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What am I worth?

  1. Nov 5, 2007 #1
    Hello all...
    I need help in evaluating my self-worth. I was looking at job search sites and I found myself lost as to how much I should expect to make. Is $40K enough? should I be expecting less? more? let me explain my credentials first...

    I live in Queens, NY... looking to work in Queens or Manhattan.
    I have just graduated from DeVry with an Associates Degree in Electronics and Computer Technology (ECT). I am also A+ certified (2007).

    I have 2 years of Tech Support (helpdesk) experience from Time Warner.
    Plus 1 year as a Field Service Technician.
    however I am currently I am unemployed :(

    I been building custom computers since high school so Im very familiar with working on computers.
    I have a clean driving record but no car.

    All inputs are appreciated..
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2007 #2
    no offense but very little seeing as how devry is seen as a diploma mill. go back to school, a real school.
  4. Nov 5, 2007 #3


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    The OP said all inputs were appreciated, but that's a pretty crap response.

    I hope others can chip in better.
  5. Nov 5, 2007 #4
    That depends, are we parting you out? :wink:

    It may not be presented in much detail, but it's a valid point. Meanwhile you add...nothing?

    Off the top of my head, yeah about 30-40K for a tech with low experience and a vo/tech "degree". As you may have gathered, that particular piece of paper isn't respected much. Your skills are what's going to get you a job (although really this applies even if your piece of paper is more respectable). Did the ECT program teach you how to do anything marketable beyond the tech support positions? What are your career goals/plans? This determines whether you should do something like go back to school, or start looking for another tech job.
  6. Nov 5, 2007 #5


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    Since you haven't told us anything about what types of jobs you're actually applying for, it's impossible to give any sort of guesstimate of what a reasonable/competitive salary would be. Since you already have help desk experience, you might be able to get a job at a slightly higher starting salary for help desk, but if you're applying for things that are going to require a lot of on-the-job training for things you didn't get at DeVry, you might be starting at the bottom end of the entry-level salaries for those.

    As a general suggestion, look for the help-wanted ads that actually specify a salary range. This will help you figure out what the "market rate" is for the jobs you're looking for. Then, see how well your skill set and actual experience matches the job requirements. The more actual experience you have, the higher up in that range you can place yourself. If you have education in certain skill areas, but no actual work experience, you'll fall a bit more toward the middle, and if you have neither experience nor education on some of the requirements, you're down at the bottom end of the range (if employable at all).

    Also, since you're unemployed, you may need to be a bit less picky and take the lower paying job just to have a job. Once you've gotten the work experience under your belt and proven yourself to be a good employee, then you can ask for a raise if you find you got low-balled on the salary negotiations (and it's easier to figure this out once you're in a job sometimes and can talk to other people doing similar work). Or, once you've gotten the experience and aren't worried about just needing a job to pay the rent and put food on the table, you can take your time looking for something better if the people you're working for aren't reasonable about a raise.
  7. Nov 5, 2007 #6
    Don't want to sound harsh but...

    Its going to be tough to get a high paying job with those skills
    or even a job in general, most high school students obtain these skills who are interested in networking or the like.

    Also some people are "the tech guy" meaning, they do all around tech stuff, from programming/networking/trouble shooting depending on the size of the company. So you are up against 4 year degree's but you do have one advantage they can start you off at a lower paying salary than 4 years which is good for them but bad for you.

    If you really want to get to the next pay level or find a job you may need to go back to get a 4 year degree in Comp Sci/Comp Eng, or EE depending on your interests.

    I'm not saying it will be impossible to find a job, but you might be disappointed in the pay/job security.

    Comp Sci/Comp Eng average salary for 4 years in the east cost is 50-60k, so a 2 year degree you can imagine will be lower.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  8. Nov 5, 2007 #7
    Or to add a major that mr. coffee left out, computer information systems. Kind of like computer science, but easier, and more business minded.
  9. Nov 5, 2007 #8
    Ah true.....Good catch PowerISO.

    I'll add to the list I totally forgot about these majors:
    Information System Technology (IST) or
    Management Information Systems (MIS).

    If you don't like math/physics, these are your dream majors...
    Very cool stuff, I actually would rather of done this stuff because its more hands on less theory but I knew I could handle calc/physics quite well and a lot of the jobs I was interested required a Computer Science degree (4 years) or more.

    But you sound more like a hands on guy and these majors will help you get in the job market, with experience you'll be fine with a 4 year degree and still be doing hands on things what you like to do.

    IST has a major that branches off into like Network admin/web design and databases etc...

    One of my girlfriends actually went into MIS and she is making more money than me! But not for long! :P (I'm still a co-op and she has a full time job).

    But she is making around 56k, but she went into the business side of MIS (business analysis which will lead directly into a project management job).

    I plan on doing management later in my career but I like the tech stuff currently (programming). But with a 4 year degree it will open up more opportunities for you.

    Not saying you can't get up there with a 2 year degree but you have to be extra talented, i know Turbo talked about someone he knew who is doing quite well with himself with a 2 year degree.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  10. Nov 5, 2007 #9


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    Dude, a majority of your reposes are intended to belittle people. Although what you said is true. You sure have a way with words to make someone's hard efforts seem like crap. If your gonna post here in the advisement forums, do us a favor and post something meaningful and not those one sentence mockery comments thats common in a lot of your posts.

    Hi MiKNomis,

    I also live in Queens, NY. I have a few friends that face similar situations. They have associate degrees in electronics and electrical engineering technology from CUNY colleges. For the most part, the DeVry degree and the technology degree from CUNY is comparable. Well I spoke to them, and the salary range is about 35-45K a year. These guys are working for Con Edison and Time Warner. Mostly doing electrical installations.

    I remembered looking at the ConEd website some time ago and saw some pretty well paying jobs for someone with an associates degree and a couple years of work experience.
    But I'll tell you that you should be prepared to expect less (not too less) than 40K a year entry level. But your experience will definitely help you out here.

    If your looking to make more than 40K a year (obviously you are) and better job security, the best thing would be to go back to school. The CUNY colleges are very good and cheap! You may want to speak to an adviser to see what sort of credits would transfer (if any). It would not hurt to go back for three years to properly secure your future.

    It it exactly situations like these that caused me to switch from a 4-year engineering technology program to a 4-year engineering program.
  11. Nov 6, 2007 #10


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    How is it a valid point? "Go back to a real school" is just a phrase aimed to put down the OP. I agree with J77's point, and, furthermore, I believe that he, like I, knows absolutely nothing about the average wage for a tech support guy in new york. I presume that's why he didn't add something further.
  12. Nov 6, 2007 #11
    I would second mr_coffee's suggestion and perhaps pursue a EE or CompE degree. If you have that degree, you'll be employable, not only in NY, but also in MANY other parts of the nation. I know a few older men in my EE classes (with wife + children), so please don't think you're too "old" (even though you haven't sounded like you have a family).
  13. Nov 12, 2007 #12
    Thank you for all your responses! even the one by ice109....
    I feared that many people are bias against private schools like DeVry. and I was actually expecting more responces like one left by ice109.
    But seeing that 8/9 responders on this topic gave me a better responce, I feel more reassured. Like cristo mentioned, I know nothing about the average wage for tech guy in nyc. And like many of you pointed out, I am a hands on guy. I am still trying to figure out where exactly i want to gear my carrer goals.

    To clerify user101's curiosity, I live alone in a cheap basement appartment. I dont have family to look after. I have just graduated DeVry and gotten my A+ certification at the same time but I have become very deperate for money. In these conditions I cannot continue with school. I have already sacrifised my car and the nice appartment i once had to go to school. I am running out of cash and nearly maxed out my Credit card. I will look into further schooling once I have some funds. I guess for now I should be expecting a salary range from 35-45K as mentioned by Ranger.

    Once again, Thank you ALL... any further advise is appreciated!
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