Friday, May 11, 2007

Some Thoughts for Students Entering the Job Market

As some of you may already know, I am going to be a Senior this fall at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. While technically my concentration is in Finance, I have had really great experiences with my current summer employer, Electronic Data Systems (EDS). This summer is my fourth summer working a project management role with the technical consulting firm and I really enjoy the leadership opportunities that a full time position would offer.

I thought I would use some nifty calculators to find the financial benefits of a full-time Project Management job with EDS in the Detroit area, verses working as a Financial Analyst in a big city. I used CNN's Cost of Living calculator to analyze the expenses associated with living in a particular city. After speaking with some of my co-workers, they suggested that I could maybe get a starting salary of almost $70,000 in Detroit. For my calculations I assumed a salary of $65,000 with a 5% bonus, totaling a true salary of $68,250. The calculations below suggest I would need a salary of at least $137,085.56 in New York City, and $90,761.44 in Boston, to maintain the same lifestyle as offered by the EDS position in Detroit.

I also explored what my true hourly wage would be given my two potential career paths: a Financial Analyst of some sort and a IT project manager. I used instacalc's Salary to Hourly Wage calculator to find how much I would need to make as a Financial Analyst to match the hourly wage offered from the Project Management position. I used the same base salary and bonus for the Project Management wage and from my conversations with co-workers, I learned that the typical workweek is 40 hours and entry level positions are allowed three weeks paid vacation. After some brief research on a typical Financial Analyst position, I discovered that these positions usually only get two weeks or so of paid vacation and average 60-hour workweeks. The data also suggests the average bonus for these Analysts is a bit higher, let's say 10%. From the calculator I found that in order for the Analyst to match the hourly wage of the Project Manager, the Analyst would need a base salary of $95,000!

Have fun with these calculators.


Kalid said...

Hi Rick, this is Kalid from InstaCalc -- I'm glad you found the site useful!

This is what I hoped would happen, people being able to play with numbers without needing to install anything, open excel, or send around attachments.

Good luck in your job hunt! :)

Steve Lorenz said...

Thanks for the tips Rick, You're the man man!