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Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Old Feb 11th 2020, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

I came to the US in 2003 on an H1B visa without a degree which is normally required for the H1. What I did have was 20+ years of experience in IT and in a very niche field. Since then, I have had 4 jobs with 4 different companies. The best vacation deal I got was 20 days including sick (after 7 years' service). The next employer offered 15 days excluding sick but subsequently changed to 20 days including sick. In my current position I negotiated 15 days including sick but that is the max anyone gets even after 30 years.

My thought is that you may struggle due to a lack of experience. 4 years is not a lot, particularly as you started as an apprentice.

Degrees don't count for much when you have 15-20 years or more of 'relevant' experience but at your age, it may hurt you.

Good luck in your search.
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 12:04 am
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
However holiday allowances and holiday pay are some of the things the government want to remove the current rights to by removing the working rights and human rights negotiated by the EU.
Holiday entitlement in the UK is already higher than the minimum mandated by the EU, and successive UK governments (of various colors) have always been free to reduce this down to the EU minimum if they wanted to.

The fact that none of them have availed themselves of this opportunity suggests that it's not such a high priority as some of the wilder sections of the media would have people believe...

Last edited by TexanScot; Feb 12th 2020 at 1:37 am.
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Originally Posted by TexanScot View Post
Holiday entitlement in the UK is already higher than the minimum mandated by the EU, and successive UK governments (of various colous) have always been free to reduce this down to the EU minimum if they wanted to.

The fact that none of them have availed themselves of this opportunity suggests that it's not such a high priority as some of the wilder sections of the media would have people believe...
Some folks just want any opportunity to complain.
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Some folks just want any opportunity to complain.
And there are some BEers who complain regardless of whether there is really anything to complain about at all.
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 2:29 am
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
And there are some BEers who complain regardless of whether there is really anything to complain about at all.
Is there anything more British than complaining? 😁
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 3:37 am
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Originally Posted by TexanScot View Post
Is there anything more British than complaining? 😁
Or complaining about complaints?
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Old Feb 13th 2020, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Hi Craig,

I have had absolutely no trouble finding a great job as a Lead Software Developer in a small company in central Florida. And am constantly bombarded by recruiters via LinkedIn, much like my experience in the UK. It's a thriving field.

When I started job hunting, I did have 9 years of software development experience in the UK, and a Mathematics degree. Hard to tell to what extent that has worked in my favour.

Salaries are very good here for suburban jobs compared to the UK. I am paid more than I would be for the same job in central London, in suburban Orlando. Without the commuting costs and increased cost of living. We do plan to come back to the UK sometime in the next 4 years but in the meantime we are considerably better off financially here...! I do have very good benefits and vacation allowance plus flexible working and an understanding boss but that really is going to vary between companies. My company has an Australian boss and he purposely has set the bar high as he believes the standard US employment rights are poor.
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Old Feb 18th 2020, 6:18 am
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

My UK / US experience - for what it's worth (I haven't worked personally in the UK for decades, though I know people still working there) - is that the US has a more flexible approach to the workplace in general. Arrival time, hours in the office, etc seemed important back in the UK while in the US, all anyone cared about was getting the job done. I've always been a 'late riser' and always hated getting to work early. In the US, I quickly settled into a routine of late arrival, late departure, and no one cared. Equipment costs are generally cheaper in the US and as a result, workplaces tend to be better equipped - better workstations, bigger monitors, etc.

I also found that salaries are extremely negotiable in the US, at least in smaller companies. I worked my ass off and got big raises/bonuses every year for decades; there was really no 'standard' that seemed to be applied.

And of course, in the US, your employment status is way less secure. You can be fired virtually on the spot (especially if you aren't a minority). But - you can also be HIRED on the spot - no wait times. I've experienced several 'downturns' in the industry over the past 35 years and seen a lot of layoffs. In every single case, everyone that got laid off was re-hired pretty quickly and most got more money thrown into the bargain (this was in Palo Alto and San Francisco; can't speak for other regions of the country). I firmly believe the US software industry is in far better shape than the UK industry precisely because you can hire and fire relatively easily. We used to get rid of non-performers and bring in new people very quickly. And everyone we got rid of ... found better paying jobs within weeks. The US system is harsh and uncaring when you are dealing with low-paying, low-skilled jobs but the system is very much to the advantage of those in high-skilled, high-paying software jobs - IF you are willing to work hard.

I did have a degree and it was valuable, but only because I was applying for a green card and a degree is very helpful in that process.Otherwise, degrees (just like engineering certifications, etc) are not a factor - at least, not once you have a few years of experience. I hired countless software engineers in my career and several of the best had no degrees. The best guy I ever worked with, bar none, was a self-taught guy with only a high-school degree.


Originally Posted by pejp View Post
I work in Technology in the Denver area. The degree thing may or may not be an issue. I don't have a degree, but I've got close to 20 years experience and a fairly unique skillset, whereas you're still quite young. I've had 3 jobs in my 12 years here, and each one has said 'Bachelors Required', but it hasn't been a problem ....
The more 'must haves' you put in your job ad, the more you can easily justify turning a candidate down, so I'm not surprised you were able to get these jobs despite the stated requirements. Moral of the story (to the OP) - don't be put off by stated requirements you don't necessarily meet!

Last edited by Steerpike; Feb 18th 2020 at 6:37 am.
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Old Feb 18th 2020, 1:51 pm
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
.... only a high-school degree. ....
You've spent too long living in America!
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Old Feb 18th 2020, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: Work life in the USA compared to the UK, Software/IT Field

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
And there are some BEers who complain regardless of whether there is really anything to complain about at all.

I'm going to complain about you complaining
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