They didn't teach me this in grad school...
August 3, 2012 7:44 PM Subscribe
Problem: what to write on the "expected salary" line. Difficulty level: academia-to-industry transition.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hello. I'm a PhD graduate applying for a position in industry. The application process involves filling out a form that includes the dreaded "what is your expected salary" question.
- This job is a 1 year contract.
- The requirements state they want a bachelor's or master's degree.
- I have no industry experience, I've only done academic research. My degree is in the right field, and the job is a research-focused position, so there is some overlap. However, the topic of expertise / techniques required are not a perfect match with what I've been doing. I'd say it's a 60%-70% overlap. (I'm fairly confident that I would be able to learn the missing 30-40% quickly, but I guess you never know.)
- The technical expertise I got from my PhD might be interesting/useful to this company, but probably not for the current role for which they're hiring.
- I've looked online (glassdoor.com, various others), and the starting salaries tend to be in the $50K - $70K range. (I'm not sure how contracts factor in to this, I assume these are salaries for permanent positions.) I doubt that most people starting in this field have PhD's, though some obviously do. I would be very happy with $60K to start.
- On the other hand, friends are telling me to treat it as entry level, because the company is only asking for a bachelor's degree, and because I have no industry experience. I don't really know anyone IN that industry that I could ask.
- I am REALLY interested in this job. I am willing to take a temporary salary hit to get the industry experience and get my foot in the door, so to speak. But for a variety of reasons, $50K would be the realistic minimum I would need to make to be comfortable. I could possibly swing $40K, but it would be quite difficult/stressful.
- Job is in North America. I really do need a job, and very soon.
1.) Do true entry-level positions (non-finance non-business BA-level) really start in the $50K+ range?
2.) If I put my range as $50K - $60K, and they can actually only afford an entry level salary, will I have shot myself in the foot?
3.) The alternative is to give a range of $40K - [whatever], and hope for the best. But I really don't want to lowball myself right from the start, especially since $40K is the bare minimum for me. I would have to think long and hard to see if I could/would take it for $40K.
4.) Can I really just say "negotiable" on the form? I worry that this will make the employer think I'm priced out of their range, especially given my advanced degree. Or just annoy them enough that they toss my application out.
Throwaway email: AskMeMoose@gmail.com