Do I need to be more realistic with my career goals as an entry-level?

As a rundown...

I am a recent graduate with a BA in Comm Studies. My whole professional career was originally geared towards education (k-6), but as I progressed into college, I refined my goals and decided that I would be best suited with a career in HR. I also plan to get my Master’s degree down the road. 

However, I made a mistake. In college I was very interested in making money, so I worked at a school instead of interning and joining clubs. This means that I do not have any prior experience in the field of HR besides having a degree in essentially Interpersonal Communication and Rhetoric Studies. 

Towards my question, every job opportunity that I have interviewed for has either been acquisitions/sales (something I would burn-out quickly in) and HR Assistant (which I want) with the pay scale of $12 and hour. Perhaps I need to be brought back down to Earth, but isn’t $12 an hour for a college graduate extremely low? 

Should I be more realistic or should I continue the job search? 

What hourly pay would be suffice?

To explain the pay scale, I live in South Florida. 


10 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes.  You need to get a job. You aren't improving your "value"  by not working.  Step #1 is to get a job and keep it for a year.  You'd don't have to love it or want to do it forever.  As you gain work experience and develop more skills, you'll be worth more -- to both your current employer and any companies you apply to in the future.

    You do need to be honest about how much money you need to make to survive.  Earning $25K/year plus benefits like paid vacation and health insurance isn't that bad --provide you don't have huge debt and are willing to have roommates. If you can't live on that amount, then you have to figure out what skills you do have that match the needs of a higher paying job.  It seems like you'd probably qualify fo many entry-level marketing communications type jobs that pay better.  There

    As others have said, salaries are based on how an employer values the knowledge and abilities someone has -- and how hard or easy it is to find people with those skills.  The skill required to be an HR assistant or coordinator aren't hard to get and lots and lots of people have those skills.  As a result, the pay isn't that high.  

  • John
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Considering the current state of the economy, $12/hour is not bad.  Many are completely without job prospects.  The job will also give you at least something HR related to put on your resume.  

    Still, HR Assistant sounds like a clerical position.  You want to position yourself to be able to move into a career level position at the earliest chance.  I would also spend time considering how your degree is related to HR.  If you can conflate in some way how a degree in Interpersonal Communication and Rhetoric Studies relates to business, it may help in job interviews. 

    Contrary to popular misconception, the vast majority of business employers want to hire those with business skills.  

  • 2 months ago

    Actually, the title of "HR Assistant" doesn't mean much. It's definitely an entry-level position, and may or may  not ever lead to anything higher. So the salary is pretty much typical. 

    I doubt that interning or joining clubs would have helped much for this job anyway. Human Resources can take a lot of different shapes in the business world. It can be something as easy as recruiting or something as difficult as supervision of employees. You WILL have to work your way through the different jobs that can become available, and your salary will eventually reflect the experience you gain while doing so. 

    I would try something you probably didn't think of yet:  working for the Federal Government. The pay is better, the benefits are good. And there are a large number of HR jobs that can be available. Your degree won't matter as much, either. You should peruse some of the jobs that are available on their website, and consider relocating for some of them. You might not have to go far from Florida to find decent employment. But to answer your question, yes, you need to keep looking AND be more realistic about 'entry level' pay and duties. 

    Source(s): Worked in HR for 31 years.
  • April
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    There are some jobs that require a bachelor's degree in any subject; however you do need some specialized skills. Find a company you want to be apart of. Hard work and experience can go a long ways. Look for a position at a place that promotes people from within and they might offer to help pay for extra courses/certifications you might need. Communications is not the best degree, but one advantage is that you have excellent computer skills.

    I know a lady who had a degree in business administration and got a job in banking (doing HR.) Unfortunately, her first job was entry-level and open for practically anyone to apply for. However, since she had a relevant degree they knew she was interested in the field and not just a body in the seat, so it gave her a boost up in the competition. It also was a learning curve to learn more about her field. Over time, she applied for promotions and the degree paid off.

    Keep in mind that most people in business fields (including HR) are underemployed with their first job after graduation. Many colleges don't want people to know this. You need experience to qualify for leadership opportunities. I've even known people with Accounting degrees that only started out at $12/hour.

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  • 2 months ago

    Due to how competitive it is to actually get offered a job, it's generally recommended to say that "salary is negotiable."  If the interviewer made an offer for you to work as a HR Assistant, perhaps you may consider that.  A job of HR Assistant usually requires a bachelor's degree but not that much pay.  However, you'd mentioned that it's a job that you'd prefer, and perhaps getting a better paying job may be in the future.  Job titles that may be similar for those with a bachelor's degree, as well as a lot more related *work experience and/or HR certification* may include HR generalist or HR coordinator.  (Those in HR management possibly need a master's degree though.)

    Just an fyi that the Society for Human Resource Management or SHRM (pronounced "sherm") has some certification classes for those in HR, though one with a bachelor's degree *not* related to HR usually needs to have two years experience in HR before taking the certification exam for SHRM - CP.  It may be something to eventually consider though.

    Here is their website for more general info:

  • 2 months ago

    I make $20-24 per hour now.

    I made $13-$15 before.

    I made $0 before that.

    I have a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies.

    I have a career diploma in Culinary Arts.

    I have a career diploma in Casino Games.

    Can you match the education to the pay? 

    I make $20-24 per hour now. (Career diploma: Casino Games)

    I made $13-15 before. (Career Diploma: Culinary Arts)

    I made $0 before that. (B.A. in Communications)

    A Communications Degree is worthless. 

    Almost everyone your age and younger has a four-year college degree or is about to get a four-year college degree. The job market is over-saturated with degrees.

    Trade School is where it is at right now.

    Older skilled workers are retiring and trade schools have fewer and fewer enrollments every year because kids prefer going to college over going to trade school.

    Employers don’t seem to care about higher education anymore. All they care about is experience. Yet, the irony is, one cannot get the experience without being hired first.

    Trade careers don’t seem to have this problem because they are usually short on people. Most of the time they hire anyone regardless of education and experience.

    Look at all the trade jobs. Construction, plumbing, truck driving, etc. They all pay extremely well. Some of them even offer training.

    If heavy manual labor is not your thing, go for other trades. Pick the ones that have a niche. They will still pay more you than that college degree you dumped money on.

  • n2mama
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Realistically, your degree is only worth what someone is willing to pay you for. You won’t get paid more simply because you have the degree, and there are any number of college graduates out there earning low wages. That said, while $12/hr seems low, according to the average hourly pay for an Hr assistant is $16.89/hr. That’s the average, meaning some are above and some are below, and while $12 might be the bottom 10%, that may be the going rate for that job in your market. Obviously, if they needed to pay more to fill the position, they would, so they must be able to find people willing to work for that rate of pay in that field.

    That doesn’t mean you have to be one of them. To be fair, you have a degree in communication, not in Human Resources, and no experience. So you may need to accept a lower rate of pay getting going until you get a couple of years of experience under your belt. Or you could take a higher paying job in sales and make more money, but in a few years when you burn out on that you are in basically the same position regarding an HR position (no relevant experience and a degree in something other than HR). I would strongly recommend you not get the masters degree until you have at least a few years of HR experience under your belt (if you were planning to get the masters in HR) because you will find it even harder to get hired with an advanced degree and no experience.

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You admit you have no work experience as far as employers are concerned you are just a new unproved college graduate

  • Eva
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    That does seem low, even for an entry level position. You may have to settle for $15 an hour until you get some experience and have more to offer a potential employer.  You can always try to negotiate the pay rate.  I can't imagine they'll get someone they want with the skill set they desire at $12 an hour.  If you initially turn down the job, keep and eye out for a reposting.  If they don't find what they want in the first round or two, they may be willing to pay more.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Realistically, you bring very little to the table.

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