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Entry level position, do you use an offer letter to get higher pay at another company

  1. Nov 2, 2007 #1
    Hello everyone.

    Recently one of my friends got an offer letter from IBM (he's a Comp Sci major). He doesn't really want to work with IBM because the position they are giving him might not be in development but instead testing.

    This is going to be his first job and he was co-oping with them before hand. Well they gave him the offer letter and he has to respond to it in about 3 weeks if he wants the position or not.

    At the time of his co-op with IBM he was interviewing with other company's like CISCO.

    CISCO also is very interested in him but he only went through 1 interview. He still needs another interview and then he maybe offered an offer letter. The manager who interviewed at CISCO responded with, "I haven't interviewed such a qualified candidate for this position in 25 years." So CISCO is very interested in him.

    The issue is, IBM is really pushing him to say yes or no to them, but he still needs more time to wait to get an offer letter from CISCO. Can he tell IBM to extend their original offer or is that running the risk of them saying, well if your not interested and want to see if cisco wants you , then f you! Or do they realize, this is his first job, why would you just limit yourself to interview with 1 company and accepted it immediately? 3 weeks is a really short time in my opinion to decide or is this common?

    If he was given an offer letter by both IBM and CISCO could he use that as a way to get more money from the other company or is this bad practice?

    IBM is offering him 59k starting salary, but he talked to his other friends and cisco offered 65k to 3 of his friends, and 70k to another. The person who got 70k actually refused to be paid 65k, she said she wants at least 70k and they did it!

    So can you play a game with these offer letters or is it dangerous?

    For example, if CISCO gives my friend an offer letter and say its only 55k, can he say, well I would like the job but IBM is offering 59k? Or would that be an insult or more of a reason to either match or make a better offer?

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2007 #2
    Hey, they came to him. If they decline, he can always go to IBM, right?
  4. Nov 2, 2007 #3
    The reason I'm asking all of this is because I'm also going to come into this situation after my 3 semesters are over so I'm going to learn from his experience :P

    Poop Loops,

    What I was worried about though is he needs to EXTEND his orignal time period for IBM's offer so he has time to get an offer letter from CISCO. Now if IBM gets pissed becuase he is asking an extension and he looses the offer from IBM, he may never get an offer from CISCO (even though it sounds like he is going 2) and be double owned!

    So I guess the real question in the original post is, can you ask for an extension or is this insulting?
  5. Nov 2, 2007 #4
    You can always ask for more time, but they have hiring needs so it's unreasonable to expect the extension.

    Instead of just asking for more time - get IBM to clarify the development vs. testing issue, and see if he can get *them* to offer a bit more. Negotiating doesn't require you to already have a better offer elsewhere! Yes, it entails risks - but it's the only reason one of those four people is making 70k when the other three only have 65k. He'll have to decide which risks to take for himself.

    If the lower offer ends up being at the place where he likes the work better, by enough that he'd take the job he doesn't like as much...well, in this case you're an idiot if you don't try to negotiate for higher pay at the job you like better.
  6. Nov 2, 2007 #5
    I'm reading "$65k" and thinking "Wow... I won't see that kind of money for another 6 or 7 years... :frown:"
  7. Nov 2, 2007 #6
    Just think, you can bust your ass and live off ramen for another 6-7 years in grad school...so you can get a job making 65k. :wink:

    Makes me wonder if I shouldn't have dual majored into an engineering discipline. A little late to start that now, though.

    A good option at this point could be to work for a while before going on to grad school. This may work out better in the long run...not really sure about the logistics of it and such, though?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  8. Nov 2, 2007 #7
    Depends on what job you end up getting and your long term goals, I guess. I mean, if you get a job as a paper pusher, that's not going to help you in grad school. If you get one as an engineer, it will feed you for as long as you want, but it's an overkill if you just want the job so that you are more prepared for grad school.

    Yeah, the $65k/year bit is a bit distressing. I know industry and select subfields of physics can pay more than $65k/year (even at start), but none of that is guaranteed. Kind of seems like I'm getting shafted.

    No point in thinking about it now, though. Definitely going to get my Physics BS and going to some sort of graduate school. Whether it's to get a PhD in physics, Master's in either phys or EE, or MBA, I don't know. But no point in worrying now, eh?
  9. Nov 3, 2007 #8
    Hey Poop-Loops. After you do your BS in Physics, how long do you expect it would take to earn a Masters in EE? I never even knew you could do grad in EE if undergrad was not EE.

    And are you doing Applied physics or Theory?


    p.s. Sorry if I hijacked this thread.
  10. Nov 3, 2007 #9
    50-60k is the average entry level salary for Computer Scientists.

    My other friend who graduated from MIT is only getting 54k but he's working for a gaming company which usually starts out lower.
  11. Nov 3, 2007 #10
    2-3 years. I'd likely have to take some undergrad courses, but I can't imagine it would take me very long. The foundations of EE are in physics, of course. ;)

    No distinction in undergrad, but if I were to go to grad school for physics it would definitely be experimental.
  12. Nov 3, 2007 #11
    please help; what would be under a paper pusher job description and what would be an engineers job? I guess it varies with the company and a job, what I am trying to say how would I know that say my job: is just a paper pusher? or could I say better something than nothing? thanks
  13. Nov 3, 2007 #12
    If your an engineer you will be doing things related to your job, if you go into management after then you will work with customers mainly and will be a "paper" pusher but get paid much more than an engineer position usually.
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