Do Salary and Job Title for new graduates matter?

TL;DR Yes, only if you’re already an elite or a prodigy. If not, find the right company, not the most famous one, but where you could learn.

In an industry like web development with its crazy fast emerging languages, tools and techniques, hoping for a university degree or believing that a job will kickstart your learning path is a mistake.

It became more obvious to me as I’ve been taking interview tests in the past couple of months. Not only that, I’ve also put down a senior position offer with higher pay to join a company of elites for their learning opportunities. So I decided to write a short junior letter to new CS graduates or anyone looking for a job for the first time.

Dear Young Programmers or anyone worried about the job title or the senior / junior prefix.

These names and prefixes are somehow irrelevant. It also becomes less of a concern as we transition from junior to senior and accepting more responsibilities.

A chart shows priorities change as developers become more experienced.
Stack Overflow Developer Survey Results 2016

If you look at the bigger picture, by simply going through the details in job listings, you’ll quickly learn that a junior position at the X company could be harder to handle comparing a senior position at the Y company. As you work for at least a couple of months in different companies, you’ll learn that your actual duties aren’t so the same as the job details in your contract. Every company has a different environment, goals, priorities, etc.

As a new graduate, a junior or someone with a little to no experience, all your focus should be looking for learning opportunities. Learning both technical and soft skills. You should only be concerned finding a great mentor and or team to learn from, not salaries, not the job title. This doesn’t mean you should sacrifice other aspects though; like work-life balance.

The important things you need to know after finding a job are your road map, your career goals, where do you see yourself in the next 5 or 10 years? Read my experience when I started my first job last year after graduation (1st job after a degree, but 4th in total).

Sonny Darvishzadeh
Sonny is a full stack web developer, living and working in Berlin. He's thirsty for knowledge, nearly travelholic, likes to share his observations and write about places, people, foods, ideas, etc. You can contact him via darvishzadeh[at]gmail.