Get What You Deserve!

Filed in From the Staff by on April 8, 2016

As college students, almost any salary above minimum wage is enticing because it is probably more than any salary we’ve ever had. However, it’s important to know your worth and to know if you’re getting what you deserve. Negotiating job offers sounds intimidating, but it’s certainly encouraged – for both internships and full time jobs. For instance, I recently attempted to negotiate my internship offers and although I didn’t get exactly what I hoped for, the vice president said she was very impressed that I had tried. I’ve also heard situations where employers say how impressed they are at how well some WPI students have negotiated and if they had the money, they would give that extra money/benefits (but sometimes it’s simply not in the budget). There’s no harm in attempting to negotiate as long as it is done in a professional and respectful manner – and it’s extra money in your pocket!

If you’re deciding whether or not you want to negotiate or if it’s necessary, you should first do research on what salary you should expect to earn. These are resources that you can use to research salary information:

  • edu/+gradreport – this page has the post-grad reports which provide WPI Career Outcomes and Salaries; you will be able to find the average starting salaries for different majors along with what companies the recent graduates will be working for. Also on this website is internship salaries.
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers – this site has salary statistics for starting salaries nationwide by major.
  • Glassdoor
  • gov/ooh – provides national information on salaries and growth.

Areas for negotiation include salary, job title, vacation days, personal time, or other employee benefits (for full time). First, ask your contact if the offer is negotiable and when negotiating do NOT issue an ultimatum to the company. Remember, you want to reasonable, professional, and respectful.

For more information regarding job offer and negotiation, visit this tipsheet.  Next Tuesday, April 12th, there will be a $tart $mart workshop in HL 154 from 5:00-7:00pm. This program is for female students and addresses the gender wage gap. The workshop trains students to establish a personal budget, determine salary needs, how to calculate worth, and how to negotiate. If you’re interested in attending, please sign up through TechSync!

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