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Engineering degrees offer greatest starting salary

Four years of studying, one pricey private school education and a bachelor’s degree – how will it all pay off in the job market after graduation?

According to a study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) the average starting salary offer for new college graduates is $49,307.

When that is compared to last year’s average offer of $49,693 the plight of the nation’s economy does not seem to have a hugely negative impact on how much employers are willing to offer job candidates.

“The salary offers coming in have been pretty consistent compared to last year,” said Christian Garcia, Toppel Career Center director. “There hasn’t been a huge drop off. I can’t anticipate the salaries going further down.”

Engineering degrees comprise four of the five top earning disciplines, with an average starting offer of $59,254.

Liberal arts majors, on the other hand, can expect to earn an average of $36,175 right out of college.

Bachelor’s degrees fall in the middle of the spectrum with business field graduates earning an average of $47,239, with accounting on the high end and marketing on the low end.

In another recent study by NACE, nearly 64 percent of responding seniors reported being worried about landing a job after graduation.

The numbers warrant these concerns. Despite the fact that the downtrodden economy may not have impacted starting salary offers as terribly as one may have predicted, fewer graduates than in previous years have acquired guaranteed employment.

“I always caution people with data,” Garcia said. “For a student my advice is to take it with a grain of salt. If you’re prepared and you have the skills and the internships and you were involved, then you are going to be okay. You might not get as many offers as people in the past but you’ll get offers.”

Kori McCarter, a sophomore and undeclared business student, agrees.

“I do not think that the hype about the downfall in starting salaries is necessary. Students should remain confident about their futures and the potential they hold.”

August 26, 2009

Reporters

Leanne Comey

contributing writer


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