I am a new college graduate (or rather, I will be in May), with a BS in Computer Science. I have two job offers, but I'm having a very tough time deciding between the two.

To avoid asking "which job should I take," I'd like to just ask about what would generally benefit a young grad in my field more:

  1. More pay, less exciting technologies, less career growth potential
  2. Less pay, more exciting technologies, more career growth potential

Obviously, my particular situation is more complex, but hopefully answers to this simplified question might be useful for others.

Corollary: this is not a question about small company/startup versus large company/corporate!

  • You're about to get a degree from RIT. That should be a great start. If I were you, I'd just relax for now. – Jim G. Apr 8 '14 at 23:54
  • @JimG. Sure, but what if I wasn't? There is more to consider anyway, such as student loans. I am looking for general thoughts about what a new grad should prioritize. – 2rs2ts Apr 8 '14 at 23:55
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    My Advice: Pick the job that will yield the best combination of learning opportunity-fun-salary (in that order). Over the course of the next 5-10 years, assuming that you keep up with technology, everything will fall into place (especially money). I see that you're already building up your GitHub profile, so I think you're gonna be fine. – Jim G. Apr 8 '14 at 23:58
  • @JimG. Thanks, that's the kind of answer I was hoping to solicit! – 2rs2ts Apr 8 '14 at 23:58
  • @JoeStrazzere Let's say I don't plan on staying at my first job forever. Well, let's say most people don't stay at their first job forever. Is growth within the same company as important then? Can you carry some of that with you if you leave? – 2rs2ts Apr 9 '14 at 12:06

I choose to approach such problems like this:

If I was there for 2 years and then the company closed down - how valuable would my skills be to others? Can I be sure I'd get those skills in Job A or B

This doesn't preclude either, but it might give hints as which might be more suitable in the near term.

The second criteria I'd use is this:

Which job will be give me the sufficient time to do X and sufficiently fund X. Where X might be going surfing every weekend or such as raising a family or helping at a homeless charity, whatever you may choose to do outside of work,

Not that I'm saying you should either work to live or live to work. Rather I'm saying you need to define these things and put them into the equation.

Finally, and this is very important.

If all all other things were equal which job would I likely to be more happy in on a day to day basis. This could be down to people, facilities, work, location, commute, anything.

There is no point in getting well paid if you're going to be stressed out and unhappy. This is a large part of your waking hours that you'll be spending there.


You're just asking a way to probe the future. The question in my personal opinion is more like a gambling.

In science of gambling, you are dealing with the risk. Since that, the general way is to make clear the risk of each elements related to your career decision.

So, use the matrix will help you to rate the right job and know yourself a risk-taker or avoider more clearly.

| Item       | Risk | Rate |
| Pay        | low  |      |
|  student   |      |      |
|   loan     |      |      |
| Salary     | low  |      |
| Exciting   | low  |      |
|  tech.     |      |      |
| Future     | high |      |
|  growth    |      |      |

I think you can only have one deciding factor for the next few years of career development:

Are you whole-heartedly ambitious and with clear entrepreneurial vision.

If the answer to that question is 'yes' (7.5 or higher on a scale of 10) then you can benefit from very selectively choosing #2.

But if you're not that type of person, the latest techs will get you nowhere fast, and you won't have the mettle to be advanced by your collaborators, peers or bosses. Better then to learn the big-kid ropes at a huge corp that leads the field and can show you how Industry and Markets really work.

  • I really appreciate your input. That's a good question I'll have to ask myself - I know I'm ambitious, but entrepreneurial vision? Not as sure. – 2rs2ts Apr 9 '14 at 3:56
  • What is ambition without vision? Probably blind obedience, and that probably won't do you much good in a low-pay high-risk environment. – New Alexandria Apr 9 '14 at 4:17
  • Oh, just some mumbo-jumbo about being the best at what I do. I want to constantly improve myself. – 2rs2ts Apr 9 '14 at 4:22
  • Of course you do, but to what end? – New Alexandria Apr 9 '14 at 4:24
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    Is this a trick question? Hedons. – 2rs2ts Apr 9 '14 at 4:30

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