Kate Beckman
Kate Beckman
Kate Beckman is the Content Manager at RippleMatch.
August 03, 2018
3 minute read

Nearly 75% of College Graduates Feel Unprepared to Negotiate for Higher Pay

A new report sheds some light on the need for pay transparency.

Nearly 75% of College Graduates Feel Unprepared to Negotiate for Higher Pay

When you think of the biggest challenges new graduates might face when searching for a first job, perfecting a cover letter and acing an interview might come to mind. But it turns out that for new grads, one of the most challenging parts of the job search is actually negotiating for higher pay.

A new report from RippleMatch takes a look at the challenges of the job search, as well as the determining factors that led recent graduates to accept a job. The report is based off a recent survey of more than 700 class of 2018 graduates from universities across the country, who now works in industries such as finance, technology, healthcare, consulting, and more.

One of the questions in the survey asked recent graduates to identify what they felt the most unprepared for in the job search. From the provided options of creating a resume, writing a cover letter, networking, job qualification, interviewing, turning down other offers, and negotiating for higher pay, a whopping 74% of respondents said they felt unprepared to negotiate for higher pay.  

When analyzing the gender breakdown of our data, we found that men felt more “prepared” than women did to negotiate for higher pay, with 80% of female respondents saying they felt unprepared, compared to 65% of men.

With networking as the next "biggest challenge" at only 43%, it’s clear that knowing how to negotiate for higher pay is a big issue for graduates entering the workforce.

Additional data collected through this survey implies that the lack of information on entry-level salaries is one of the reasons negotiating for higher pay can be one big question mark.

The survey also asked about the availability of information on companies. Graduates didn’t seem to have a problem finding out about a company’s mission or diversity & inclusion efforts – only 14% and 16% selected those options, respectively – but things like compensation and opportunities for upward mobility were difficult to find.

Despite having access to platforms like Glassdoor and Payscale, nearly 60% of respondents felt it was difficult to find information on what a company actually paid their employees. With nearly three-fourths of respondents feeling unprepared to negotiate for higher pay, there appears to be a link between lack of information and confidence to ask for a higher salary.

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