Sept. 21 (UPI) -- College graduates who got a good job immediately upon graduation earned more than others to pay off college debt, a new poll shows.
The Gallup Poll published Friday showed recent graduates who said they had a good job immediately upon graduation were 2.4 times more likely to be earning $60,000 or more in personal income than those who waited two to 12 months.
Forty-three percent of recent college graduates who got a good job quickly earned $60,000 or more annually compared with fewer than 10 graduates who took two to 12 months to find a good job.
More than a third, 38 percent, of recent college graduates who took a year or more to get a good job now earn less than $24,000 in personal annual income.
Americans earning the federal minimum hourly wage can earn $15,080 a year by working 40 hours a week in jobs that do not require a bachelor's degree, the Gallup Poll noted for comparison.
"College graduates' first job out of college is particularly critical because it can set them on a career trajectory that is difficult to change," Gallup representatives Zac Auter and Brandon Busteed said in a statement on the findings. "In short, graduates who start 'high' on the career ladder remain atop the career ladder, while those who start 'low' struggle to climb their way to better jobs and higher salaries."
Gallup questioned 4,429 U.S. adults who earned a bachelor's degree between 2010 and 2016.
An annual report on student loan debt issued this month showed that the class of 2017 borrowed an average of $28,650, which is 1 percent higher than the 2016 average of $28,350.
In 18 states, average debt was more than $30,000.