Here in the U.S., most students are pretty happy if they can just manage to line up a job after graduation. Salary expectations, if any, are modified by fear of underemployment. That’s not the case in some countries, where students graduate with plans that include high-paying jobs.
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Forbes recently ran a list of the countries with the highest post-grad salary expectations. The countries on the list tended to have a combination of low unemployment and a high cost of living.
That’s certainly the case in Switzerland, where unemployment is around 3 percent, but cost of living is sky-high. According to Forbes the average yearly salary expectation is over $84,000 a year. You get a lot for your money in Switzerland as a worker, as well: along with the rest of northern Europe, Switzerland is top-ranked for employee health and wellness.
Students in Norway expect over $78,000 U.S. dollars in average annual salary. Like other northern European countries, they can expect to pay higher taxes than U.S. workers, but receive better social benefits like lengthy state-mandated maternity leave.
The Danish are the most indebted people in the world, but also the happiest, according to the Happiness Research Institute. Perhaps their salary expectations — over $65,000, on average, for their first year out of school — are part of the reason why.
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