‘Tis the season for caps and gowns and college diplomas. For a lot of new graduates it’s also time to start paying back those student loans. If you’re wondering how long that might take, it depends on your profession.
Want to pay off your student loans in about 6 years? Get a degree in advertising or marketing. But according to BankRate.com, if you become a librarian, plan on shelling out monthly payments for over two decades.
BankRate analyst Jessica Patel says lenders won’t really give you that much time.
“But it kind of gives you an idea of how long it would actually take if you’re just paying it for a return on investment,” she says. Patel says the new numbers assume you put 10 percent of your yearly salary toward your loan.
So students should factor in earning potential when choosing a career path — but that shouldn’t be the only factor.
“If you don’t like what you do and what you study, you won’t be any good at it,” says Tony Carnevale, Director of the Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. “We have lots of data that tells us that.”
He says it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead, especially if your plan is to get rich. In that case, don’t become a marriage counselor. BankRate.com says that degree has the worst ROI, with a payoff period of 35 years.
|Occupation||Minimum required years in college, graduate school and professional programs||Cost of degree (tuition, fees, room, board)||Median pay||Annual repayment (if 10 percent of salary goes to repaying school loans)||Years needed to repay education investment (assuming 6 percent student loan interest)|
|Advertising, marketing, promotions||4||$52,596||$107,950||$10,795||5.83|
|Physician: family or general practicioner||8||$136,861||$172,020||$17,202||10.92|
|Market research analyst||4||$52,596||$60,300||$6,030||12.42|
|Political science teacher: post-secondary||6||$68,010||$72,170||$7,217||14.00|
|Public relations specialist||4||$52,596||$54,170||$5,417||14.67|
|English language/literature teacher: post-secondary||6||$68,010||$60,040||$6,004||19.08|
|Zoologist, wildlife biologist||6||$68,010||$57,710||$5,771||20.58|
|News analyst, reporter, correspondent||4||$52,596||$37,090||$3,709||31.83|
|Marriage and family therapist||6||$68,010||$46,670||$4,667||34.67|
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, FinAid.org.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.