dont know what the rates are like in america, over here i reckon thats worth 12-15k ($23-30k ish) a year for a 35-40 hour week

    i wouldnt try and negotiate, you dont have too much leverage and you can always try for a raise later, you might be getting paid the same as burger flippers. but. 1. youre only 17 and thats still ok money. 2. you arent flipping burgers are you, and your career prospects arent senior burger flipper or burger flipping manager.

    ^ I agree. You're 17...any money is good money. If the pay isn't that good, you still got your little side jobs.

    Even if you're makin the same as a burger flipper, you're not flippin burgers and your pay will increase much faster then theirs ever would. It's a great opportunity to get some good experience to beef up your resume. I wouldn't pass it up if i was your age regardless of the pay.

    I wish I would've gotten into IT just a couple years earlier. I been doin a little bit of everything since I was 14, mostly the back-breakin kind. It's nice to be sittin at a desk now. :D
    Working on Linux+
  • sthomassthomas Posts: 1,240Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    the101s wrote:
    schools dont pay huge amounts of money

    This isn't always true. Some medium and larger sized K-12 schools can pay fairly well. I know of one school that had a Director of Technology position that started out at 110K per year.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • the101sthe101s Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    sthomas wrote:
    the101s wrote:
    schools dont pay huge amounts of money

    This isn't always true. Some medium and larger sized K-12 schools can pay fairly well. I know of one school that had a Director of Technology position that started out at 110K per year.

    ok, sorry, i meant the job that he was talking about. directors of departments in the uk regularly hit 50 grand and i know of headteachers that get near enough 100k ..... £
  • sthomassthomas Posts: 1,240Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I know what you mean, but I guess my point was most people don't realize K-12 schools are a good place to gain experience in IT and you can make a decent amount of money. And I am not just referring to Directors or Managers either. I have seen Desktop Support Techs who start out around 40-45k and Network Admins starting at 50-60K+. And these are in areas where the cost of living isn't overly high either. At least in my honest opinion I don't think that is to bad of a salary.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • Stan27Stan27 Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I am very interested with your log, Pash. That's the environment I would like to work in.

    I got some things figured out now. Both of my potential employers have agreed to let me split up my time between them. I guess that's a good point of being a student.

    I have decided to devote most of my time to the school job, especially since I heard what my first task will be.

    My first task will be to lead a group of 3 computer maintenance students and set up a new computer lab for the school.

    The school's computer guy is leaving very soon, so they want me to start before the current school year is over(just a few more days left.)

    I also see what you guys mean about the burger flipping. Who cares, I'll be doing what I really want to do.

    I guess it all worked out, thanks guys, I'm off to work on my stack of papers.

    If you have any more suggestions or comments to help me out, I'll be glad to hear them.
  • seuss_ssuesseuss_ssues Posts: 629Member
    Well first off I have worked in 2 public schools in the united states. It has its ups and downs.

    The pay isnt always great and does vary alot from school to school. If it is a public school in the united states then the salary and wages for all of its employees is considered public knowledge. Generally on most school websites you can find the salary information for all of its employees.
  • borumasborumas Posts: 244Member
    I don't know how big your district is but I work for a local school district and they do not pay that well but can offer allot of experience, so I would say taking that job is a good choice. Don't get me started on pay and how unfair it is, schools care mostly about your education level and even if you are a high school student and can run circles around the other guy you will still be paid less if the guy has an associates or especially if he has a bachelors. We have recently lost 2 great network engineers because they got more money elsewhere but the district still didn't want to raise their pay substantially because the district does not like that some guy who doesn't have a bachelor's degree is making over $55k a year working there. I work with many people who are several notches below me in skill level, in fact I doubt one could even troubleshoot herself out of a wet paper bag, but they make the same pay I do. It's just more incentive for me to learn, cert up, and move on to bigger things.
  • PashPash Posts: 1,601Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    How did it go Stan? Signed those papers yet? :)
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • Stan27Stan27 Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I filled most of it out, but there's a tax section in the back I'm going to need some help with. Still being 17, I know very little about how taxes work. Some of the options on the forms don't take into account people under 18, so there's no right answer.

    I have to submit the papers to my school's career center coordinator, who took the day off on Friday, so I can't get rid of the papers until tomorrow, and I might not even go to school tomorrow because I'm incredibly sick. Someone just barely called me and broke the news that I didn't miss school today(Memorial Day). All day I was worrying about missing class and not fulfilling my daily duties, and I barely find out that nothing is open anyway.

    I have all of these papers dated 5-25-07, and they won't get to their destination until about 5 days after that date.


    Anyway, thank you for all the advice. It seems that everyone has had a different experience with schools. The district website has nothing about pay, but I was told which secretary has the information, so I can know before they break the news to me.

    Thank you all for the help, I'll let you guys know what happens.
  • Stan27Stan27 Posts: 64Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Alright... here's how it's playing out so far:

    School job - took forever to get my papers submitted. I scheduled an appointment to communicate my desire to be in a higher position than "student tech." Well, they turned this into an interview, and guess who else was interviewing me, the guy whose job I wanted.

    I though it was inappropriate to directly talk about what I planned, so I hinted that I am looking for a more stable position.

    They asked me a series of seven questions, none of which assessed my ability to maintain computer systems. I understand the reason for these questions, but anyone with some BS practice could've seemed like an amazing technician.

    They said they'd contact me when they made a decision(I don't think there are any other candidates).


    I have also decided to work the first four hours of the workday at the dealership, and one of the guys I've made friends with said he'd arrange some weekend overtime work for me.

    What sucks is that both jobs are minimum wage, 7.50 USD an hour. I don't see how the people at the school get away with this.

    Also, the school tech, the "computer communications technician" is leaving the 30th of this month. They made it seem as if I would take over for him when he left(I wasn't supposed to know exactly when he was leaving,) and I hope they don't hire somebody into that position this year, because that means I won't get any higher up on the food chain there. I don't think they will, the guy only works one day per week.


    Anyway, I'll tell you guys how it goes and how I am enjoying making less money than my friend who scoops ice cream :D (I'm serious)
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