College Pay Day

Too often we meet students who want to attend college simply because “they’ll make more money.” While it is true (studies have shown) that a college graduate makes roughly $1,000,000 over his/her lifetime, that is an average. If you really want to capitalize on the marketability of your Bachelor’s degree then you MUST have a direction. If you’re going to invest a significant amount of money and time into your education, know its purpose.


Time Magazine put out an article today about the average salary for a fresh college grad. If you want to know, the average salary is $45,478 (table below). That is just a little over $21 per hour. While that is a starting salary and would be expected to grow over time, a college-bound student should understand that getting a Bachelor’s degree does not mean you’ll automatically have a well paying job out of college.


What will help you get a strong starting salary? The right program. We recommend taking career assessments prior to researching colleges. If you have a career goal in mind when picking majors and targeting schools then you’ll be working towards a job. That isn’t enough though. Once you’re in college you’ll need to get involved. You’ll want to network with the right people, meet your faculty and engage them in conversations, participate in clubs on campus, find internship opportunities in your related field. It won’t be enough for you to just get the degree; you have to build your resume too.


Check out the article if you want to learn more about salaries by major. We caution you–don’t think you need to be an Engineer to be successful. Yes it has one of the strongest starting salaries, but that isn’t the right fit for everyone. You can do well as at a Liberal Arts School studying a Humanities program if you do it the right way.


If you want help choosing the right major for you, call us. We’re glad to support students!


Category # of salaries Mean 25th Percentile Median 75th percentile
Overall 45,370 $48,127 $42,500 $45,478 $53,000
Business Majors 8,007 $49,807 $43,069 $49,035 $54,630
Engineering Majors 5,631 $64,891 $59,038 $64,367 $69,140
Liberal Arts & Humanities Majors* 13,638 $38,604 $33,461 $36,237 $45,475

* Includes Area & Gender Studies, English, Foreign Languages, History, Liberal Arts, Philosophy, and Visual & Performing Arts majors.

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