These kinds of stories are always interesting. Who can resist a story about what others are making these days? Clearly it's a tough time to be starting out in the job market. The unemployment rate is higher now than it has been in a long time.
But I think it is important to make the point that college should be about much more than getting a high-paying job and that work is about much more than money. College graduation should have something to do with freedom -- freedom to choose a job that pays only a modest wage, if a person feels such a job offers the best opportunity to apply his skills and talents. My fear is that many people are getting a college education but they are not getting the freedom that it should bring. Astronomical tuition debt defeats the purpose of their college degree.
When I graduated from college in 1983 in another very difficult job market, I was free to take almost any job because I had no one to care for but myself. I went to the local college and had no tuition debt to repay.
I feel sad when I hear people talk about graduating with $50,000 or more in school loans. That's a tough way to start out life on your own. Knowledge should be freeing, but people who graduate with tens of thousands of dollars of debt are not as free as they should be. They face a lot of pressure to find a job that pays well right away. This may or may not be the kind of job they really want. I know many people who delay marriage and/or having children because they are waiting to pay off their debt. What good is a college education if it prevents you from having the family you want?
So my message here isn't so much for the college graduate as it is for the high school graduate. As you enter college, make choices that keep you free from debt if possible. Not everyone has to go away to college, not everyone has to go to a private school. You can get a fine education from a local school, even a junior college or vocational school. If your parents will allow you to live at home, don't turn your nose up at that possibility. A college education should prepare you to go out and build up the Kingdom of God, in whatever field you choose. It should not shackle you with debt.