Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Average Starting Salary for New Grads Slips 1.3 Percent

Bad news for college graduates?

The average starting salary offer to Class of 2010 graduates is down 1.3 percent compared to the average posted last year at this time by the Class of 2009, according to a new study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

NACE’s Summer 2010 Salary Survey shows that the overall starting salary offer to Class of 2010 bachelor’s degree graduates now stands at $48,661—down from an average of $49,307 posted last year at this time.

Among the business disciplines, accounting grads saw their average offer dip less than 1 percent to $48,691. Business administration graduates also experienced a drop: Their average offer fell 2.4 percent to $43,879. Much of that loss can be attributed to the types of positions these graduates were most likely offered—sales and management trainee jobs, both of which had average starting salaries below $40,000.

Economics graduates, conversely, saw their average salary offer increase over last year. Economics graduates now average $50,885, a 2.1 percent increase. Finance graduates also got a “raise,” albeit a modest one; their average offer now stands at $50,356, a 0.8 percent increase.

For information sciences grads, the average increase was not modest. These graduates now average $55,084—a 5.7 percent increase. The average starting salary offer to computer science majors did slip, but just by 0.5 percent to $61,112.

As a group, engineering majors have consistently posted increases to their average salary offers, and seemingly have been immune to negative economic effects. During the 2008 reporting year, their increases ranged between 5 and 7 percent, and, even as the economy fell, they continued to enjoy increases ranging from 2 to 4 percent during the 2009 reporting year. This year, that has changed, and, as a group, engineering grads now average $58,970—a 0.5 percent decrease.

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