Virginia Tech claims their Business IT grads start off making 57k, how true is that?

tom_dubtom_dub MemberMember Posts: 59 ■■■■□□□□□□
I've been reading these forums for almost a year and one thing I commonly see is threads asking how to break into the IT realm. Have seen many, many posts, those with BS degrees in IT, no experience, asking how to get that first job and the most common response is "You have to start out at the bottom like the rest of us". Well, starting out at the bottom I assume is usually help desk, can't be more than 20-30k a year, 40k at best right? Well, I am in college and looking to transfer soon; one of the schools I'm looking at is Virginia Tech. They have a program entitled "Business Information Technology" with an emphasis on Decision Support Systems. If you click this link Starting Salaries | Business Information Technology | Pamplin College of Business | Virginia Tech you will see that the school claims the median base for starting salary is 57k. I've also seen the stats where this is based off of, graduates reporting in on it after so many years out of school, just can't remember where I saw them. I would also assume kids graduating from college have no experience yet.

My question is, how common is this? I can't recall any story on here of someone with just a BS degree starting out at anything higher than 35k.

Comments

  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    When I graduated my first job was starting at $35k. Obviously, depending on where you live/work you will see a difference in pay for starting positions. Perhaps a lot of their graduates ended up at Silicon Valley or NYC, their salaries could be a lot hire then if you went to the Philadelphia area. Fact is numbers can be made to look however you like, so go in with your eyes open and expect $35k then anything higher will be icing on the cake!
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  • SlowhandSlowhand Questionably Benevolent Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    I had a job at a datacenter for $35,000 per year when I was first starting out, and I didn't have a degree or very much experience; my last job was for roundabouts $55,000 per year and I still don't have a degree. My roommate is 18, holds only A+/Network+/Security+, is taking college classes at night, and he's making about $40,000 per year in the job he just started a few months ago. Then again, I also know people who have fresh Bachelor's degrees and doing helpdesk for something like $10 an hour, so I suppose it's all relative.

    And the_Grinch is absolutely right, your location has a HUGE impact on what your salary looks like: the cost of living is different depending on where you go.

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  • BokehBokeh Senior Member Member Posts: 1,636 ■■■■■■■□□□
    What these schools don't give is a true breakdown. When they send out salary inquiries to their former students, it isn't strictly their salary. They figure in the cost of health care benefits, vacation time, etc. So please look at all the numbers, not just salary. 57k is great, 57k and full benefits with no out of pocket cost to you is even better.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Senior Member Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Bokeh wrote: »
    What these schools don't give is a true breakdown. When they send out salary inquiries to their former students, it isn't strictly their salary. They figure in the cost of health care benefits, vacation time, etc. So please look at all the numbers, not just salary. 57k is great, 57k and full benefits with no out of pocket cost to you is even better.

    +1
    I believe that schools often over inflate the value of their degree/ program.
    Ask yourself these questions before attending this college, or any other college:

    Look at cost-how much do the credits cost?

    What is the tuition? How does it compare to other colleges?

    What type of accreditation does this school have? Are they regionally accredited, or non-regionally accredited? Most colleges won’t take credits from a non regionally accredited college.

    What colleges or colleges will my degrees transfer to? What colleges does the college have transfer agreements with?

    Also, if you can find a few people that went to that school, try to ask them what their experience was good or bad.

    Another point I must make is don’t chase the money, but find out what you like in IT programming, web development, system administration, database admin, ect and focus your degree and classes on those specializations. That’s my advice…
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  • MrRyteMrRyte Senior Member Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Unless those students did some interning while in college (then getting hired on with the company afterward), I can't see how they could have started at such a high salary.....
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  • ehndeehnde Senior Member Member Posts: 1,103
    MrRyte wrote: »
    Unless those students did some interning while in college (then getting hired on with the company afterward), I can't see how they could have started at such a high salary.....

    That's what I came here to say. Interning is probably the best way to get your foot in the door starting out at 57k. I think you could make 57k as a new grad without interning by getting certifications and working full time in IT while in school. If you think that's too hard to do you probably won't be making 57k fresh out of college.
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  • VAHokie56VAHokie56 You serious Clark? Member Posts: 783
    As a Virginia Tech Alum I wish I could say yes believe every word they say because the HOKIES and everything that is Virginia Tech is [email protected][email protected][email protected]!...it really comes down to a person by person case when it comes to getting a job.

    Getting a degree from VT will certainly help as they are a well respected school but its a very competitive job market out there and employers can be picky these days because of the amount of people in there candidate pools. If you have the option to go to a great university TAKE IT and try and get experience while there working with the university's IT department.

    and for gods sake go to as many football games a possible, get hammer drunk and scream until your voice is gone!

    GO HOKIES!!!


    ...yeah I am a bit of a VT freak...
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  • hackman2007hackman2007 Senior Member Member Posts: 185
    It honestly depends on the state the people are going to. Just because someone attends Virginia Tech, that doesn't mean they will stay in Virginia. 57K in New York is a lot less than 57K in Virginia.


    Or the people just got lucky. I had no "real job" experience and I'm making more than 35K. I did have a few positions here and there, but nothing like working 40 hours per week. In short, anything is possible you just have to be patient and hard-working.
  • EveryoneEveryone Premier Field Engineer Member Posts: 1,661
    Where does it say that these people are making that much money with just the degree and no experience? Not everybody goes straight from High School to College, and then on to a job. Plenty of people get jobs first, then go back and finish College later. Plenty more work while going to college.

    If you start an entry level IT job the same day you start college, and it takes you 4 years to get your BS, you're graduating with a degree and 4 years of experience. If I go back and ask you what the starting salary was for your 1st job after graduating, it's going to be higher than the kid who went straight from High School to College and didn't work through College.

    Or what about those who are in their 30's that have 10+ years in IT and already make a pretty high salary? They go finish their degree, get a new job making even more money, and that brings up the average.
  • TurgonTurgon Senior Member Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Its all lies to sell classes. Smoke and mirrors, cooked numbers. If you are lucky, well connected, exceptional or a mixture of all three or just one of the three you will start high, for the rest it's low pay and grunt starting out. Well connected works best, even if you are as dumb as box of spanners you will start well. Lucky you will start well. Exceptional you have a probability of starting out better but in this economy without luck or connections you may start on grunt wages, but your talent will shine through so expect to be noticed and escalated, providing you work for the right company!

    Are they are still teaching Decision Support Systems. When I studied in 1989 we were taught that and expert systems by hacks who had landed a comfortable job in academia. There were no jobs for 'systems analysts' when we graduates and the lecturers hadn't heard of the internet. DSS and ES was a utopia from the mainframe era that never really flew, it doesn't employ even 2% of the people that work in IT these days.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus He Hate Me Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If only the people who get good jobs out of college respond to the surveys, that will affect the average. Find out what percentage of the grads responded. At least they are using median and not mean.
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus He Hate Me Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Okay, they list the source at the bottom of the page.

    76% of the BIT students responded. 80% of the respondents were employed. 94% of the employed reported their salaries.

    So out of the 87 graduates...

    66 responded.
    53 were employed.
    50 reported their salary from which the median was derived.

    We have no income data for 43% of their graduates.
    The unemployment rate for those graduates could be as high as 39%.
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus He Hate Me Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Whatever you do, don't major in Biological Systems Engineering. 92% of their graduates responded and they have a 63% unemployment rate.
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  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus He Hate Me Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Keep in mind, this is a degree for people who are looking to be in management, not in a technical role. Managers don't start at the help desk. So the advice about starting at the help desk/NOC to break into IT is largely correct for technical roles.
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  • tom_dubtom_dub Member Member Posts: 59 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Okay, they list the source at the bottom of the page.

    76% of the BIT students responded. 80% of the respondents were employed. 94% of the employed reported their salaries.

    So out of the 87 graduates...

    66 responded.
    53 were employed.
    50 reported their salary from which the median was derived.

    We have no income data for 43% of their graduates.
    The unemployment rate for those graduates could be as high as 39%.

    Knew I saw it somewhere, still, those stats look pretty damn good compared to the rest of the school. Highest employment percentage of those who responded. I'd say it looks like a damn good program.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,485 Mod
    Whatever you do, don't major in Biological Systems Engineering. 92% of their graduates responded and they have a 63% unemployment rate.

    For BSc, yes I agree never major in Biological Systems Engineering or 'Bioinformatics' in general. However, it's a very hot topic in research, so for someone who wants to move to academia, doing a MSc or a research degree in this field will be helpful
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  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Could be skewed based on students working in the DC metro area and getting big money beyond their value.
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  • tpatt100tpatt100 Network Security Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    When I was going to Davenport, they were always advertising that 90 percent of the students found jobs in their degree field. What they don't disclose is that most everybody in my classes were already working in the IT field and needed a degree to advance.
  • tom_dubtom_dub Member Member Posts: 59 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well I asked on a Virginia Tech Forum and here were some of the responses:

    "You won't learn as much programming in BIT as you will in CS... obviously. Also there is the math issue. If you just to the bare minimum in BIT you probably wont come out as that great of a programmer... the classes just aren't that hard... especially if you're choosing between CS and BIT. The people I work with seem to love that I understand what they're talking about on the business side and can program it (or work in excel) and learn programming languages quickly.
    If all you want are numbers... I came out of BIT with 5 job offers with the lowest coming in at 55k. I took IBM for 70k. The EE I lived with ended up at Lockheed Martin and makes about the same as I do..." -Respondant 1

    "as business students, we have the second largest career fair after the engineers and the number of consulting companies that come on campus for the month of October to present, interview, and sponsor tailgates in front of our career center is amazing to the point that most of us visit them not only for the free food but also the swag they bring with them! anyhow, my two BIT friends after going through rounds of interviews with all the major firms this past month have had more offers than they anticipated with salaries starting in the low 60s to the mid 70s. so by all means, i suggest you go the BIT route if you transfer here!" - Respondant 2

    "I've only taken Java (CS 1504) and learned about Excel macros/VBAScript (BIT 3424), so I can't speak much to the entire course load, but I know that the Big 4 love BIT majors. I went to Deloitte's National Leadership Conference in Arizona this past July and was offered an internship a month later, no extra interviewing required. Like everyone else has said, if you like the straight-up technical side, CS might be more up your alley. But there IS room for advancement as a consultant - IT consulting directors make a LOT of money." - Respondant 3




  • lsud00dlsud00d 1337sauce Member Posts: 1,571
    Managers don't start at the help desk

    I'm going to prove you wrong!

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  • VAHokie56VAHokie56 You serious Clark? Member Posts: 783
    lsud00d wrote: »
    I'm going to prove you wrong!

    icon_wink.gif

    Ya I agree I know plenty that started off in help desk
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