Ah, the real world. You’ve been hearing about it for at least a couple of decades. Now, you’re finally graduating and can hit the job market with your fresh degrees.
But what kind of salary can you expect? All the work you put into your college education is about to start paying off. But many new graduates get a shock when they search for their first job.
This certainly represents a good time to enter the job market. Salaries across the board are going up. But the precise compensation you can expect will depend largely on the field you plan to enter.
With that in mind, here are the starting salaries for some in-demand degrees, letting you set the expectations for your early post-graduation career:
A finance degree should pay well. After all, the subject matter centers around money. If you didn’t care about grabbing a few dollars, you probably could have stuck with that Art History degree.
Statistics back up this reputation. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the starting salary for finance majors sits at just below $60,000 — $58,464 to be exact. However, that estimate sits at the high end of the spectrum. ZipRecruiter, for instance, shows a level closer to $43,000.
Obviously, a lot of individual factors influence the situation. Your specialty, location, and the particular employer will play big roles in determining your post-school compensation levels.
But whatever size of paycheck you get out of the gate, finance remains an excellent endeavor for students looking to become high earners someday. Glassdoor notes that graduates with finance degrees earn about $73,000, with a top-end in the six-figure range.
The prospects for an accounting degree share many aspects with the finance major. The data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers puts the starting salary for accounting majors in the same ballpark as finance majors. Specifically, the figure sits at $58,508. Meanwhile, accounting ranked number one on the list of in-demand bachelor’s degrees. (Finance came in just below it at number two.)
Again, ZipRecruiter has a lower estimate for a starting salary, with a figure of just over $48,000.
But, in keeping with the pattern for finance graduates, the long-term prospects look bright for accounting majors. According to government statistics, the overall average salary for people with accounting degrees sits at nearly $80,000, with the top 10% of earnings garnering more than $120,000.
Companies exist on the strength of their sales. Making a connection with consumers — the key job of any marketing expert — represents an essential goal for any venture. As such, top marketing minds are always in demand.
However, what if you still need to prove your chops? How much can you expect coming out of school with a newly minted marketing degree?
The post-graduation landscape for marketing majors comes with a broad salary range. One data set showed that the starting figure could end up anywhere between $32,000 and $74,000. Meanwhile, Indeed puts an entry-level salary in the marketing world at about $45,000.
Technology has largely taken over the corporate world. Of course, some firms make their living delivering tech-based products and services. But even industries that seem far removed from the digital economy rely on sophisticated software and hardware.
As a result, any organization requires IT support. These positions have become central to the overall economy, with the NACE data showing IT-related degrees among the most sought-after by organizations. These dynamics make Information Technology a great opportunity for any student to enter a growing field.
Given the demand and the level of technical skill required to succeed in the industry, IT professionals are well compensated. That’s true even for entry-level positions. Glassdoor places the national average for these starter jobs at just under $63,000.
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