Three liberal arts majors had average starting salaries that topped $40,000 in 2012, according to a report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

NACE's January 2013 Salary Survey found that liberal arts and sciences/general studies ($43,100), history ($41,900), and English language and literature/letters ($40,200) were the top-paying liberal arts majors in 2012.

The increases in average starting salary from those paid in 2011 for these three majors ranged from 3.6% for English language and literature to 3.9% for general studies.

This is good news for liberal arts majors and follows the general trend over the past two years of increasing starting salaries for new college graduates, says NACE.

Also, while the average starting salary for visual and performing arts majors ($33,800) was the lowest among the liberal arts in 2012, it too is on the upswing, representing a 3% bump from the average starting salary earned by these majors in 2011.

An executive summary of the January 2013 Salary Survey report is available online.

NACE's first report on starting salaries for Class of 2013 college graduates will be available in the April 2013 issue of Salary Survey.

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