Do Your Research

Why are so many college graduates underemployed and underpaid?

Yesterday I shared a few statistics on getting paid:

  • 82% of college grads expect to make $25,000 or more
  • $39% of graduates from 2014 and 2015 are making $25,000 or less

That means at least 1 in 5 college grads are in for a nasty surprise: making less than they expected. That’s not where you want to be.

Then I asked you how you set your expectation. The most common response? Silence. At first, I thought maybe you weren’t interested. But the few responses I did get tell me a different story: many people don’t have an answer.

Many students never researched the job market that their major leads to. They just operate according to current popular beliefs.

By the way, I did this too: when I was a student, I talked with friends my age. They said they heard the average starting salary for my major, so I just assumed they were right. Do your own research.

Most people pick a major and set income expectations without doing any serious research into the careers they lead to. When 40% of graduates from 2015 are making less than $25,000 a year, I think we need to be a bit wiser in our career plans.

Here’s the strange part:

  • The National average starting salary is about $50,000
  • When you view the statistics by major, the average starting salary for EVERY major is above $25,000

So here’s my new question: how can 40% of graduates be making less than $25,000? Leave a comment with your theory!


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