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Are Grads Realistic About Finding Their First Jobs?

Nealeigh Mitchell | MonsterCollege

May 14, 2010

Money Matters, but It Isn’t Everything

When students entered college, many may have dreamed of walking straight off the stage into a corner office and a six-digit salary. Unfortunately, a hefty paycheck is no longer a sure thing. Plus, employers are taking advantage of the slumping economy and paying less for a job well done. Despite most employers (89%) claiming they plan to pay college grads the same starting salary as in 2009, only 36% intend to pay $36,000 as a starting salary, far less than a year prior. The average salary for bachelor’s degree holders in 2009 was $53,300, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. With the post-graduation job market under siege and tuition and fees steadily climbing each year, students are leaving campus drowning under a mound of debt that will take longer to pay off. Almost two thirds of recent grads with jobs say they owe student loans, with 54% of those owing more than $10,000.

The Good News:

College students are keenly aware their work is currently worth less and don’t seem to be holding out for the projected salaries they had in mind when starting their studies. Only 32% think they will make more than $36,000 straight out of the blocks. So where do struggling recent grads turn? To mom and pop, of course! Broke grads are moving home to get their finances in order and find work. Slightly more than half (52%) of recent college grads have moved back in and more than half of those believe it will be longer than seven months before they’re financially independent. Moving back in with the parents may be the long-independent student’s worst nightmare, but be grateful to have that option.

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