Salaries on the Upswing for Class of 2011
Business, liberal arts, certain engineering majors see biggest increases over last year
For the first time since 2008, a college class is beginning the year with an average starting salary offer that is on the rise.
According to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the overall average salary offer to a 2011 bachelor’s degree graduate is $50,034, up 3.5% over last year at this time.
For the Class of 2011, this is the latest sign of improvement in the college job market, says NACE. Employers responding to an earlier NACE study reported plans to increase their college hiring with the class of 2011 by 13.5% over the previous year, and NACE’s monthly polls show hiring remains in positive territory.
While not all disciplines posted increases to their average salary offers, the increases seen in the latest report far outweigh the decreases. That’s a significant improvement over last year at this time. About two-thirds (67%) of disciplines posting a change this year are showing an increase. Last year, 63% of disciplines indicating a change to starting-salary offers were projecting decreases.
Business majors fared well, their average offer rising almost 2% to $48,089. Accounting majors saw their average salary offer rise 2.2% to $49,022, and the average offer to finance majors rose 1.9% to $50,535.
Business administration/management graduates, however, saw a decrease to their average starting salary offer, which fell 2.3% to $44,171. Meanwhile, the average offer to marketing majors dipped by 1.3% to $41,948.
Computer Science & Engineering
Among the technical disciplines, computer science majors posted a small increase; their average salary offer rose almost 1% to $61,783.
Salary offers to engineering graduates as a group remained nearly level: a 0.3% increase to $59,435: but some of the individual majors fared far better. Electrical engineering majors saw their average salary offer jump 4.4% to $61,690, while mechanical engineering graduates also saw a healthy increase: 3.8%: for an average salary offer of $60,598.
On the other hand, chemical engineering and civil engineering majors saw their average salary offers fall. The average offer to chemical engineering graduates dipped by 0.8% to $64,641. Civil engineers fared worst among their engineering peers; their average offer dropped 7.1% to $48,885.
Data on specific disciplines within liberal arts are limited, but the average offer to liberal arts majors as a group is up 9.5% to $35,633: a sharp contrast to last year, when they watched their average offer fall almost 11%.
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