Starting Salary Comparisons between 2011 and 2012 Grads

As you grab hold of those shiny diplomas this graduation season, you’re probably wondering what the hiring landscape looks like and what salaries are available depending on your major or area of focus.

 

You’re in luck. The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently released its April 2012 Salary Survey. The survey found that the average starting salary for the Class of 2012 is $44,442, up 6.6 percent when compared with the Class of 2011.

 

Here’s a list of common academic majors for the Class of 2012, salary comparisons with 2011 and related degrees or occupations with high earning potential.*

 

Business: The median starting salary for business majors grew by 1 percent since 2011 to $47,748 in 2012. Economics graduates are earning the highest starting salary at $54,800.

 

Communications: The median starting salary for communications grads grew by 3.8 percent from $32,160 in 2011 to $40,022 in 2012. Advertising majors accepting management jobs have the highest starting salaries.

 

Computer sciences: The median starting salary for computer sciences grads changed by 2.4 percent from $55,087 in 2011 to $56,383 in 2012. The information sector saw the highest average earning potential, with a median starting salary of $64,400.

 

Education: Education grads saw the biggest jump in median starting salary from 2011 to 2012, with a 4.5 percent increase from $35,828 to $37,423. The average starting salary is highest for special education graduates, at $42,200.

 

Engineering: The median starting salary for engineering graduates changed little from 2011 ($58,802) to 2012 ($58,581). Computer engineering grads have the highest starting salaries of all engineering majors.

 

Health sciences: Health sciences graduates saw a slight decrease in median starting salary from 2011 to 2012, at $43,802 and $43,477, respectively. Popular occupations pursued by health sciences majors include nursing, health care and social assistance, and educational services.

 

Humanities and social sciences: The median starting salary for humanities and social sciences grads has not fluctuated much. It grew by just 0.5 percent, from $34,630 in 2011 to $34,789 today. Political science majors have the highest earning potential, with an average starting salary of $38,400.

 

Math and sciences: The median starting salary for math and sciences grads increased from $34,298 in 2011 to $40,939 in 2012. Students accepting jobs with construction firms, scientific and technical services, and government employers have the highest earning potential.

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