Here’s hoping you studied in high school and college, because chances are it’ll pay off in a big way … maybe.
Research shows a strong correlation between good grades and high salaries, but it’s important to note that the field of study and level of education also are big factors in how much you’ll earn over time.
Researcher Greg Emmerich did some number crunching and shared his findings with Credit.com: Let’s say you graduate near the top of your class with a bachelor’s degree in literature. You can expect a median salary a bit above $29,000. But your friend who was a slacker in the School of Engineering will get more than $52,000 for her C effort (and yes, she’s being penalized—higher grades could’ve gotten her to a little over $71,000.) And if you find your literature-major salary depressing, just be glad you studied. Your peers who got lower grades are likely making about $17,000 a year.
Emmerich also noted that your most recent academic performance has the most impact on your earning potential, so if you kicked ass in your last three years of college but flunked basic algebra freshman year (literally my life), you don’t have to worry.