Average Harvard Graduate Will Make $60,000 In Their First Job, And Other Crimson Trivia

Tyler Durden's picture

While the annual Harvard senior survey of graduating students always provides an informative glimpse into the past, present and future of graduates from the US' most prestigious (whether or not this is deserved is a different question) institution, the topics most interesting for us and our readers revolve, not surprisingly, around money.

Here are the key observations of what students in all "non-Harvard" universities across the nation may be missing (or not).

First, work plans:

  • 61 percent of graduates will be employed next year. 18 percent will enter graduate school right away. The rest will pursue fellowships or travel or are among the 10 percent who have not yet determined their post-graduation plans.
  • Of those who will be working, the most popular industry is consulting, drawing 16 percent of employed seniors.
  • Another 15 percent will be working in finance, nearly doubling the 9 percent who entered the sector last year but still paling in comparison to 2007, when before the financial crisis, 47 percent of graduating seniors went into finance. However, of the respondents only 5% said they will still be working in finance ten years down the line. Hilsenrath's take on what this means for Bernanke's "taper" is unavailable as of this posting.
  • 9 percent envision a career in government or politics, though only 4 percent will pursue one right away. Of course, Harvard grads will feel right at home at a place like Goldman where the fields of financen and government are finely fused into one inextricable union.

More importantly: cash, which at least to the non-trust funders and children of royalty and assorted oligarchs among the Harvard graduating class, is still somewhat important.

  • The average employed graduate will make roughly $60,000 in his or her first year out of Harvard, according to the survey results. But salaries vary tremendously across industries.
  • Among students working in consulting, the most popular field, 72 percent expect to earn between $70,000 and $90,000.
  • In the nearly equally popular financial sector, salaries are even higher—a full 21 percent of students entering that field will earn more than $110,000 in their first year on the job.
  • And technology can be still more lucrative—almost half of students entering the field will make $90,000 to $110,000 in their first year, and some will make even more.
  • For the 12 percent of employed students who will work in education—largely thanks to the popularity of Teach for America—70 percent expect to make between $30,000 and $50,000. Another 15 percent will work for less than that, and 9 percent do not yet know their salaries. Only 6 percent expect to earn more than $50,000, and none more than $70,000.
  • Salary differs noticeably between male and female students. Men are much more likely to appear in the highest pay brackets than women: Of the students who expect to earn more than $110,000 in their first year of work, three-quarters are male. Of those who will earn $90,000 to $110,000, men represent nearly two thirds. And those numbers come from a pool of respondents which included more women than men, suggesting that the true tallies are in fact slightly more weighted in men’s favor.
  • But industry alone does not explain the wage gap. Among students entering finance, men are still nearly four times as likely to earn more than $110,000 per year, and three times as likely to earn $90,000 to $110,000. Admittedly, the sample sizes are small. But the same holds true in consulting. And in technology and engineering, 79 percent of men expect to make more than $90,000, compared to just 44 percent of women in the same field.

And finally, miscellaneous:

  • Men like porn so much that 52 percent of them watch it online at least once a week. 14 percent of male students have never watched porn at all. But among women, just 6 percent watch porn as frequently as the majority of the men, and 63 percent have never watched any.
  • 9 percent of the class has used drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, which are prescribed for attention deficit disorders but often abused by students who hope the pills will help them focus on their studies.
  • 16 percent of the class has tried at least one of cocaine, ecstasy, mushrooms, LSD, and other illicit substances. Very large majorities of those who have used these drugs first tried them after starting college.
  • The survey also questioned students about their sex lives, finding that 72 percent enroll at Harvard as virgins and 27 percent graduate without having sex.

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The Alarmist's picture

Gee, adjusted for inflation, that's not much better than what I got in my first job out of a mickey mouse midwestern university.  Things are really looking bleak these days.

ACP's picture

No kidding, how is that right, what with Facebook hiring interns for $6k/month?

ghandi's picture

In pecunia veritas.

philipat's picture

How can new graduates work as consultants? What are they consulting on when they don't know anything about anything? A degree doesn't count for anything in the real world. It takes expereince to be able to add any value as a consultant.

knukles's picture

"Just about every Harvard grad that I've ever met has been an arrogant self-centered, megalomaniacal, over rated cunt.  But please don't tell anyone I said this."

johnconnor's picture

$156k for taking naps is pretty good... 

overbet's picture

so the union is sick of his freeloading. fucking classic

true brain's picture

"But among women, just 6 percent watch porn as frequently as the majority of the men,"


How come I never met any  of these women when I was in college.

1C3-N1N3's picture

They're all band nerds.

Quiet, introverted, perverted band nerd girls.

NotApplicable's picture

Those are the kids that don't say a word during any meeting, other than their introduction, then get stuck with all of the paperwork/followup.

knukles's picture

OK, philipat...
Heres' the Newly Minted Harvard consultant's first try at advice...

"If your phone gets wet, leave it overnight in a bag of rice. It'll attract an Asian, who will fix it because they're good with electronics"


philipat's picture


That's actually pretty good advice given the state of The US these days. But I'm not sure it's billable??

If they are so good at watching Porn, perhaps they should instead consider a career with The SEC?

Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's picture

"Let me tell you about what I read.........."

economics9698's picture

"Men like porn so much that 52 percent of them watch it online at least once a week."  The Zionist are well represented...or should I say nihilist.

NihilistZero's picture

Don't equate us with Zionists...  We believe in nothing economics 9698...  NOTHING.

bigtrade's picture

I'm starting to get really sick of ZH, simply beause of the commenters - most seem like apocalyptic minded community college graduates, that think they know what's going on or think that by reading a high level summary they actually understand things.


Here's the truth - 90% of Bulge Bracket / PE / HF / HFT / THINK TANK  WALL STREET went to a TOP 15 educational institution. I BET THAT 70% of ZH WRITERS WENT TO A TOP INSTITUTION.

90% of GOOD DOCTORS, LAWYERS, ENGINEERS (not mechanics or php script kiddies that make $120k a year running the ad platform for a website) RESEARCHERS went to a good institution.

Why the hell would ANYONE go to a lesser school when they could go to a good one ? Yes - some parents can afford it, but on the other hand, HARVARD, YALE and STANFORD are 100% NEED BLIND so here u go - the typical ZH commenter argument is invalid. ALSO - Legacies are only an extremely small percentage of admitted students every year.

WHY THE HELL WOULD ANYONE GO TO A SHITTY SCHOOL AND BE BITTER AND COMPLAIN ABOUT IVY LEAGUE PEOPLE HAVING BETTER JOBS AND SOCIAL STATUS AND "RIGGING THE GAME" WHEN THEY COULD HAVE GOTTEN INTO A TOP INSTITUTION ?  Why ? BECAUSE they're clearly not only not smart enough to get in, but not not even smart enough to realize the absurdity of their vocalization. 

gobsmack's picture

"Need blind" does not mean free. Work study and massive loans are not gifts from on high. I was 40 before I was finally free of student loans I took out at 12% to go to that place and not get laid.

Jeff Lebowski's picture

Can you lighten up with the yelling? It's like screaming in my ear when I'm trying really hard to try to focus on masturbating to your superior intelligence.

I liked the part you clarified that a high level engineer is not a mechanic. We're you being ironic or is that you understanding of engineers?

CD's picture

While "where there's a will, there's a way" applies, and it WAS possible to get into top-tier ivies if you had the smarts to start preparing for admissions in grade 9, some corrections/modifiers to your otherwise true statements:

- you forgot Princeton

- the 100% need-blind thing is a relatively recent development. Even a few years ago, the expectation was a min. 10% family contribution + 10% loan

- "Legacies are only an extremely small percentage of admitted students every year." -- yeah, my estimate of 25-30% IS admittedly subjective, but it sure as hell ain't extremely small

- So does going to a private, exclusive $50-80K/yr tuition school from age 6, private tutors and coaching and the college prep programs of the likes of Philips Exeter NOT count towards being legacy, just cuz: a) yo' daddy went to a DIFFERENT Ivy League school, or b) yo' momma married into old money, c) your parents went to schools in Europe, cuz' US schools were so, so common....

Just because a few kids get in on their own merits, and claw their way (closer) to the top does not negate the ugly side of things -- bloated, hollow shells of plutocratic sociopaths are ALSO afforded a good/great/outstanding education and a guaranteed fast-track.

Hell, I wish I'd spent more time rubbing shoulders with those guys while learning to overcome my nausea and spontaneous homicidal urges... Would have made things a whole lot easier.

BUT, on the bright side -- outstanding minds, incredible intellectual vistas, lifelong friends and historical perspective were also gained.

You just have to learn how to game the system, if you are born without the frigging school-crest-decorated silver spoon up your ass. But the 25-30% estimate in another comment below as to the ratio of 'poor but smart' students seems possible. In my day 10-15 yrs ago it was more like 15-20%.

The Alarmist's picture

Princeton is the refuge of last resort for bozos like Krugman and Bernanke, so it should be the unspeakable of the names of the Ivies.

didyoujustpullthatoutofyourass's picture

-1 for typing in all caps. Your opinion isn't more important than everyone elses. 

I din't go to one of your "top 15" schools. After getting off active duty I was accepted to Penn State, but I opted to move out to California, where I waited two years to set up residency, and went to Pepperdine University. I was accepted to Penn State and Pepperdine, and while they may not be "top 15", I'm not going to cower from someone with a degree from UC Birkenstock. I served my country, attended a top university, and now work as an operations manager for a fortune 50 company. Your Ivy League attitude is a joke. 

venzen's picture

@bigtrade your typographic yelling is as effective as your argument. Point is, most people don't go to a "top" school because they choose to - firstly daddy must be wealthy enough to pay for it, then they have to "accept" you via various psychological checks and balances to ensure that you are a loyal patriot, that will be willing to do the nasty things that preserve society and NS.

The "shitty" school is shitty by design, if you don't believe me, er, Ell Hajj Malik Shabazz said so, ok?

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Let me guess you are a Mexican immigrant who bought read and write English in 10 days, from an Arabic web site.

Agstacker's picture

I'm starting to get really sick of ZH, simply beause of the commenters


I never went to a fancy school, but I believe I have a solution to your problem.  Don't visit this website, or as an alternative, don't read the comments.  

GRsilverking's picture

I agree. MY kid is heading to Stanford because no one can take away a great education. 

ZH diggs up yiak or presents a gray issue as a black issue. Yet it's better than cnb-crop

Zerozen's picture

I worked with a couple of Ivy guys, once. One was a Wharton graduate who was canned after a couple of years basically for being incompetent. The other was likewise a UPenn MBA grad who was similarly incompetent (and widely hated for it) but instead of being fired was promoted upwards (because of his race) so as to get him out of the way.

Ivies are nothing more than feeders for DC and Wall Street. You can get a fantastic engineering, medicine, science, etc. education at many, many institutions (here or abroad). The heavy hitters in academic scientific research aren't the Ivies anyway - it's mostly a mix of large state schools and well-funded technically-focused private schools.

Anecdote: my brother used to work in semiconductors and now works in solar as a lead research scientist/engineer. He's hired many engineers over the years in both fields and in his opinion the best candidates came from German universities as well as U.S. state schools with well-funded engineering programs. The MITers/Ivy Leaguers weren't bad, but nothing special, and too expensive. A degree is just a degree. Everyone studies the same crap.


auntiesocial's picture


LooseLee's picture

Aren't these the same MORONS who crashed the system and begged the 'non-top school' graduates to BAIL THEM OUT. You live in ILLUSION, my friend, and are part of the PROBLEM; not the SOLUTION!

bigtrade's picture

Do you even understand half of the terms and articles on this website ? Or do you just take the apolcaiptic high level paragraphs and regurgitate to your friends ?

fonzannoon's picture

Or maybe you are just frustrated that half a retard can figure out what a disaster everything is. Therefore if you spent the big bucks at a top notch institution you apparently wasted your money.

FWIW I did not go to an ive league institution and I can make out pretty much everything being fed to me on here. So eat my ass.

Joey9139122's picture

I got hired straight out of trade school (vo-tech) and made $78k my first year. 5 years later and I should easily pull in $125k. This off an education that cost me $600/ semester for 21 hours and I did it in 3.5 semesters.

That's right... 0 student debt, easily over 100k/yr salary, pension, great benefits 401k and I work less than half the year.

Thanks oil &gas industry...

Harvard's full of chumps.

Everything's picture

Well shit why doesn't everyone go to Oil&Gas then? True you get paid highly now. But you'll top out really quickly, guessing around $300k at the absolute most. In finance you can be a baller ibanker and rake in the money. Average comp for an analyst straight out of ugrad should be around $100k. The sky's the limit from then on if you play your cards right and move to private equity or a hedge fund.

auntiesocial's picture

Harvard Grad- 60K / 5K a month. without mummy and daddy giving them a down payment, what kind of crib can a Harvard Grad afford to buy, yo? 


LuchadorChumba's picture

Aye...uno mas item for your 'miscellaneous' category...

99% of all citizens are deserved of lies. Soy mentiroso! So mi Zero Hedgers, be the best liar you can be. Mi estudiantes, we must exercise our forked tongues, not just to play with the gusano at the bottom of the Mescal bottle. Aye! Tell your family everythings alright, they demand it from you.

Tell your amigos that you're not sleeping with their esposas AND that their pension has never been safer. If you don't, you're not respecting their wishes.

If the conditions set forth by the public (uh, I mean the audience), hombres, hermanos, or our familia demands total truth not be said, or if somebody does not want the truth in any particular essential thing in their life, or if some baboso requires you to lie so that they can keep their belief system intact, its your obligation to use deception in anyway that benefits yourself. They are the ones responsible. They demanded their subjection.

Entonces, if you disagree, then you must then feel its ok to violate their ‘freewill’?

…or, u think, su creo que ‘they’ have NO freewill.

Every Zhedger for themself! Free reign. Eat or be eaten! What you don't steal, someone else will.

Viva El Luchador

TheEdelman's picture

I was about to say the same thing as El Luchador, but he beat me to it again.  Si

noless's picture

You are one of my few heroes sir, should i salute or bow?

LuchadorChumba's picture

Alto! Do not bow to a luchador, you will get hit in the face as you raise up.

Neither should you lave mis pies en el vino!

Skateboarder's picture

Porque el mundo es un paraiso y nosotros somos turistas esclavos


LuchadorChumba's picture

Es verdad. Esclavos who think they are free.

candyman's picture

Watch out! Harvard grads on the loose, who left the fucking zoo door open!

cynicalskeptic's picture

Not all THAT much fucking if 72% enter as virgins  (REALLY!?!?!?  I mean REALLY?!?!?!   HARVARD?    I mean I'd understand if it were one of the top engineering schools but an IVY?)

And 27% don't have sex while there?   I suppose some haven't come to terms iwth being gay yet but the rest.......  what goes?        'Cause the workload isn't THAT heavy. 

zhandax's picture

Think about it, if you want to graduate the best liars, recruit the best liars.

Tsunami Wave's picture

The last fact of the article sent chills down my spine..

knukles's picture

Some really fucked up people.
At least most of my fraternity brothers had dated Lisafivefingers.


Fucking loosers.


The Alarmist's picture

"27 percent graduate without having sex."

Shows you the true value of a Harvard education ... they graduate with a hundred thou or so in student loan debt and they think they still have their cherry.

Troll Magnet's picture

well, nowadays a lot of harvard grads graduates with no debt because their parents are already loaded. meritocracy is dead. legacy is IN.

bigtrade's picture

That or the fact that Harvard is 100% need blind. If you can't afford it they pay for it. And more than 35% of students are on that program. It's unreal how many idiots there are on ZeroHedge. It really makes me wonder why half of the people that comment here even bother to visit the blog. It's not like they can follow anything besides the dramatic posts that help the owners generate most of their $.

Jr.'s picture

Finished in '03 with about 10 grand in debt. No one finishes undergrad $100,000 in debt.