There is some good news on the job front for employed Class of 2012 bachelor’s degree graduates. They are better paid than the Class of 2011, according to a new survey of staring salaries for new college graduates conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The overall average salary for the current crop of bachelor’s degree graduates is at $44,259, up 1.7 percent from last year.
The report is comprised of data from about 400,000 employers gathered from government and other sources, and reflects actual starting salaries, not job offers.
All job categories saw increases, albeit small ones. Business disciplines posted the highest overall increase, 2.2 percent, with an average salary of $51,541. College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in marketing enjoyed the biggest bump over last year, 2.7 percent. The most highly paid marketing majors, the survey said, were those who took financial manager positions with finance and insurance firms. Starting salary: $64,300.
Average salaries for communications majors rose 2.2 percent overall, with advertising majors receiving the highest gain, a 2.6 percent increase to bring their average starting salary to $47,700. Advertising majors fortunate enough to land jobs average $52,700.
Graduates who earned computer-related degrees saw just a 1.4 percent increase in their average starting salary, the second-lowest increase reported, but their average starting salary is at an impressive $60,038, the NACE report found.
Engineering majors currently boasts the highest reported overall average salary at the bachelor’s level: $60,639, a 1.9 percent increase from last year.
The biggest increase, not only among the engineering disciplines but among all majors reported in the September salary survey went to aerospace engineering graduates, whose average salaries took off with a 6.9 percent increase, bringing their average starting salary to $71,300.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be humanities majors. The overall salary to these graduates as well as social sciences majors rose 1.4 percent to $36,824. This is slightly below the overall increase for bachelor’s degrees graduates, but an improvement from the April survey—the first report for the Class of 2012—in which humanities and social science majors posted an increase of just 0.5 percent.
But even weaker was the sciences group, which saw the lowest average salary increase, 0.6 percent. Neither chemistry nor physics saw any increase in their average salary.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.