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Old 10-27-2007, 10:07 PM
 
10 posts, read 45,744 times
Reputation: 10
You can live off this salary comfortably but you will need to live with roommates. Also, you will need to be practical with your money and spend wisely. I work in the recruiting field and this salary sounds accurate if you have a Bachelor's. I have seen new grads start at around 80-90k with a Master's.
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:16 AM
 
Location: San Jose, Morgan Hill
76 posts, read 276,985 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatfire View Post
What is the regular salary for a Software Engineer in San Jose?
Your not asking the right question. You should be asking "How much does an experienced web developer of 5 years in Silicon Valley make" THEN figure out how much you are worth...
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:02 AM
 
Location: In my mind
629 posts, read 1,410,767 times
Reputation: 654
SharksFan - I'm surprised that they would only get 80-90k with a Masters. I only say that because I work in the IT industry (IA/IS Security Specialist - CISSP) and I don't have any degree and I currently make the upper end of your pay range. I made more than what was quoted, by greatfire, for the offer, before taking on a new job offer. Some companies, location depending, will pay more. I guess I was under the impression that they made a lot more than that, silly me I guess.

Either way best of Luck to you on your job search!!
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:13 AM
 
5 posts, read 21,430 times
Reputation: 10
Try the websites: Dice, monster, bayareajobs, sfgate, craigslist. Read all the descriptions. Take the interview. And if you want to come to the Bay area, take a job here. You can move jobs in a year or two and get the top of the market then. If you start elsewhere you probably won't make as much. I like the info someone said about paying off your loans. Pay them off fast. Except, this year, in the catastrophic housing market, you might do better going in on a bank owned house with another engineer with a contract to sell in five years. Or if your parents can help, they may coinvest. About recruiters, ask them to tell you information. Some won't, some will. Cooperate with the one's who give you what you want. Usually there will be several recruiters trying to fill the same job. If you find a good, aggressive recruiter then that person will try to fit you to the requirements in his joblist that seem most likely. Most recruiters only try a one time fill because they haven't learned to "work" their lists agressively.
Only come to the Silicon Valley if you want to strive and try to get into "hot" companies. If you want a simpler life, there are other towns like Seattle, Boston, etc.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Denver
7,839 posts, read 9,302,317 times
Reputation: 3694
You can live here comfortably on that salary, like everyone said you will have to live with roommates and with a degree of frugality.

However, I think you should take the job. As a Software Engineer myself, Silicon Valley is the Mecca and even if you live tight for 2-3 years and move somewhere else it is going to make your resume shine.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:50 AM
 
13,340 posts, read 10,601,887 times
Reputation: 9235
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatfire View Post

3. Screw just surviving, what about living comfortably? Is this salary enough for me to live comfortably on? If not, then how much do I have to make to live comfortably?
I have to agree with the other poster who said you are going to have to get serious about paying down the student loan debt no matter where you live. That means "living comfortably" should take a back seat to paying down those loans so that you can truly live comfortably as time goes on.

Just to give you an idea of what it costs to live here. I pay $850 a month for a nice but not luxurious studio apartment in a decent area. However, they are charging new tenants in my complex $925, and that's for studios.

I have never made more than 50K a year with my job. For YEARS, I paid down student loans and had roommates to keep my rent low. Having roommates is what A LOT of people do in this area so that they can have better finances.

I started out here in 1996 with 14K in student loan and credit card debt and a 27K a year salary. Now have a net worth of 190K (most of it in my 401k & other retirement accounts) and a salary of 49K a year. This year I'll save about 17K. But, unfortunately, that isn't typical of most people who live here.

The big problems people have living here are "keeping up with the Jones'" as Palindromed said. If you don't have any internal sense of self or internal goals, you will most likely end up in a bad financial situation because you'll just follow the (freespending) herd.

Also, the cost of housing here is horrible. You'd better plan on making a bare minimum of 100K a year here if you have a desire to buy a condo (and yes, that is all 100K will get you here). A lot of people move out of the area because it is very much a 'rat race' lifestyle for those trying to raise families here...so that is something you also need to consider.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:14 PM
 
70 posts, read 200,495 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
I have to agree with the other poster who said you are going to have to get serious about paying down the student loan debt no matter where you live. That means "living comfortably" should take a back seat to paying down those loans so that you can truly live comfortably as time goes on.

Just to give you an idea of what it costs to live here. I pay $850 a month for a nice but not luxurious studio apartment in a decent area. However, they are charging new tenants in my complex $925, and that's for studios.

I have never made more than 50K a year with my job. For YEARS, I paid down student loans and had roommates to keep my rent low. Having roommates is what A LOT of people do in this area so that they can have better finances.

I started out here in 1996 with 14K in student loan and credit card debt and a 27K a year salary. Now have a net worth of 190K (most of it in my 401k & other retirement accounts) and a salary of 49K a year. This year I'll save about 17K. But, unfortunately, that isn't typical of most people who live here.

The big problems people have living here are "keeping up with the Jones'" as Palindromed said. If you don't have any internal sense of self or internal goals, you will most likely end up in a bad financial situation because you'll just follow the (freespending) herd.

Also, the cost of housing here is horrible. You'd better plan on making a bare minimum of 100K a year here if you have a desire to buy a condo (and yes, that is all 100K will get you here). A lot of people move out of the area because it is very much a 'rat race' lifestyle for those trying to raise families here...so that is something you also need to consider.
Thank you for all your responses.

I do have an internal sense of self, and I've never really "followed the joneses," so to speak.. but there has been one thing brought to my attention that I want to ask about. If I ever ended up in CA (san jose, san fran, wherever), then it would probably be because I'm working for one of the big internet companies. With that said, would a failure to "keep up with the joneses" hurt my career, or hold me back? This is a serious question. I've always not really worried about what people thought of me, or of my material possessions, but in living in the area briefly for a summer internship, I've realized that people have been screwed over, or treated like garbage because they don't drive a certain car, or they don't dress up to a certain level (even though there isn't a "dress code"), or etc.. Should I be worried about these things? And better yet, how do I deal with these things?

I am definitely planning on being frugal and working as hard as possible to pay these loans down, so that's a given.

The basic vibe I've gotten from the responses is that I can survive on the amount I quoted in the OP, but it will require a frugal lifestyle, and living with roomates. Ok. I'll tell you though, as I live in New England, that number sounded really high to me, as a starting salary, but I guess that cost of living is a real killer. I guess I'll just hope I'm not being cheated with this salary.

LIFE!
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Old 11-04-2007, 02:20 PM
 
13,340 posts, read 10,601,887 times
Reputation: 9235
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatfire View Post

The basic vibe I've gotten from the responses is that I can survive on the amount I quoted in the OP, but it will require a frugal lifestyle, and living with roomates. Ok. I'll tell you though, as I live in New England, that number sounded really high to me, as a starting salary, but I guess that cost of living is a real killer. I guess I'll just hope I'm not being cheated with this salary.

LIFE!
I live in Silicon Valley but don't work in the tech industry...(I'm a librarian). The environment I work in..no one cares what I wear or what stuff I own or don't own. But I couldn't advise you about how it is in tech.

Yes your "basic vibe" is accurate. 60k or 70K will require a frugal lifestyle as long as you have those loans, and even afterward. It is not considered that high a salary here. I make 49K at my clerical job at a library & my job does not even require a college degree (although a lot of us have them).

Lots of people in entry level professional jobs have roommates here. It's kind of a normal thing.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:32 AM
 
10 posts, read 45,744 times
Reputation: 10
A failure to "keep up with the joneses" will not hurt your career, or hold you back. I am not sure where you worked for your internship but I have never seen this at any of the tech companies I have worked at in Silicon Valley. I've worked at a couple of the big players too. Maybe the higher you get up the ladder or if you work in sales, but not if you are an entry level Software Engineer.

I know quite a few engineers that make around 100k and they live in apartments and drive crappy cars. Why? I am not sure, maybe they like to spend their money on other things, but I have not seen it hold them back in their careers. Also, I have worked with a lot of engineers and no offense to them, but most don't "dress to impress". I don't think your lifestyle will be as frugal as you think. I also think that once you get to Silicon Valley, your perception of it will change quite a bit.

Also, back to your earlier post..leave the date of graduation off your resume. You don't need to have it on there. This is coming from a recruiter's perspective.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,905 posts, read 4,356,497 times
Reputation: 2439
I, too, have not seen the typical materialistic appearance, especially with engineers and software developers. I have friends in the computer industry, and I have to admit they are pure geeks -- nothing flashy, down-home, fun, interesting, not really caring that much about the Jones's. Maybe it's an eastcoast thing -- or maybe not that you're comparing it to. San Jose is not Los Angeles/Hollywood. And, as said before, working at a great company in Silicon Valley -- that on your resume and the connections you could make would, to me, be worth the risk. You know what you're like and what you want, and I hope our feedback helps in your decision.
Good luck!
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