Survey: Landing First Job Immediately From College Critical to Future Income, Career

By Emily Ward | September 26, 2018 | 1:24 PM EDT

(Image, YouTube)

(CNSNews.com) -- College graduates who find a good job immediately upon graduation earn “considerably higher salaries” than those who fail to land a good first job, according to a Gallup report published on Sept. 21.

“Recent college graduates who got a good job immediately upon graduation earn considerably higher salaries – over both the short and long term – than graduates who took longer to land a first good job out of college,” said the survey firm.   

According to Gallup, 43%  of people who found a good job immediately upon graduation now make $60,000 or more, but that percentage dropped significantly for graduates who took even a few months longer to find a good job.

“Forty-three percent of recent graduates who had a good job waiting for them upon graduation now earn at least $60,000 in personal income, compared with fewer than two in 10 graduates who took two to less than 12 months (18%) or one year or more (14%) to find a good job,” Gallup reported, using data taken from the Strada-Gallup Alumni Survey, which measures the outcomes of colleges and universities by measuring the well-being and financial success of alumni.

The term “good job” was “self-defined by respondents.”

The report suggested that a person’s first job out of college can significantly impact his or her future income and career trajectory.

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“Recent research by Strada Education Network and Burning Glass shows that college graduates who are underemployed in their first job often remain underemployed even a decade after graduation. In short, graduates who start ‘high’ on the career ladder remain atop the career ladder, while those who start ‘low’ struggle to climb their way to better jobs and higher salaries,” Gallup said.

Gallup also reported that 38% of graduates who took a year or more to find a good job “now earn less than $24,000 in personal income.”

In addition, “only about one in 10 recent graduates who had a good job at graduation now earn that same low yearly wage (12%),” said the survey firm.

Gallup pointed out that Americans without a bachelor’s degree can make $15,080 per year by earning minimum wage.

“Americans earning the federal minimum hourly wage can earn $15,080 a year by working 40 hours each week in jobs that typically do not require a bachelor’s degree.”

Graduates with a good job upon graduation also made more money in their first few years after graduation than those who did not find a good job as quickly.

“More than a third of graduates (35%) who are one to three years past graduation and who had a good job immediately after college now earn $60,000 or more in personal income – a rate nearly 12 times higher than their peers who took a year or more to find a good job,” Gallup reported.

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In addition, graduates who found a good job immediately upon graduation earned a high salary in less time than graduates who took longer to find a good job.

“Among graduates who had a good job at graduation, 44% who graduated four to five years ago now earn $60,000 or more and nearly half (49%) who graduated six to seven years ago now earn at least $60,000,” Gallup said.

By contrast, “Only 3% of those who graduated one to three years ago who took a year or longer to find a good job now earn $60,000 or more. And even among those who graduated six to seven years ago, only 18% of those who took a year or more to find a good job after graduation now earn at least $60,000.”

Gallup interviewed a random sample of more than 4,429 U.S. adults over the age of 18 via web, and all participants had to be “immediately seeking a job after graduation” to be included in the analysis. Respondents all graduated with a bachelor’s degree between 2010 and 2016.

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