The top 15 highest-earning college degrees all have one thing in common — math skills. That’s according to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks college graduates’ job offers.
NACE’s Summer 2009 Salary Survey report shows that the average starting salary offer for new college graduates now stands at $49,307. That’s off less than 1 percent from the average $49,693 that 2008 graduates posted last year at this time. As a group, graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the business disciplines saw their average offer nudge up less than 1 percent to $47,239.
Accounting majors did better than the average, and posted a 1.9 percent increase for an average offer of $48,993. Conversely, the average offer to business administration majors fell 2.1 percent to $44,944. (One factor in the decline: Many of their offers came from retail/wholesale firms, which offered an average starting salary of $40,220—down 6 percent from the average offer of $42,758 retail/wholesale employers offered business administration graduates just one year ago.)Economics graduates also saw a decrease to their average salary offer, which fell by 1.3 percent to $49,829.
In spring 2009, the broad category of computer science-related fields (computer science, computer programming, computer systems analysis, and information sciences and systems) experienced a 5 percent drop off in the group’s overall average offer compared to spring 2008. Currently, however, the average offer to this group is up 1.9 percent over last summer to $59,418.
Among the specific disciplines in this group, computer science grads saw their average salary offer rise 1.6 percent to $61,407. Information sciences and systems grads, however, saw their average offer slip slightly to $52,089, down less than 1 percent from last year at this time. As a group, engineering graduates enjoyed the highest salary increase. Overall, the average offer to engineering graduates rose 3.7 percent to $59,254.
Chemical engineering graduates posted a 2.7 percent increase to their average salary offer, which now stands at $64,902. Computer engineering graduates saw their average offer rise 3.6 percent to $61,738. Much of that bump up can be attributed to the types of positions these graduates were offered. Software design and development jobs were the most common offering, and the average salary for these jobs rose 5.6 percent over last year, from $62,155 to $65,619.
Electrical engineering graduates earned one of the larger increases; their average offer rose 5.6 percent to $60,125. Civil engineering graduates, however, saw their average offer just nudge up slightly—0.8 percent—to $52,048.
As a group, liberal arts graduates did not see much change to their average salary offers. Their overall average offer fell less than 1 percent from $36,419 last year to $36,175. Among the liberal arts disciplines, English majors posted a 1.1 percent increase in their average salary offer, now standing at $34,704. History majors also posted an increase; their average salary offer rose 1.7 percent to $37,861. The average offer to those majoring in psychology increased 2.1 percent to $34,284. Conversely, the average offer to sociology majors fell 4.4 percent to $33,280.