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Preparing to Enter the Workforce

So you've successfully navigated four years of college, and now you're ready to graduate and enter the workforce. Congratulations! Do you feel like you're confidently ready to begin taking on more bills and repaying your student loans? If you've been lucky enough to have more than one job offer, can you identify the differences in work flow, salary, and benefits?

A handout containing brief summaries from each section of the Entering the Workforce webpage.

Know your worth: Conducting your own research on what your specific industry pays based on the location, job class, and/or company you are considering working for is a great place to start. Utilizing a few salary comparison websites like Glassdoor or MyPlan can be a great resource as you begin comparing job opportunities.

In addition to well-known benefits such as retirement plans and health insurance, some employers offer lesser known benefits that can be just as valuable. Use the chart below to become familair with some of these benefits.

Health Savings Account (HSA) A tax-advantaged account created for individuals who are covered under high-deductible health plans to save for expenses that are not covered. Money rolls over from year-to-year.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) An account you contribute money into to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs. Money in the account has to be used by the end of the year.
Life Insurance A type of insurance that pays out a sum of money to a beneficiary upon the policy holder's death.
Disability Insurance Insures the policy holder's earned income in case they are unable to work due to a short or long-term disability.
Educatoin Benefits An allowance of money that employees can use to take professional classes or workshops.
Childcare Spending Account A pre-tax account used to pay for child care services such as preschool, summer day camp, and daycare.
Student Loan Repayment Assistance This is a benefit that's becoming more common over time. Don't be afraid to ask your employer if you are interested!

If you are considering pursuing a Graduate degree rather than entering the workforce, try to pick a program that can pay for you to attend, and that directly benefits your chosen career path. Student loans for Graduate programs tend to come with a higher price tag than those for Undergraduate programs, so it's important to understand the financial trade-offs of lost years of earnings and reduced time to invest for retirement, buy a house, and more.

Resources

Sign Up For a Counseling Session

To schedule a session with a counselor, please email PeerFinanceCounseling@virginia.edu with your name, the time and day you want to meet, and a brief summary of your questions. The Peer Financial Counseling headquarters is located on Central Grounds, in Room 245 of the Dathel and John Georges Student Center. Counselors will be holding office hours from 2 - 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, each week.