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information is now widely available. Click on the website www.salary.com . This site provides free data on jobs, including job
description, annual salary by zip code, distribution by quartiles of salary
amounts, info on benefits, and so forth. The basic information that an
organization would get if it bought a salary survey from a consultant or
conducted its own salary survey can be found here.
This site provides pay data on hundreds of jobs in cities all
over the U.S. in many different industries. Identify several jobs (at least
three) of interest to you, such as accountant, financial analyst, product
manager, stockbroker, or manager compensation. Select specific cities or use
the national average. Obtain the median, the 25th and 75th percentile base
wage, and the total cash compensation rates for each job.
Respond to the following questions.
Which jobs are paid
more or less? Is this what you would have expected? Why, or why not? What
factors could explain the differences in the salaries?
Do the jobs have
different bonuses as a percentage of their base salaries? Why, or why not? What
could explain these differences?
Do the data include
the value of the stock options? What are the implications of this?
Read the job
descriptions. Are they accurate descriptions for jobs that you would be
applying for? Why, or why not? Are there jobs for which you cannot find an
appropriate match? Why do you think this is the case?
Check out pay levels
for these types of jobs in your school’s career office or other local or
regional source. How does the pay for jobs advertised in your career office or
other local or regional source differ from pay levels from other sources? Why
do you think these differences exist?
How do you use this
information while negotiating your salary in your job after graduation or when
you apply for a different job? What data would you provide to support your
asking price? What factors will influence whether or not you get what you ask
What is the relevant
labor market for these jobs? How big are the differences between salaries in
For each job, compare
the median salary to the low and high averages. How much variation exists? What
factors might explain this variation in pay rates for the same job?
Look for a description
of how the salary data are developed. Do you think it provides enough
information? Why, or why not? Discuss some of the factors that might impair the
accuracy of the data. What are the implications of using inaccurate salary data
for individuals or companies?
With this information
available for free, why would you bother with consultants’ surveys?
If you were a manager,
how would you justify paying one of your employees, either higher or lower,
than the results shown on this website?