Making $60K in a first job? A third of college graduates expect it | Ladders

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Age in the Workplace

Making $60,000 in a first job? Over a third of college graduates expect it

College kids just want to get paid.

When it comes to the most important factor when figuring out employment in recently released poll data, “good pay” exceeded any other factor by a landslide, with 72% saying that was most important to them.

College students are also aiming very high in terms of that salary — with some of them expecting salaries over $60,000 in their very first gig— a level that’s inordinately high for almost every industry.

In one question asking how much money college students think they’ll be taking home at their first post-graduation job, 36% said between $40,000-$60,000 yearly,  26% said less than $40,000 yearly, 21% said $60,000-$80,000 yearly, 17% said more than $80,000 per year.

But the report highlighted the significance of the amount of respondents who think they’ll be making really big bucks right after school, saying that “the 17 percent of respondents who are expecting to make over $80,000 out of college should begin tempering their expectations so they are not as disappointed. Very few college graduates will make that salary in their first job out of college.”

Second to salary: corporate culture

The college grads who chose pay placed every other work factor in a distant second.  versus 14% who reported wanting “strong ethical culture,” 8% favoring a “good training program” the most,” and 5% reporting the “other” option, according to data in LendEDU’s Class of 2017 Career Report, which detailed polling results for six questions with college students as respondents, supplied by Whatsgoodly.

Money was an ongoing theme, but fear also entered the picture in the report.

Students also revealed what they fear most about post-graduation life, with a whopping 48% dreading “having to pay taxes and set a budget” the most, compared to 26% worrying most about getting a job, 14% saying not being in constant company of friends , and 11% looking forward to “having to get up early five days a week” the least.

Men and women want different things after college

Data on company culture and other offerings were further broken down by gender.

Fifty-two percent of college students said they prefer to have a position with less security in terms of employment, but a greater amount of benefits. On the other end of the spectrum, 48% said they want a greater amount of job security, and fewer perks.

More men than women liked having more benefits —58% of men, compared to 46% of women.

In fact, 54% of women liked job security more than perks, while 42% of men did.

College students also don’t want to spend a lot of time on office politics. Sixty-two percent of college students would rather be employed in a “collaborative” workspace, compared to 38% who preferred a “competitive” one. Women took the cake in terms of “collaborative” ones, with 66% preferring it, versus 57% of men who did. Conversely, only 34% of women and 43% of men were in favor of “competitive” ones.

College kids also have preferences when it comes to the size and type of employer they want to work for.

Bigger, “more established” businesses were highly favored at 69% versus 31% who would want to be employed at a “very small startup.” Seventy-two percent of women and 65% men were in favor or the former, while 35% of men and 28% of women were in favor of the latter.

The pursuit of money after college

It’s easy to see why the idea of graduation can strike fear in the hearts of many college kids. Everyone’s journey to employment and building wealth is different— some will find it harder to enter the job market after college than others in the months that follow, which can deliver a rush of anxiety to those who take a little longer to get started on their next professional chapter.

Joe O’Boyle offers budgeting advice in for recent grads on TIME’s Money website.

“A good starting place for your monthly budget can be easily remembered as ’50-30-20.’ When you receive your first paycheck, sit down and figure out what your monthly take home pay will be. Out of that, put 50% toward needs such as rent, utilities, and groceries. Thirty percent goes toward “wants” such as shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and fun. The final 20% goes to your savings and debt repayment. If your student loans are substantial, you may have to flip the percentages so that 30% goes towards debt repayment and 20% toward wants. By following this plan, you can quickly put a dent in those loans,” Boyle writes.

So it’s not just the young: feverish pursuit of money is frequently on the brain for new grads and older grads alike.