Qualcomm contracting vs defense full time

Qualcomm analyze
Jul 13, 2018 25 Comments

Hi All,

Need to choose between contracting at Qualcomm vs full time as defense contractor opportunity. Defense pays lower but is a full time opportunity. Defense contracting pays less about 10% but has more room for research type stuff in wireless communications. Qualcomm is all about Android. Defense would file for security clearance.

14 month contractor vs defense. Has any one been in this situation. Want to stay in San Diego though.

Is defense contracting good area to be in ?
Do they have layoffs ?

I am 45+

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TOP 25 Comments
  • Microsoft NullData
    Security clearance is a golden ticket.
    Jul 13, 2018 14
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng ajjfji
      Quantify low to middle income?
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Qualcomm mallons
      When I say low to middle income, think under $100K TC.
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng ajjfji
      Yikes that's bad. I'm around 155k at 4 years.
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Qualcomm mallons
      You might have some of those other skills. My relative was a DBA for a top secret database, with no four-year degree and no “leetcode” skills. The top secret clearance just means that you’re trusted with sensitive data, it doesn’t mean that you’re irreplaceable.
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng ajjfji
      Ah okay. I didn't see your skills comment.
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Qualcomm / Eng
      ronaldo77

      Qualcomm Eng

      PRE
      Intel
      BIO
      ASIC
      ronaldo77more
      i was offered 116k for level 3. what level do you have 155k
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng ajjfji
      I left to get that. 116k is good for level 3 depending on your yoe. The smaller contractors tend to pay better early to mid career, also jumping every 2 to 3 years is a must to avoid 3% raises. We don't get rsu or bonus so it's best to treat yourself as your own little contractor.
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Qualcomm / Eng
      ronaldo77

      Qualcomm Eng

      PRE
      Intel
      BIO
      ASIC
      ronaldo77more
      so working as contractor is better in term of cash ?
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng ajjfji
      Defense companies are all contractors.

      Early on the smaller places will tend to pay better. At the end if you're somewhat know the big houses will probably be able to afford more.
      Jul 14, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng
      CzrI13

      Northrop Grumman Eng

      BIO
      Recent graduate engineer
      CzrI13more
      How'd you end up at 155k four years in within the defense sector? Just curious, especially as someone just starting out
      Feb 14
  • Qualcomm NqAf57
    Definitely defense contractor. You'll get very little benefits as a contractor at Qualcomm, whereas the defense contractor job will give you health insurance, vacation, 401k, etc. Those benefits can likely make up much of the shortfall in pay, and security clearance is a golden ticket, as someone above me said.
    Jul 13, 2018 0
  • Qualcomm analyze
    OP
    C/c++ software comm sys
    Jul 13, 2018 4
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng ajjfji
      Are you an analyst/researcher a dev or both?
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Qualcomm analyze
      OP
      Both unfortunately
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Qualcomm analyze
      OP
      Could never settle with one
      Jul 13, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Eng ajjfji
      I think being both is a good thing everywhere else but defense. The tech world always wants the field medalist who can commit "production" quality code.

      I'm not sure what the offers are, but I would try try to negotiate up the defense base salary. In big defense you shouldn't expect a bonus worth much unless you're at the top bands. Also:, given your age, defense is a really lax atmosphere and you could coast it out until retirement if you wanted.
      Jul 13, 2018
  • Qualcomm sjUh75
    Go to defense contractor and get your clearance. Then reapply to Qualcomm positions that require a clearance.
    Jul 20, 2018 0
  • Qualcomm / Eng
    ronaldo77

    Qualcomm Eng

    PRE
    Intel
    BIO
    ASIC
    ronaldo77more
    what is your skillset?
    Jul 13, 2018 0
  • Northrop Grumman / Eng ajjfji
    You can hit 300k in defense after 20 years. Things move a lot slower though because shit needs to be guaranteed to work.

    Which contractor, yoe, and location? I bet you could get their offer up.
    Jul 13, 2018 0
  • Twitch FUI
    TC for each offer?
    Jul 13, 2018 0

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