Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

I remember it so vividly.

Watching my parents smile proudly at me. Snapping hundreds of selfies with my classmates. Walking across the stage and shaking the dean’s hand.

You never forget the day you graduate from college.

Graduation day is packed with emotion. There’s the rush of excitement, accomplishment, and awe.

The next day? Reality sinks in. It’s time to start your job hunt. You’re thrilled to take the next steps in “the real world” but there’s still a lot of uncertainty.

How long will it take me to find a job? How much will it pay? Where do I even WANT to work?

LendEDU decided to investigate what it’s really like for brand-new college grads entering the workforce this year. They polled 1,000 graduates from the Class of 2018 to see how their job search has gone over the last couple of months (and how much they’re really making).

So what’s the starting salary for a new college graduate?

Let’s look into their results.

 

How Much New College Graduates Should Expect to Make

Good news: LendEDU found that nearly half of the former students they surveyed already found their first full-time job this summer. When asked how they would describe their current situation, they responded:

  • 41.3% of 2018 graduates have landed a job
  • 34.4% are still on the search for a job
  • 24.3% are taking summer off to figure out their next steps

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

In less than two months, many recent graduates have already ended their job search with success! 20% of those who found a full-time job listed that it wasn’t in a field like tech, health, education, engineering, or in media.

If you’ve ever felt unsure about your job future due to your college major–rest assured that there is still a lot of potential work out there for you.

What’s the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018?

According to The Class of 2018 Career Report, most students expect to make between $36,000-50,000 per year in their first job out of college. But does this expectation match the job market today?

While over ¼ of new graduate ARE making that much in an entry-level position, 33.4% are actually earning below $35,000.

You might be thinking, “But wait–I went to college to make a good living!”

I know the feeling.

But this study matches my experience with my first job out of college, where I was making $30,000. It wasn’t easy. I was living in a metropolitan city where my rent took up the majority of my income.

However, it wasn’t a major difference from life in college. I knew how to stretch my budget in order to get by. I even saved some money in the first year! It turns out, I wasn’t stuck at that salary for long either–I started searching for jobs after a year of getting experience in my field.

Flash forward 6 months. I had landed my DREAM job and my salary jumped up to expectations. Was it worth sticking out that first year being broke? I definitely think so.  

Here’s a closer look at the results from Salary Expectations vs. Graduates Actual Salary:

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

As you can see, some graduates are earning over $50,000 but it’s the exception. In this case, their job duties probably involve some specialized skill set or they have work experience under their belt.

 

So How Did These Graduates Find Their First Job?

One of the biggest challenges new graduates face when they’re looking for their first full-time job is knowing where to look.

Then again, it’s never been easier to search for jobs today. You can search online through job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor–or look directly on a company website to find out what roles they’re currently hiring for.

At the same time, don’t ignore your personal network. It turns out nearly 30% of recent college graduates found their job through connections.

Find Out the Average Starting Salary for College Graduates in 2018

Don’t think you have the right connections? Reach out to your friends and family, anyway. They have years of experience (in work AND life) where they’ve built connections. You never know which connections could be valuable.

As you can see from the chart above, there are plenty are ways to find a job outside of your network too.

All in all, it’s safe to say future salary projections are on the minds of every college student. If you’re a current student or soon-to-be graduate, you can prepare for what’s next by gaining some “real world” work experience, an internship, and building your network.

Want to get the full scoop on the rest of the survey results? Check it out here on the LendEDU blog.

6 Must-Have Tech Gadgets for College Students

6 Must-Have Tech Gadgets for College Students

Seriously, why do college checklists have so much stuff on them?

When some of them have upwards of 150 items, how do you know what you actually need to bring along to school?

Obviously, you need school supplies, textbooks, clothing, and shower gear. But to be 100% honest, outside of your basic living essentials…you probably need less than you think.

Especially when it comes to school supplies–I didn’t use half of the things that I first brought along to college.

Your dorm room or apartment will be small and you won’t have a lot of room to store these things. The less you bring, the less clutter you have (which means less time you spend on cleaning).

However, there are a few tech items that will make your life WAY easier away from home. Let’s take a quick look.

6 Best Tech Gadgets for College Students in 2018

 

1. Portable Phone Charger

Let’s be real–we’re on our phones all the time. It doesn’t take long to drain the battery. The only problem is, your schedule tends to be all over the place in college.

You could have some days with back-to-back classes and then you’re heading to work straight from your last class. Even if you DO have breaks in between your classes, your dorm room or apartment might not be anywhere close.

You’ll end up stopping for food in between classes or hanging out the library to study. It just might not make sense to go back to your room during the day.

That’s where portable chargers come in. This one is lightweight and charges your phone incredibly fast.

 

2. Lap Desk

My parents gifted me a lap desk before I went off to college. At first, I kind of laughed at it. The lap desk didn’t really seem necessary because I already had a desk in my room. However, it turned out to be a total game-changer.

Sometimes you just don’t want to get out of bed.

Or it could be the total opposite.

Maybe you’re getting major cabin fever and need to escape your room for the common area. I frequently met up with my neighbors and friends in the commons space to study together or work on homework. My lap desk offered a sturdy surface so I could get work done from anywhere. This lap desk is less than $20, holds your laptop, and has a space for your tablet.

 

3. Portable Speaker

Whether you have friends over for a movie night or want to hang out with some background music, you want a compact, portable speaker for your room.

Do yourself a favor and get a speaker that’s compatible with most mobile devices via Bluetooth, in case you want to let somebody else play DJ for the night.

This speaker is small, shockproof, and water-resistant. Perfect for your new shared space. (It’s built to withstand outdoors and the elements, if that’s your thing!)

4. Noise-Canceling Headphones

Because nothing is worse than going to the library to study and being forced to listen to your neighbor’s loud conversation. Be in your own little world instead.

Noise canceling headphones are perfect for blocking out distractions. You can also listen to your favorite music, hit the gym, tune out your roommate, or watch videos at a normal volume–and eliminate any background noise.

 

5. Roku Streaming Stick

Your dorm room or new apartment doesn’t come with cable? Not a problem if you have a Roku Streaming Stick.

If you’re not familiar with Roku, it’s a remote device that allows you to stream  content from sites like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and more. they’re super affordable.

The only thing you have to do is connect your Roku stick into your Wi-Fi and to your TV. Before you buy this, double check to make sure that your TV has an HDMI port. That’s how you’ll connect the Roku to your TV.

Most TVs today come with this, but it just depends on how old your TV set is.

 

6. Kindle Tablet

While you can certainly get away without owning a tablet in college, it definitely has some advantages. Especially the Kindle. Here’s why.

You can save a TON of money on textbooks. Use a textbook search engine like Textbook Nova to find the cheapest version of your assigned textbooks. Another way to save is to use Amazon Textbook Rentals.

Their textbook rental service allows you to rent textbooks for an entire semester OR for however many weeks you think you’ll need it.

The great part about having a Kindle or Fire tablet is that you can immediately download these text books onto your tablet. Amazon also allows you to extend your rentals for 30 days or renew them again for another semester, in case you need to keep the textbook around for a little longer.

 

5 Practical Digital Photography Books for Beginners

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

Want to learn how to capture that perfect snapshot?

From shooting portraits to getting the most out of your lighting, these books will provide the novice photographer with an awesome foundation.

Already have some experience? You’ll get an excellent refresher on how to take your shots to the next level.

 

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners: Learn How to Take Photos Like a Pro

 

The Perfect Portrait Guide – How to Photograph People  by Michael Busselle

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

What’s your favorite subject for shooting photos?

If you’re like us, your camera roll is full of photos of your friends, families and…selfies (of course). This book is an awesome introduction to capturing better photos of people.

The Perfect Portrait Guide covers everything from snapping casual photos to taking shots in different light settings. Although, I want to note something. This book was written a little over 15 years ago, so it covers film camera and not digital cameras. However, I thought the advice still applied to shooting great portraits with digital photography.

You’ll find inspiration in the stunning examples of composition, whether you’re an experienced amateur or total newbie.

 

Better Photo Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro by Jim Miotke

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

The author, Jim Miotke, created this guide based on his experience as a professional photographer and teaching photography online. This book offers the perfect introduction for those of you who are new to photography. 

It’s jam-packed with gorgeous photos. Even better, Miotke includes a chapter of these photos and demonstrates the camera settings used to take them.

He’s a great teacher. The book is simple and easy to follow, breaking down the basic settings on your digital cameras (like the various modes and other automatic settings). The best method for improving your photography skill is to practice, right? You’ll discover that Better Photo Basics includes assignments so you can get out there and use his advice.

 

Picture Perfect Posing: Practicing the Art of Posing for Photographs and Models (Voices That Matter) by Roberto Valenzuela

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

Written by Roberto Valenzuela–the author of Picture Perfect Practice–this photography guide is loaded with useful tips and tricks. Valenzuela wrote it based on his philosophy. Deliberate practice is what leads to photography skills and achievement (not talent). Therefore, you can become a great photographer too–if you work at it over time.

Picture Perfect Posing is incredibly detailed and you’ll have to read it more than once to fully absorb it. He shares his specific methodology for getting expression out of your models, positioning the body, and using emotion to capture jaw-dropping images.

In fact, Valenzuela even includes photos he took in the early days of his career. They demonstrate examples of bad posing techniques (so you can spot them when you’re shooting photos yourself).

 

Essential Elements of Portrait Photography: Lighting and Posing Techniques to Make Everyone Look Their Best by Bill Israelson

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

This book lays down a solid foundation for photography, teaching the core skills for shooting better photos of people. Bill Israelson explains everything from your equipment basics to shooting inside a studio.

He offers a step-by-step process for capturing that perfect shot. Even if you’re a practiced amateur photographer, you’ll gain a lot of useful advice from here. Israelson breaks down those complicated photography methods and theories into simple, practical steps.

Inside this book, you’ll discover how to approach lighting based on different situations. You’ll learn how to handle light sources in every setup, which will instantly make people look better in your photos.

 

Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson

5 Best Photography Books for Beginners

Getting better at photography is ALL about experimenting with your camera.  

If you’re ready to take your photos beyond the automatic settings, this is the book for you. Bryan Peterson breaks down the complexities of your camera and teaches you how to take powerful, beautiful images in manual mode.

You’ll want to come back to this book over and over. I’m a hobby photographer who never really understood exposure settings before I read this book. I just edited it afterward! But now I know exactly what the exposure triangle is capable of capturing.

Peterson is a great teacher. He shares many stories in the first half of the book while offering insights into more practical concepts in the last half. I’d recommend this to anyone learning photography (especially if you’re scared of manual mode).

Remember:

The best method for improving your photography skills is to keep practicing. Now let’s get out there and create something awesome!

 

When Is It Too Late to Change Your College Major?

Is It Too Late to Change My College Major?

So you want to study a different field. When is it too late to change your college major?

Want to know a secret?

The truth is more than 75% of all students change their majors at least once during college. I changed my major three times! And the degree I graduated with was in the field of my dream career–it was definitely worth it.

Check this out:

Most advisors suggest that you change your major after your first year. This gives you a chance to take some of the core “introduction” classes and you’ll have an idea of whether or not you enjoy your chosen field.

What if you’ve stuck out that first year and it still doesn’t feel right?

Maybe it’s not a matter of whether or not you like the subject matter in your courses. It’s just not a fit. Sometimes students go into majors in college because we think it will lead to the best jobs or we were following the advice of our parents.

But what should you do when do you find yourself wondering if you’re in the right program?

Let’s take a look.

 

Is Changing Majors Bad?

Is It Too Late to Change My College Major?

The downsides to changing your major:

  • It can take longer than you planned to earn your degree
  • You’ll end up paying more tuition if you stay in school longer
  • If your parents support you financially they’ll probably want a say in the decision

Here’s another side of the matter.

College is big-time expensive. But what’s the point in spending thousands of dollars on your education if you don’t LIKE what you’re studying? If you find no meaning in your classes, you’ll probably feel the same way about a career in the same field.

Trust me.

You don’t want to spend your entire life in a job that makes you feel miserable. We spend the majority of our lives at work. I’m not saying you have to be in love with your jobs to live a happy life because that’s not realistic. Some of our dreams just can’t support us financially.

But imagine waking up every single day with a feeling of dread about what lies ahead. It’s not a great way to live.

There are no right or wrong reasons to switch majors.  

Students make the change because:

  • They weren’t interested in the coursework
  • The classes were too difficult
  • Their courses led them to discover a new area of interest
  • They found out about potential opportunities in another field

Let’s consider the ramifications of changing your major in school and what that looks like during each year.

 

When Is It Too Late to Change Your College Major?

Is It Too Late to Change My College Major

Changing Majors Freshman Year:

If you’re like me, you started having second thoughts about your major immediately.

Here’s the thing. In my case, it was good that I realized my first instinct wasn’t right for me. Just because I was interested in something didn’t mean the potential jobs in that area were the right fit.

The only problem? I chose to declare a new major after the first quarter of school. My new major was based on another course I was taking that I happened to enjoy. I hadn’t given it enough practical thought, which led to me changing majors again later in the game.

 

Changing Majors Sophomore Year:

Switching majors after your first year of college is pretty common. in fact, this is when most students change their major.

Why’s that? You could have known right away that you didn’t like the classes that you were taking. but still wanted to give it a full year to decide. Plus, you had time to get away from the routine of day-to-day life on campus and think about school over the summer. It’s not too late yet. Even if you’re halfway through your sophomore year.

 

Changing Majors Junior Year:

This is where it starts to get a little tricky. If it’s the beginning of your junior year and you spent the first two years focusing on gen ed requirements, it’s not too late to rethink things.

Once you’re halfway through or reaching the end of your junior year, it’s time to consider that it may not worth it to change your major.

Why? It makes more sense financially to attend grad school rather than extending your time in an undergraduate program.

 

Changing Majors Senior Year:

Changing majors in your senior year of college doesn’t make sense. You’ve stuck it out this long–keep pushing through. There’s always post-grad school if you need more education to pursue another career path.

Because the truth? Most college grads aren’t working in their field of study after school. According to the Washington Post, only 27% of college grads have a job related to their degree.

In Conclusion

All in all, there’s no specific year where it’s considered too late to change your college major. However, if you want to spend less money on your education and get out of school faster, it’s best not to change you’re major after junior year.

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Looking to escape into another world?

Travel can transform your view of the world. Even if you don’t intend to drop everything to travel the world, getting out of your bubble is an eye-opening experience. If you love books like Eat Pray Love, keep reading.

Get ready to be inspired by these 6 good travel books.

1. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Have you ever felt like traveling around the world is one of those far-fetched dreams?

It’s a fantasy that can feel out of reach for most of us. Maybe you’ve even daydreamed about leaving home but you’ve accepted it’s totally out of your budget.

Vagabonding dispels the myth that long-term travel isn’t possible for everyone. The biggest lesson I learned from this book is that it doesn’t matter what your age is or how much money you make. If you want to board that plane and explore the world–you CAN make it happen.

The author shares his perspective on what makes long-term travel so fulfilling and how it can transform your perspective on life. The only downside? I guarantee you’ll catch the travel bug after reading this book.

 

2. Eat Pray and Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir 

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Eat Pray and Love filled thousands of women with hopes of finding their own spiritual journey in life. This book is a collection of essays inspired by the famous memoir.

In fact, it features nearly 50 stories of women who took action towards changing their lives after finishing Elizabeth Gilbert’s book. Whether they followed similar steps or were inspired to find their own path, you’ll find short stories of people who felt unfulfilled in life and decided to change things.

What’s great about this book is that the essays are all pretty short. On the other hand, this means you won’t build a deep connection to any of the writers, but you do get to see how people from all different backgrounds transformed their lives in search of happiness.

 

3. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

At age 26, Cheryl Strayed was completely lost. After her mother died, she turned to drugs and impulsive sex to fill the void in her life. Once Cheryl realized she had fallen down a dangerous path, she decided to turn to the wild to find herself again.

I first discovered this book through the movie starring Reese Witherspoon, But if you enjoy travel inspired books like Eat Pray Love, I think you’ll want to check this one out too.

Cheryl decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone. Without any hiking or backpacking experience to fall back on, her journey becomes extremely dangerous. It challenges her strength, willpower, and ultimately her spirit.

 

4. Life Nomadic by Tynan

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

 

Don’t have any experience with travel but want to get started? You need this book. It’s a quick read–one that you can finish in less than a day.

The author, Tynan, shares practical tips on how to travel around the world and live in multiple countries. He wrote it for the novice traveler, making it easy to digest.

Tynan is a nomad and shares advice geared towards his lifestyle…but that doesn’t mean that in order to enjoy this book you must want to ditch your home to live in another country. He shares a lot of great advice on simply how to travel cheaper and get out there to explore the world.

 

5. No Place Like Home: A Memoir In 39 Apartments by Brooke Berman

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Okay, this memoir doesn’t seem to really be about traveling right off the bat. However, I thought I would include it on this list because it’s the story of a journey toward finding a home. If you’re a new graduate or young adult trying to find your way in life, this book is for you.

Brooke Berman is an 18-year old who left her hometown of Detroit and moved to New York City in pursuit of a common dream in the city: a successful career in theater.

Brooke doesn’t have much money but she’ll do anything to make her dreams work–even if means crashing on people’s couches and becoming a nomad in the city of New York.

 

6. How to Travel the World on $50 Per Day by Matt Kepnes

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

How can you travel the world on a college student budget? The author behind Nomadic Matt took the advice from his popular travel blog and transformed it into this book.

It packs a ton of advice that’s excellent for beginner OR experienced travelers. Heading to Europe? Want to take a backpacking trip? Matt Kepnes will show you how to hack your way to cheaper flights, discover low-cost accommodations, and explore other tips and tricks for saving money around the world.

 

7. This Book Is About Travel by Andrew Hyde

7 Good Travel Books That Will Give You Wanderlust

Andrew Hyde traveled to 15 countries in less two years.

While the title of this book implies it’s a guide, it’s really more of a collection of stories on his travel experiences. But that doesn’t mean you won’t catch the travel bug after reading it!

Andrew explains the significance of why we should all travel. Not to mention, he also shares how to decide what places to travel to (and how to budget for them).

Nonetheless, the most interesting chapters are where he shares the tales of entertaining yourself in an unknown country. (Wait until you read about what happened when he found himself with literally no money.)