Chicago — Today’s college students are expecting to make more money in their first job post-graduation. They may be overestimating.
A survey suggests that students expect to make about $103,880 while the average starting salary is actually about half that, $55,260, according to USA Today.
The Real Estate Witch survey, which was conducted online with 1,000 students in late March, found that undergraduate students overestimate their starting salaries by 88%. Additionally, 1 in 3 worry that they won't make enough money to live comfortably after graduation.
Undergraduates studying journalism, psychology and liberal arts were the most likely to overestimate their future pay, according to USA Today. For example, journalism students expected 139% more than the median starting salary for the industry. That’s $107,040 one year after graduating compared to the average salary of $44,800.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers February salary projections reported mixed estimates for this year’s graduates. Salaries for those majoring in math and sciences, agriculture and natural resources saw increases by 5.4%; humanities majors saw a 14.8% decrease; and communications majors, a 4.7% drop. Meanwhile, computer science majors were projected to be the highest paid group in 2022.
“This is unlike what we saw last year at this time. Then, employers projected increases in all reported categories of majors at the bachelor’s degree level, and now we’re seeing some majors lose ground in terms of starting salaries,” Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director, said in a statement.