Knowledge is power! We encourage all job seekers to do as much research as possible to learn about where they stand in the market. Do not rely on friends boosting about how much they make: people almost never tell the truth when it comes to finance! This also applies to recruiters and hiring managers. No one will tell you that your expectation is unrealistic, they will simply say “we will give you a call when we have a job that meets your expectations” and the phone will never ring.
I highly recommend looking at Department of Labor website for detailed information on median income per job title and location. This will give you an indication of what your “best bet” market rate may be.
Remember if you are on an OPT or H1B visa your foreign experience may not qualify and you will be regarded as an entry level employee. Remember you are here on a work visa and need to be working at all times and make the most of your experience.
We tell our consultants all the time that “things will only get better”, as you gain US experience and build references and a good reputation for yourself your income will only go up. However if you waste time waiting for the “right” opportunity, you may never be able to find that dream job.
This is especially important for non-STEM graduates. They have extremely limited time to gain hands on experience. There are no statistics showing what percentage of the OPTs get a job (I think it beats the purpose of promoting graduate degrees to get a job), but unfortunately based on our experience the percentage is rather low. You will in-time find that many (if not most) of your classmates are not able to find jobs.
Unless you work for your family’s business no one in this world will have a rocking first job. This includes professionals like doctors, even they have to go through years of internships before they can practice medicine. Do not waste your time looking for the perfect job, set realistic expectations and find something, anything and keep looking.
More details about the above statistics: