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Average Salary for New College Grad Rises

The average starting salary for a bachelor's degree graduate now stands at $44,259, according to the September 2012 issue of Salary Survey, published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. 

That's up 1.7 percent over the average starting salary of $43,521 posted by the Class of 2011.

Additional highlights from the report show:

  • Graduates earning degrees in the business disciplines got a slightly bigger boost to their average salary: Currently, business majors average $51,541, a 2.2 percent increase from the average $50,446 earned by 2011 business grads. Within this group, marketing majors saw the biggest increase: Their average salary rose 2.7 percent to $53,400. Accounting majors didn't see as big a boost, but their average offer rose 1.8 percent to $50,400.
  • The average salary to communications majors as a group also rose 2.2 percent over 2011: Currently, those holding bachelor's degrees in the communications fields average $42,286. In this group, advertising majors saw the biggest increase; their average offer rose 2.6 percent to $47,700.
  • Those earning bachelor's degrees in the computer-related fields saw their average salary increase just 1.4 percent-but now average an impressive $60,038.
  • Education grads now average $39,080; that's up 1.6 percent over 2011. Not surprisingly, educational services organizations are the top employer for this group of graduates. In fact, the educational services industry is also the top-hiring industry for bachelor's degree graduates-regardless of major.
  • As a group, engineering majors currently have the highest overall average salary at the bachelor's degree level: Their current average salary stands at $60,639, up 1.9 percent since 2011.
  • Health sciences majors now average $46,567—up 1.4 percent since 2011.
  • The overall average salary to humanities and social science majors rose 1.4 percent to $36,319.
  • The top five industries for Class of 2012 bachelor's degree graduates were educational services; professional, scientific, and technical services; healthcare and social assistance; federal, state, and local government; and finance and insurance.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, copyright holder. www.naceweb.org.

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