For recent Class of 2018 college graduates, there is both good news and bad news. The good news is that the average starting salary is increasing across all 10 categories of degrees, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
And now for the bad news: while those graduating with a degree in engineering and computer science will see an increase in starting salaries ($66,521 and $66,005 respectively) with a 1 percent increase in starting salaries overall from the previous year, there will be fewer available starting jobs. Math and science majors will see a 4.2 percent increase in starting salaries over last year, for an average of $61,867 (with physics majors driving the salary increases up with an average salary of $69,900). Employers are hiring 1.3 percent fewer graduates compared to last year, with a decrease in hiring for the first time since 2010. While it may be more difficult to land a job, the starting salary will be higher across all disciplines (including business, social sciences, humanities, agriculture and natural resources, and communications).
Students carrying a large student loan debt which currently stands at 45 percent of graduates, will be hunting for that good paying job to begin to pay off their debt. Most of those in debt do not expect to pay off their student loans within a 10-year period. This separate report from NerdWallet, also estimates that the Class of 2018 will purchase their first home at the age of 36 and will retire at age 72.
Financial experts agree that there are three things a recent college graduate can do to help themselves establish a sound financial future as they consider a new job, and face student debt head-on.
1. Carefully evaluate employee benefits before accepting a job.
To make sure you do not leave any money on the table when negotiating with a future employer, carefully review all employee benefits, such as a 401(k) match, student loan help, or health savings accounts for example. These added benefits may make a big difference for your financial future.
2. Start saving right away.
Time is on your side. Start saving now for retirement and allow compound interest to do its job so you do not have to retire at age 72! Be mindful of having an emergency fund saved up that you can access if needed for unanticipated expenses. Saving a small amount each month will add up over time.
3. Do not ignore student loan debts.
Your loans will not go away so do not neglect any effort to find the best interest rates and options available to pay them off.
Carolina Recruitment believes in being more than just a staffing agency. Our team of experienced job recruiters knows what it takes to find you a great career opportunity based on your unique skills. Contact us today to see how we can help you build a better future and career.