What’s a recent grad worth?

  • What’s a recent grad worth?
  • What’s a recent grad worth?
  • What’s a recent grad worth?


When it comes to pay, more than a third of employers who plan to hire recent college graduates this year (37 percent) will offer higher starting salaries than they did last year.

Fifty-three percent expect no change in salary offers, and 11 percent expect a decrease in starting salaries.

More than half of these employers (52 percent) say they will make offers to students before they graduate. Expected starting salaries for recent graduates break down as follows:

  • Under $30,000: 25 percent
  • $30,000 to less than $40,000: 28 percent
  • $40,000 to less than $50,000: 20 percent
  • $50,000 and higher: 27 percent

These numbers are subject to change: The majority of employers (67 percent) say they are willing to negotiate salary offers when extending a job offer to a recent college graduate.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder between February 10 and March 17, 2016, and included a representative sample of 2,186 hiring managers and human resource professionals in the private sector across industries and company sizes.

“In addition to an improving economy, we are beginning to see a rising number of retirements, which is creating more room for advancement and creating opportunities for entry-level candidates,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “But just because there are vacancies doesn’t mean college students are always ready to fill them.”

While prospects appear better, some employers are concerned that new college grads may not be ready for the real world. Twenty-four percent do not feel academic institutions are adequately preparing students for roles needed within their organizations, an increase from 21 percent last year.

Do you think recent college grads are ready for the real world and at what pay?

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