In college, your life pretty much looks the same as all your peers. You all go to classes, you all have similar living situations, and you’re basically at the same place in life. This drastically changes when you graduate and some people get high-paying corporate jobs, others go to grad school, some enter professions that aren’t about the paycheck at all. Your friend’s financial situations are suddenly extremely varied.
To put things in perspective, LinkedIn released the ten most common job titles people are taking as their entry-level, post-college job, along with the median salary. Knowing the average salary for a position you’re moving into will help you negotiate a fair salary and having a rough idea of what your friends make helps you have realistic ideas about what is financially healthy for you. Here are the results:
Software Engineer – $95,000
Administrative Assistant – $38,600
Account Executive – $75,000
Recruiter – $57,000
Financial Analyst – $65,000
Marketing Coordinator – $45,000
Research Assistant – $34,500
Business Analyst – $72,000
Account Manager – $67,000
Project Engineer – $73,000
When I graduated and was looking at numbers like these, they seemed high compared to what companies were offering, but it’s important to provide your own context here. The number you should expect will be higher if you live in a high cost of living area, and lower if you live in a more affordable city (you can estimate cost of living here). Check with other resources like Glassdoor where you can look up what a specific company might pay for each position and have as much information as possible going into your interviews.