Why 22-Year-Old Computer Engineers Can Earn So Much Money

The glut of rapidly growing tech giants and startups in the Bay Area has created a talent crunch, particularly when it comes to computer engineering talent. As a result, salaries are getting pushed rapidly upwards, with the
average computer engineer salary above $US100,000in Silicon Valley.

When you add in bonuses and stock options, it’s possible for an engineer in the Bay Area to earn in the six figures right out of school.

A computer science professor at Stanford told The New York Times that he had heard of at least one $US160,000 offer for a graduate, and expected that there were larger numbers out there. One recruiter is placing entry-level grads with base salaries alone above $US80,000. And big companies offering upwards of $US100,000 for entry-level grads has forced smaller startups to offer bigger and bigger deals.

A signing bonus for computer engineers just five years out of school can be in the $US60,000 range. These sorts of figures aren’t typical, but they’re increasingly common in Silicon Valley.

The result is that computer engineers in their 20s can potentially out-earn Ph.D.s and many other professionals in prestigious jobs, according to Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) data. For example, optometrists earn an average $US94,000 a year, while math and computer science professors earn $US72,000 a year and psychologists make $63,000.

That might be reason enough to change your major.

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