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# The Salary Forfeited Factor

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Senior Manager
Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 348
Schools: UCSD (\$) , UCLA, USC (\$), Stanford

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05 Feb 2009, 14:41
I was wondering about 2 things:

1. Is the average salary forfeited used by any of the rankings? Is there an incentive for schools to try to boost that number in their profiles?

2. Is the salary a factor when deciding on extending a fellowship offer? Obviously someone who supposedly has some money saved would be less impressed by a fellowship offer while for someone with almost no money in the bank such an offer could be a deciding factor in choosing (normally) a lesser ranked school.

I've been thinking about the second and have come to the conclusion that if I were (God forbid) an adcom officer I'd probably be looking at the salary history of the applicant more that anything else. It is after all the most realistic indication of someone's career progression (as viewed by employers) and therefore further potential for, business acumen, and smartness in general. I am not talking about the magnitude of the numbers here, but the start-end difference and progression.
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Current Student
Joined: 21 Aug 2008
Posts: 348
Schools: Fuqua '11
Re: The Salary Forfeited Factor [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2009, 15:42
I would think it would be looked at but it's hard to compare salaries once you start looking at people from different industries, ages, prior education levels etc. Let alone different countries.

Someone who graduates college with a degree in Electrical Engineering is typical going to command a much larger salary than someone who graduates from the same college with a degree in Biology. But what if said biology student then goes to med school - voila - the tables turn.

Along a different line, someone who graduates from the US with a college degree will almost definitely make a lot more who graduates from an Indian college with the same grades/degree. Does that make them any smarter/more qualified?

I think the only thing that can really be looked at is progression(on a percentage basis). If you started work out of college as a 'business consultant' making 50K and 5 years later are making 55K with the same title, that won't wow anyone. But if you are making 80K, you might viewed as a good employee whose company is just very simplistic with job titles. And furthermore, I think you'd be looked upon more fondly than someone who also makes 80K now but started out at 70K.

EDIT: I know you make a point to say progression vs magnitude but I dont see how they could link merit offers to salary on progression. So if someone goes from 50K to 100K, they merit a bigger scholarship?

Last edited by bostonsparky on 05 Feb 2009, 15:56, edited 1 time in total.
Director
Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 780
Re: The Salary Forfeited Factor [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2009, 15:54
Yeah I agree, usually people in technical field can see significant pay increase in the first 3 years. Doesn't mean they've promoted or did anything special, simply means they now have the technical know how to command more salary in the market.

And also I know my salary is much lower than my NYC/Chicago area counter parts.
Current Student
Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 370
Location: New York, Paris
Schools: Wharton '11
Re: The Salary Forfeited Factor [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2009, 16:21
I think that salary would be one of the best proxy to evaluate career progression and/or worth, but there are so many details to look at it. It makes it hard to rely on it.
Current Student
Joined: 21 Aug 2008
Posts: 348
Schools: Fuqua '11
Re: The Salary Forfeited Factor [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2009, 16:27
Another example of a random factor, as anyone who's worked for the US government knows, is that if you obtain any type of clearance (especially a TS/SCI), that can instantly be worth a 10-20K bump in pay as opposed to you not having it but having the exact same resume/experience.
Director
Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 983
Location: Hong Kong
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology
Schools: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) - Class of 2010
Re: The Salary Forfeited Factor [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2009, 02:28
Very very hard to quantify... I've already started B-School, and if i dwell on the salary i forfeited considering the current economic climate, then it can be too scary a thought, especially considering that I was paid in Yenm which has appreciated so strongly, meaning that the USD equilavent of forfeited salary has increased by 33%!!! However, its best to look at it as an investment into the future, for example most start-ups will run at a loss for at least a year, some for many years. On a personal level, most start-ups require the founders to run the company in bootstrapping phase where they are donating their own time and money (investing) into the future whilst making no or little income. So that's how I think of the forfeited salary... an investment.
Manager
Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 91
Location: Durham, NC
Schools: Duke, Darden (i/v-ed, withdrawn),Kellogg
Re: The Salary Forfeited Factor [#permalink]

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06 Feb 2009, 09:01
I guess if and when AdCom people look into the salary progression data, they do take into account the industry and location, else people like me will become Superstars !!

One year back I was making 17k, now its 80k. Ofcourse one year back, I was working in India.

Pity, they only ask to report one's salaries in USD, maybe because logistics will become more complicated otherwise.
Re: The Salary Forfeited Factor   [#permalink] 06 Feb 2009, 09:01
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# The Salary Forfeited Factor

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