After Graduation: What To Expect

Graduating from college or university this year? Not sure what to expect after you’ve received your degree? Learn more about what to realistically expect after graduation.

So you’ve made it through college or university. Congratulations, that’s huge!

This is a major stepping stone in your life and you should be proud of what you’ve just accomplished. After all, completing your post-secondary education takes a whole lot of time and determination to see it through to the end.

But as graduation approaches and you anticipate leaving the college life behind, you may find yourself having mixed feelings about this whole experience.

You’re stepping out into the world of the unknown. And there are many uncertainties that you’ll face in the upcoming years.

With that said, in the following blog post, we’ll go over what to realistically expect when you get out into the proverbial “real world”. 

woman wearing academic cap and dress selective focus photography

Finding A Post-Secondary Job

Number one on the list, right?

Many students rely on financial assistance to get through college or university. But now, unfortunately, it’s time to start paying all of that back.

So don’t be surprised if you find yourself working the same entry-level job that had back in high-school, and that’s okay.

A college degree will absolutely open doors for you, but it takes time and experience in the industry before your resume will be taken seriously.

Don’t forget that everyone has to start somewhere. And in your case, this is your somewhere.

So for right now, it’s a good idea to get yourself a job; any job, big or small, that will provide you with an income to start paying off your student loans and getting yourself set up for the future.

two women sitting beside table and talking - after graduation

The truth is that it’s unlikely you’re going to nail your dream job right after graduation.

So, having any type of job at this point is simply going to help keep you afloat, while you actively pursue your ultimate employment status. 

Read job interview tips here.

Getting Your Foot In The Door 

While you have your “cushion job” to fall back on and to help get you through, now is the time to get your name out there and start networking.

So start applying to any jobs that you feel are relevant to the knowledge you’ve just gained from your schooling.

But the harsh reality is that you are going to get rejected over and over again, and may find yourself feeling lost, possibly thinking that you’ve made the wrong choice in a career.

You might even consider giving up on this career altogether. There may be times when you’ll hit a point and feel that this is impossible.

But, hang in there. These things just take time. 

The important thing is to land yourself a job that will give you a step up in the direction you’re trying to go.

two people shaking hands - after graduation

Looking for affordable textbooks? Browse thousands of book at textbooknova.com

So stick with your field, but don’t amp your expectations up too high. This is where you might end up doing some grunt work. And you may feel like you’re underpaid or overworked.

But the value in the underpaid and overworked job is the experience you’ll gain to help you get the job you ultimately want.

You’re going to want to do the grunt work with a smile because the person you’re working for is going to make a great reference one day.

This job is going to be where you prove yourself. And I assure you that hard work does pay off.

Others will eventually start to take notice and remember your name. You may even start getting some job offers bigger that pay better.

You will find that sometimes, it may not be as much about what you know, but who you know. So it’s important to start by getting your name out there and showing them what you’re capable of. 

man writing on paper - after graduation

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others 

Please go easy on yourself when it comes to comparing yourself to your peers. If they are ahead of the game, working their fancy dream jobs, don’t be fooled. It’s likely they already knew someone who put them there. 

There’s something to be said about the ones who put in the hard work, the ones who won’t take any opportunity for granted.

That hard work and determination that got you through this far will pay off, in time. You’re going to learn hard lessons, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to develop a thick skin because of it.

These are all valuable assets to potential employers. These skills are what’s going to take you to the next level. 

low light photography of woman in gray knit sweatshirt writing on desk

If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this, it’s to not give up on yourself.

You’ve come this far, You’ve invested the time and money in yourself. And you’re going to get there in the right amount of time that it takes.

It may take 3 years, maybe 5, maybe 10. But you’ll get there. 

In the meantime, absorb as much as you can from anyone who’s willing to give you insight and knowledge, and run with it.

Things might be uncertain right now, but stick to your master plan, use your stepping stones, and you’ll get where you want to go.

How To Survive First-Year Of College Or University

Feeling nervous about going off to college or university? Looking for a few tips on how to survive first-year? Learn about the biggest Do’s and Don’ts of post-secondary survival in today’s blog post.

There’s no doubt about it, starting college or university as a first-year student can be a daunting experience. 

After all, it’s an entirely different world than what you’ve ever known, filled with all sorts of new experiences and opportunities. And as exciting as that may seem, it can be a little discomforting at first. 

But the truth is that starting your first year of school doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience. And I swear to you that freshman year isn’t nearly as scary as you might think it’s going to be.

It’s just going to take a bit of getting used to. That’s all. 

So with that in mind, we’ve put together the following guide on surviving your first year of college or university. In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at both the biggest Do’s and Don’ts of how to survive first-year. 

Survive First-Year

The Do’s 

Do Attend Class

With the inherent shellshock of starting your first year of college or university, it’s not uncommon for students to feel overwhelmed while trying to balance their new school schedule with their existing lives. 

And when this happens, it’s easy to try and make up for some time by skipping out on a few classes here and there. But it’s important to know that attending your classes is essential to graduating your course. 

Not only do some courses actually count your attendance and participation as part of your grade, but by skipping classes, you’ll also miss out on an abundance of important information that you need to graduate, which is after all why you signed up for school in the first place. 

Do Explore 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re attending school from home or studying in a new city, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a completely new place during your first year of post-secondary. 

That’s why it’s important to take some extra time to get out and explore your school’s campus to find out what it really has to offer. 

And although it’s important for you to explore just to get your bearings straight, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet other students, just like you. Which brings me to my next point… 

man standing on rooms pathway

Do Know You’re Not Alone

During freshman year, especially if you’re studying in a new city, it’s easy to feel as if you’re the only person in the world who feels the way you do. But for first-year students, this isn’t true in any way, shape or form. 

In fact, there are probably more first-year students at your school than there are sophomores, and seniors combined. 

So make sure you’re not sitting around letting yourself believe that you’re all alone, or that you’ll never meet any new people.

Put yourself out there and start socializing. While you’re out exploring, visit your school’s student center, just to say hello and see what’s happening around campus.

Your school’s library or cafeteria are also great places to meet other students. 

Regardless, go where other students go, and you’re sure to end up meeting a friend or two! In reality, meeting new people and learning to socialize is also an important part of how to survive first-year.

The Don’ts

Don’t Overuse Social Media

Today, we’ve become so connected via the internet that it’s often easy to lose focus of our priorities. 

I mean, how many times have you caught yourself staying up later than you wanted to just because you got distracted browsing through Facebook or Instagram? Or, how often have you made plans to study, and then found yourself taking selfies and watching your friend’s Snapchat stories all day?

Survive First-Year

I’m not saying that you need to give up social media completely. But you need to make sure that it’s not consuming too much of your time or affecting any of your schoolwork. 

Your post-secondary education is one of the biggest and most important parts of your life’s journey. So don’t ruin it because you were too busy trying to snap that perfect selfie. 

Don’t Neglect Study Time

Post-secondary life can be hectic. Whether you’re juggling a job, a family, extracurricular activities, or just have a busy social life with your friends, it’s easy to feel like you just don’t have enough time to sit down and study. 

But no matter what type of life you’re living, it’s important to create a study schedule and stick to it.

This means blocking out a few study sessions and spacing them out throughout the week, which makes it easy to balance studying with the rest of your personal life. 

Find affordable textbooks here.

Don’t Have Any Fun

I’m just kidding… 

In fact, the best advice for surviving your first is to relax, have fun, and to enjoy the opportunity that you have. After all, you only get to live through freshman year once.

But while it is important to enjoy your first year, it’s still crucial that you keep your education as your main focus throughout the year. 

So go out and socialize with your friends, dance your heart, sing karaoke… But just make sure that your fun time isn’t having a negative effect on your studies. 

group of people in front of stage

How To Survive First-Year

It doesn’t matter who you are, your first year of college or university is going to be a bit nervewracking. 

But that doesn’t mean it needs to be a struggle. 

And by focusing on what’s the most important throughout the year, your first year of college can be one of the best, most formative years of your life. 

So make sure to prioritize school, relax, have fun, and make freshman year one of the most unforgettable years of your life. 

What Newly Released Books Are Trending in 2019? Don’t Miss This Must-Read Novel!

Lining up your next summer read? Lisa See’s newest novel, The Island of Sea Women, is a sweeping saga of friendship and family loyalty. Not to mention, it’s one of our favorite new releases.

So what’s it all about?

If you’re familiar with the bestselling New York Times author, See’s previous novels take place in China or in Chinese communities in the US. But The Island of Sea Women is set on Korea’s Jeju Island.

Like her other novels, though, See explores complex connections and loyalties between friends—and the bond between mothers and daughters.

On Jeju Island, women divers, called haenyeo, were their families’ primary earners. Older haenyeo teach the young girls to freedive, harvest shellfish, catch sealife, and survive in the changeable ocean.

The imaginative setting here is completely engaging. As a reader, you’ll be introduced to a unique Jeju lifestyle of specific skills and customs… and a dangerously appealing undersea world. The haenyeo survive in difficult times by relying on their community, their skills, and the sea’s resources.

Throughout the book, we return to this theme of hardworking women, gaining personal agency, and family security in challenging times.

Let’s talk about the characters. When the story begins, Young-sook, and her friend Mi-ja, are some of the youngest trainees. Beyond that, the story follows their relationship for decades.

Young-sook is the daughter of a skilled diver. When her mother agrees to take Mi-Ja into their collective and train her as well, it seems like they’ll work side-by-side. Just as previous generations of Jeju women have done.

But the Japanese occupation of Korea disrupts their lives and relationships on Jeju. As Japanese-Korean relationships twist and turn, having family connections to the occupiers is alternately a blessing and a curse.

The novel shows how Mi-ja tries to navigate her family background and then her husband’s background in a shifting political situation.

Without giving any spoilers, the novel tells of historically accurate, but brutal exploitation.

What’s more, you’ll learn about a horrific conflict between Japanese soldiers and starving Korean civilians. The war changes the patterns of Korean life—for both women—long after the conflict is over.

As always, Lisa See introduces vibrant, complex characters, with ties of loyalty and friends. What makes this novel such a page-turner is how See’s story introduces them into situations without clear solutions.

All in all, readers will enjoy seeing Mi-ja and Young-sook evolve over decades and generations. Click here to check out the book!

Becoming Michelle Obama: 5 Details Revealed in Her Memoir

Becoming Michelle Obama: 5 Details Revealed in her Memoir - Book Cover

Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming just dropped onto bookshelves a couple of days ago, but it’s already become a #1 national bestseller. In fact, the highly anticipated book grabbed the most pre-order sales of any new release since 2015.

So, what will you discover in the former first lady’s intimate book?

Let’s take a peek inside the pages. Here are five personal details from Michelle Obama’s life before and after her time in the White House — all revealed inside Becoming.

 

1. Michelle once snuck out of the White House.

With her daughter Malia by her side, Michelle snuck out of their presidential home after the Supreme Court made the decision to legalize gay marriage. Why? They wanted to see the White House displayed in rainbow lights. The only problem was they couldn’t get past the locked doors until some staff members helped them find an exit.

 

2. She has some opinions about President Donald Trump.

Michelle shares several thoughts on Donald Trump, including the one thing she’ll never excuse: questioning Barack Obama’s birth certificate.  “Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this, I’d never forgive him,” she explains.

 

3. What wearing that custom-made Jason Wu gown to the inaugural ball meant to her:

“The dress resurrected the dreaminess of my family’s metamorphosis, the promise of this entire experience, transforming me if not into a full-blown ballroom princess, then at least into a woman capable of climbing onto another stage. I was now FLOTUS — First Lady of the United States — to Barack’s POTUS. It was time to celebrate.”

 

4. Michelle opens up about her painful struggle to have children.

In her memoir, Michelle writes about the difficulty she faced in becoming pregnant and the IVF process that followed.

“We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well. We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we felt.”

 

5. Her marriage takes work too.

Even though they might look like the perfect couple from afar, the Obamas are proof that every marriage has its ups and down. Michelle digs into the details about how she attended marriage counseling with her husband to work through some of their issues. Initially, he was against seeing a therapist and thought it seemed dramatic.

But as Michelle tell us, it later turned out to be an incredible turning point in their relationship.

It turns out they’re more like us than we thought.

You might be wondering if the former first lady addresses her future in politics. Will Michelle ever run for the presidency? Well, if you’ve been waiting for a Michelle in 2020 campaign, we have some bad news to tell you.

According to the Washington Post, “I’ve never been a fan of politics, and my experience over the last ten years has done little to change that. I continue to be put off by the nastiness,” she stated.

In the meantime, you can pick up a copy of Michelle Obama’s memoir right here at Textbook Nova.

How to Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

How to Actually Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

Kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

You enter college thinking it’s about taking courses on topics you want to study, not more general education requirements.

In reality, most of your first two years of college are spent taking these mandatory classes (aka your “gen ed” courses). Like most things in life, there are pros and cons when it comes to these required subjects.

For example, when you’re undecided on your major general education can help you figure out what classes interest you. Sometimes the topics we think we’re passionate about–or think we should be passionate about–don’t really interest us at all.

Either way, since gen eds are a must-do for graduating from college let’s talk about what you can do to make the most of them.

 

How to Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

How to Actually Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

 

Find Out Who Teaches the Class (Before You Sign Up)

If you haven’t already heard of it, Rate My Professors is the website that will become the game-changer to your college experience. You just plug in the name of a professor into their search box (or the name of your school) and you’ll find reviews/ratings of their classes from your fellow students.

Obviously, you should use your best judgment with the reviews. Not every review is reflective of the professor. The students’ effort affects their experience in class too. However, it’s great for getting a rough idea of the experience. If every single rating for a professor is 1 out of 5 or you discover all of the reviews mention an impossible grading system, you probably don’t want to take that class.

I always used Rate My Professors when it came to my gen eds. What did I get out of it? I met some professors that I genuinely loved learning from because they made the class fun.  


Choose Topics that Grab Your Attention

Even though they’re required courses, you get to choose which classes to take. There is still a lot of wiggle room when it comes to general education. Not a fan of geometry? Take a statistics class to fulfill your math requirement. Don’t want to take another American History 100 class? Consider a class in art history or an area of history that interests you.

The more engaged you are in the topic, the better you’ll do in class. It’s just easier when you like what you’re learning. Who knows, you might even decide to switch majors after taking. That’s why colleges recommend you don’t put off these courses. You might discover a new opportunity or passion in life…or discover your current major isn’t the path you wanted to take after all.

If you take these classes early on, there’s still plenty of time left to change your major or figure out what industry excites you.

 

Don’t Make it Too Hard on Yourself

Not a morning person? Think carefully before you sign up for that 8 am MWF class. Like I mentioned earlier, you should choose your classes based on what subject matter interests you. Not on the convenience, availability, or how easy you think it will be.

Some courses might fit better into your schedule, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good fit. If you think about it, each class costs you hundreds of dollars in tuition. Why take something that is a total bore and waste of your time?

In order to make the most of your general education, don’t take a class that will make you miserable. Or if you take the class and realize it’s not for you, drop it ASAP before the cutoff date.

 

Talk to Your Classmates

Your gen eds are a great place to meet people outside your major. Engage with your classmates!

You can find amazing new friends and create relationships with people. Once you get to your junior year of college, the rest of your classes will mostly be with the same group of people. General education courses can introduce you to cool friends you may not have met on campus otherwise.

4 Reasons Why You Should Do an Internship in College

Why You Should Do an Internship

You’ve heard the advice a bazillion times.

Get experience before you finish school and you’ll have a better shot at getting hired when you graduate. Everyone makes it sound so easy…as if your schedule wasn’t already packed with exams and studying.

Here’s the thing:

Internships are a stepping stone that can launch your entire career. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Formers interns report higher rates of employment and higher salaries than recent graduates who didn’t complete an internship.

But you know what else? Internships can offer you a ton of advantages when it comes to your future work (and personal life).

Let’s look at four reasons why you should do an internship.

 

#1 You’ll Discover What Things Are Really Like

To begin with, college internships let you see what it’s really like in the trenches. You get the opportunity to experience the reality of working in a particular role, or what it looks like to work for a specific company.

Why should you care? Believe it or not, your dream job isn’t always what it seems. I’ve been there myself. An internship lets you test out your dreams before you’re 3-years-deep into a career you absolutely hate.

If you find yourself on a career path you despise, you have to start all over again. This might not seem like a big deal. However, you might realize you can’t stand to work another minute at your stupid job at a time in your life when you want to focus on other things. Like your personal life. Or earning a higher income.

Without interning, you won’t really know what your vision looks like until you accept the position. Then you’re kinda stuck until you figure a way out.

 

#2 You Can Break Into Ultra-Competitive Industries

Want to break into an industry with fierce competition? You’ll need experience. There’s no other way around it unless you have some powerful contacts.

Internships lead to the chance to build an incredible network, spice up your resume, and learn the realities of your potential career path. These are all golden opportunities. You’ll be able to beef up your resume with your accomplishments, new job, and technical skills, giving you job experience that employers are seeking out today.

But let’s back up a little bit. Why does networking matter so much?

You often hear that finding a job is about who you know. This is often portrayed in a negative light; people sometimes look down on a candidate who landed a job based on their connections. But there’s more to the story than what it seems.

Networking doesn’t have to be sleazy.

It’s simply about having contacts in the industry who know the type of work you’re capable of producing. These are people who can trust you. These types of referrals can get you far, so stay in touch with your industry network! It’s easier than ever keep contact with these connections online, via email or a social network like LinkedIn.

Why You Should Do an Internship

#3 You’ll Learn How to Handle Situations

When you work as an intern, you get a glimpse into “the real world” of professional environments.

You see, there are many different departments within an organization or company. You learn how each of these departments interact with each other. Ultimately, you see how your job role affects other departments. You’ll learn more about how your work benefits your future employers–which helps you sell yourself as the perfect candidate–and learn how to climb the ladder to reach your end-goal.

You also gain experience working under pressure. Yes, you’re learning this in college, but it’s a lot different at your job. You get to make decisions and show your boss what you’re truly capable of.

But there’s one small catch. You might also get a first-hand glimpse into office politics. While you hope to avoid workplace drama, it’s inevitable sometimes. As much as it sucks, you want to learn how to handle these situations like a pro (so you can avoid them in the future).

 

#4 It Can Lead to a Full-Time Offer

While there’s no guarantee, you might get hired on as a full-time employee after your internship is finished.

I’ve seen it happen over and over again with my peers. Many companies will hire from their intern pools. It’s just easier that way because they’ve already devoted their time and energy into training you. Hiring for a job is a long process and these positions need to be filled!

Plus, once employers know how amazing your work is and can see with their own eyes how much value you add to their team, they won’t ever want you to leave.

 

So When Should You Start Looking?

If you’re looking for a summer internship, February is the best month to apply. It doesn’t hurt to start searching for what’s out there in the meantime. That gives you time to work on your resume and portfolio too.

But I’m going to let you in on a secret. Another option is applying for a fall or spring internship: there’s far less competition.

This is especially important if your field is in a hyper-competitive industry. For instance, I have a friend who attends one of the best schools in this country. She couldn’t find a summer internship, even though she applied to dozens. What did she do? Even though she felt discouraged, she kept searching over the summer.

By July, she landed the fall internship of her dreams.

Some programs require an internship before you can graduate. Other programs don’t make it mandatory but will offer credits toward your degree. If it’s not required, the choice is yours…but I think it’s worth it.

Resource:

How To Land Your Dream Internship: Proven Step-By-Step System To Gain Real World Experience by Tam Pham

Why is Crazy Rich Asians Important? Here are 5 Reasons to Read the Novel.

It’s already crushed tons of records over the last month, but Crazy Rich Asians shows no signs of slowing down its box office domination yet.

The mainstream rom-com has become the biggest summer hit in this genre since 2015. Why all the buzz? Why is Crazy Rich Asians important? Well, it’s significant for two reasons. In the first place, Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood studio film with an all-Asian cast in over two decades.

Not to mention, it’s an opportunity for us regular folk to indulge in the lush, over-the-top fantasy lifestyle of the mega-rich.

How can you pass that up? It’s pure, fun escapism.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch the movie, go see it! Meanwhile, you should also check out the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan. If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll love reading the books. Just be warned: they’re highly addictive.

If you aren’t familiar with the novel yet you probably want a little backstory, right?

The plot follows a young couple, Nick and Rachel. They’ve been dating for two years in the States, but Nick wants to bring Rachel to stay with his family in Singapore for the summer. When they arrive in Singapore, Rachel discovers her boyfriend is crazy rich.

Here are 5 reasons why you should read Crazy Rich Asians (and the rest of the trilogy).

 

1. RICH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

There are a bazillion characters to keep track of in this book. But they’re highly entertaining! Nick comes from a huge family, but as you get further along in the book you start to recognize everyone by their personality and how they’re all connected.

The novel digs deeper into the character development–it really fills in those gaps that weren’t fleshed out in the movie. While I personally enjoy Nick and Rachel’s love story, his family members are what make the story hilarious.

 

2. YOU’LL GET SUCKED IN BY THE DRAMA

If you think your family is out there wait until you meet Nick Young’s circle of relatives. They’re unwelcoming toward Rachel, to say the least. Nick’s family believes she’s in it for the money– they refuse to accept her because she’s an American. This leads to a whole lot of drama and entertainment from everyone.

And if you have trouble keeping up with the zillion characters in his family? There’s a family tree to help you follow along.

 

3. PEEK INTO ANOTHER CULTURE

The author, Kevin Kwan, includes snippets of Malay language throughout the book. This is one reason why I highly recommend the print version of this novel: He offers translations via footnotes throughout the book. On the Kindle version, these notes can appear of out of order.

Not only is the book rich with language, but you get to look at another culture. One that I didn’t previously know much about. Crazy Rich Asians lets you imagine the beautiful landscapes, mouth-watering food, and designer clothing of the wealthy elite in Singapore.

 

4. RICH AND DESCRIPTIVE DETAILS

Crazy Rich Asians paints an impressive portrait of opulence and culture. Seriously, you’ll be dying to taste all of the food he describes. You can see the exotic, vivid landscapes come to life across the pages. The glitz of luxury makes this book the perfect escape.  

 

5. IT’S AN EASY AND LIGHTHEARTED READ

Whether you need a break from the whirlwind of school or just want to read something amusing, this novel is a breeze to get through. You could easily read this in a day. Between the fantasy and drama, I couldn’t put it down.

It’s perfect to take along as a vacation read or you can save it for a rainy Saturday. And once you finish? Trust me, you’ll have questions. It gets even better with the sequels, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the movie while it’s still in theaters and grab a copy of the book today!

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018?

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know whether college is still worth it in 2018?

Here’s a crazy fact: If you add up all of the student loan debt in the US, it reaches over $1.4 trillion dollars. It’s hard to visualize just how much a trillion dollars is.

But here’s an idea:

A trillion dollars laid out next to each other would reach the sun. Likewise, a trillion dollars is nearly the amount of money currently in circulation in the entire country.

Currently, the average college student graduates with $31,000. Paying off the burden of student loans can take decades, depending on what field you work in post-college and how much total debt you take on. For one thing, graduate, law, and medical degrees rack up significantly more tuition than a 4-year undergraduate degree.

If you add up the costs, is college really worth the debt today? Let’s weigh in.

College is Expensive

While the costs for tuition and books have steadily increased over the last 30 years, so has the value of a college degree.

How so?

Well, the average starting salary for a college grad has never been higher. According to Time, the average pay for new college graduates is right around $50,000.

(Want to find out how much the Class of 2018 is really earning? Click here to find out.)

So this means that yes, we’re paying more to attend college. But we’re also getting more opportunity from it than our parents or the generations before us.

A recent study conducted by Georgetown University found that people who graduate from college earn around $17,000 more per year than high school graduates. That adds up to a million more over your lifetime. Considering we need between $1 million to $1.5 million saved up to retire, attending college can help secure your future.

Is College Worth the Cost in 2018? Unemployment rate chart by level of education.

This graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics compares the average weekly pay and unemployment rates based on your level of education.

College is a Gamble

We already know that some college degrees will pay off faster than others. The average salary in technology, medicine, or science is going to much higher than a starting salary in arts or humanities.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pursue arts if that’s our passion. But should we go the route of student loans in that case?

It’s a gamble.

If you decide to pursue one of these routes–like sociology, arts, psychology, or political science–consider how much you’ll realistically earn in 5-10 years before you take out student loans. In this case, it’s probably wiser to seek financial aid in the form of scholarships. The debt isn’t worth it.  

 

Not All Debt is Bad

Having a little bit of debt can actually be beneficial.

After all, taking out student loans, car payments, or credit cards is how you start to build your credit history.

If you’ve never borrowed money, you don’t have any credit. This makes it harder to take out a loan for large purchases in the future–like when you’re ready to buy a house

When you make on-time payments on your debt, you’re demonstrating you can borrow money responsibly and pay it off. I saw this happen first hand when I paid off my first car and my credit score jumped up to excellent!

I still have a significant amount left on my student loans, but my credit has never looked better.   

However, I wish I had known exactly what I was getting myself into when I borrowed money in college. Nobody really explained student loans to me, they just let me rack up debt with no questions asked. The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make In College is a fantastic resource for high school seniors or any students who want to understand their financial decisions better.

 

In Conclusion

Is college worth it today? That is ultimately your call to make, but I think it’s absolutely worth every penny. If I could do it all over again, I’d still go back to college.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Resources

The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make In College by Anthony O’Neal

Student Loan Planning: A Borrower’s Guide to Understanding and Repaying Student Loan Debt by Ryan H Law

Paying for College Without Going Broke, 2018 Edition: How to Pay Less for College (College Admissions Guides) by Princeton Review

 

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.