Katie Brazis
May 2017

Which Job has the Most Bang for Your Student Loan Buck?

The Federal Reserve cites over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. With 44 million borrowers, that averages over $30,000 per borrower. The trend in student loan debt is clearly increasing. LinkedIn recently posted their list for the Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs 2017 based on their own salary data. Every spot is taken by a job that requires a college degree. LinkedIn also excluded all C-level jobs such as CEO, CTO, and so on.

But do the highest paying jobs have the best value when considering student loan debt?

Finder.com cross-referenced Linkedin’s data with its own calculations to find out what the overall value of these positions are when compared to the amount of student loans required to get the degree to qualify for the job.

Finder’s analysis used a standard loan period of 10 years and an average interest rate of 3.76 percent for undergrad degrees and 4.53 percent for graduate degrees. They calculated the net return on investment for Linkedin’s 20 jobs after making student loan payments for the standard 10 year repayment period.

Using Finder’s method comparing the ranking by salary and best value of the job after student loans most of the top positions stayed. In fact, the top nine best paying job titles remained equal in value to salary.

  1. Cardiologist
  2. Radiologist
  3. Anesthesiologist
  4. Surgeon
  5. Medical Director
  6. Pathologist
  7. Physician (general)
  8. Hospitalist
  9. Psychiatrist

Not surprisingly, the top nine spots have all landed in the medical field. Some jobs on LinkedIn’s list turned out to be great value, but did not make the top 9; Director of Product Manager and Global Marketing Director both jumped up five places and boast total student loan debt amounts that are much lower than the positions around them on the list. While others on LinkedIn’s list were not great value, like Dentist which ranked 12th in salary but winded up on 18th in value. Five other jobs dropped in value slightly as well:

  • Senior Corporate Counsel
  • Staff Software Engineer
  • Director of Engineering
  • Patent Attorney
  • Anesthetist

If nothing else, this report by Finder shows the massive impact student loans can have on your career, in any path you choose.


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Katie Brazis

Katie is a Content Coordinator with a BA in English and a Certificate in Editing and Publishing from CSU, Chico, and a Certificate in Copyediting from UC San Diego Extension. In addition to her professional history in editing, she has a deep love of stories. In her free time — when she’s not trying to tame the wild beast she calls her cat — Katie consumes stories in any form. She reads books and watches shows and movies. She plays cooperative games, both video and board, with her husband and friends. When she chooses to venture outside she keeps her phone handy to catch some virtual Pokemon.

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