Calculating your Future Salary

You chose your major based on your interests and skills, but what about your potential salary? Your future earnings will have a huge impact on how you live your life. Here’s what you need to know about estimating your future salary:

  1. Your major may affect your salary. The subjects you study in college are likely to affect your potential career earnings. Before choosing a major, think about what careers it could help you to pursue after graduation.

  2. Starting salaries for college graduates vary widely. Will you be offered a $55,000-a-year job or a $30,000-a-year job? It often depends on your field of study.

    Engineering, computer science, and finance majors typically earn higher starting salaries. And anthropology, fine arts, and liberal arts majors tend to earn somewhat lower starting salaries.

  3. You can estimate your potential salary. Factors impacting salaries in any career field include:
    • Location of the job
    • Level of education
    • Work experience
    • Financial health and growth opportunities of the company offering the job

    Do plenty of salary research. Reach out to friends, family members, and mentors in your career field about potential earnings. Check out online sources of salary information, such as Glassdoor, PayScale, CareerBuilder, and

  4. You can make yourself more profitable. Getting work experience in your field through internships and summer jobs and getting certifications and training for in-demand skills often will boost your value to future employers. Reach out to the career center on campus for information on how to stand out in your field.
  5. You may earn more with a graduate degree. Workers with graduate degrees enjoy lifetime earnings of $2.67 million, compared to a $2.27 million for workers with bachelor’s degrees.Graduate degrees in arts and education are the exception, where the average pay traditionally has been lower than salaries for advanced-degree students in other areas of study.
  6. In certain fields, such as medicine and public health, getting an advanced degree may lead to a big boost in salary. In other professions, employers may value work experience over an advanced degree.

    Carefully weigh the pros and cons of getting an advanced degree in your field. Consult professors and mentors in your field for advice.

    Don’t wait to calculate your potential future earnings and launch yourself on a financially savvy career path.

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by CashCourse or the National Endowment for Financial Education. These courses and related resources may be used only for nonprofit, noncommercial educational purposes. CashCourse makes every effort to keep the information in these courses current, but, over time, new developments as well as legislative and regulatory changes may date this material. If you discover inaccurate information, please contact us.]

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