Fom my impression, many alums go into investment banking/consulting/brokerage, others work at law firms/ law school, med school, we also have several alums who go into Teach for America/ UN Peace Corps and grad school. A very large percentage of Wellesley Alums go into grad school in their lifetime, but only about 22% of them go straight from college to grad school. Of course there are also many people who go into the arts, non-profit, etc. but I don't think as much as those I mentioned earlier.
With about $50,000 spent annually to study at Wellesley, it was unbelievable that about half of Welleslly girls in 2006 could only find a job with salary less than $40,000, in particular over 7% of graduates who even accepted a job paid less than $20,000, which is a salary level for any community college graduates, even a high school kid. Thus, why should girls invest $50,000 a year in Wellesley for $20,000 salary. Anything wrong with Wellesley's education?
There's nothing wrong with Wellesley's education, just your perception of what getting a job is like or what these jobs are.
While a college degree opens many doors in the workforce and gives you a salary jump, if the only reason you are going to college is to make more money, you need to rethink what you are trying to get out of your education.
Also, keep in mind that in you go into a volunteer/non profit organization as a career (Peace Corps, Americorps, Teach for America, or say a Nativity school with live in employment), or a PhD program, the salary will be extremely low. Most of these jobs last for a couple of years, before the employee will be starting a family and has no obligations that will prevent a college graduate from giving up idealism in favor of avarice.
Not all of those employers pay that badly (I think PhD programs pay in the 20Ks, and Teach for America may be 30Ks), but other benefits are provided, and the people who take these jobs do so because they can afford it. My sister's boyfriend works at a job where he makes only a couple of hundred dollars a month working a Nativity school. Yes, I said a couple of hundred dollars. It's a two year contract, they defer his loans. His needs are cared for, so he has more take home pay than my sister who has to pay for an apartment, college loans, a car, car insurance, health insurance. heating bills etc. He is also living at school where he teaches inner city middle school boys.
Starting salaries are typically that low for most professions that require a bachelor's degree. You don't make that much out of college (though probably around 30k). Few people do. I'm impressed that 23.5 percent make more or less what my parents do (and it's not very far from the "and up" part). People get raises every year based on work and experience, and so after working even a couple of years, the salary is quite a bit higher.
Keep in mind these numbers represent a fifth of the senior class, and just over a hundred people were surveyed. The "biggest employers" took about 5 or 10 people.
What WendyMouse said. There are outstanding reasons to obtain an education, including a Wellesley education, that don't involve immediate economic gratification. Investment banking is a common goal for those seeking a lucrative career and I'm sure Wellesley grads with that focus have a good chance at landing a position...but I doubt you could pay me enough to embrace that life. (Well, maybe as one year of Purgatory it might be worth the financial gain but even then I doubt it.)
But your income is the result of a mix of your interests, your education, your focus, your values, and more often than not a little bit of luck somewhere.
If you're thinking that Wellesley BA automatically makes you eligible for a $100K job upon graduation, you need to re-evaluate.
It will be a really idea life if we can live for own value and interest. Unfortubately, once we get out from college, we have to find a place to stay, need a car, have to buy food and pay utility bills..... In particular, if we have to borrow $25,000 a year to study at Wellesley, we have to pay back the loan in the amount of $100,000 without counting the interest rate. If we can only make $30,000 a year, with $2,500 a month (before tax), we may be able to save $500 a month. Thus, how many years can we pay back our loan?
Cotton, you will find that to be true for many majors wherever you go, ESPECIALLY if you have $100,000+ worth of loans to pay off--that's going to be hard for awhile no matter what job you go into. It is erroneous to look at a very specific data point (starting salaries for Wellesley grads) and conclude that a Wellesley education is "bad" or "not worth it".
If you go to an expensive school, and you have to take out loans, you will be doing some lean living for awhile unless you immediately do something like get an MBA (another 2 years of not working/plus probably more loans) and are hired into a higher paying job (i.e., you most likely will be living lean for awhile). Example: my parents, Princeton grads, lived together in 700 sq foot apartments for at least 10 years after graduation while they did a variety of things (went to grad school, worked relatively menial jobs, etc.) that did not include making big money. Not because their education let them down, but because that's how life is. No matter how fancy your education is, it is extremely naive to expect big financial payoffs immediately after graduation. That just isn't how the world works, and that's why most people really, really shouldn't take $100,000 loans--but it is not an indication of what's "wrong" with a Wellesley education.
Another note: I would venture to say that those who took jobs that paid less than $20,000/yr
a) Could afford it
b) Were in some sort of non-profit enviornment, i.e. very worthwhile, but necessarily low paying work...not fry cooks at the local McDonald's.
No matter how fancy your education is, it is extremely naive to expect big financial payoffs immediately after graduation.
Yes. This is the bottom line, here. Unless you prepare for a career with high-paying entry-level positions, you aren't going to be making much money when you graduate. That's normal, no matter where you go to college; raises come later. Wellesley has name recognition in certain circles, which might help you land a tough job or internship, but earning power is generally related to experience.
I'm with WendyMouse: it's impressive that a large percentage of new graduates are earning what my parents made after 20-odd years in their professions.
There are a couple of threads in the Parents Forum about the level of debt students should assume for undergrad. $100K is way beyond "crush depth." It's not a financially defensible decision, not for Wellesley, Smith, or even Harvard or Yale. If one has parents that can help you absorb that debt and they're willing, fine. Otherwise, it's like complaining the leg room is cramped in coach but you can't afford first class. And so?