The 10 degrees with the highest starting salaries

Engineers took many of the top spots on a list of average starting salaries for recent graduates in a report by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI) at Michigan State University, Karsten Strauss writes for Forbes.

To conduct the study, CERI researchers partnered with 200 college and university career centers to survey about 4,350 employers. Participating employers were involved in recruiting students for full-time positions, internships, and co-ops, but the majority (71%) were recruiting for full-time positions.

The majors with the highest average starting salaries were:

  1. Electrical Engineers, $62,428
  2. Software Design, $61,466
  3. Chemical Engineering, $61,125
  4. Computer Engineering, $61,092
  5. Mechanical Engineering, $59,610
  6. Computer Programming, $59,163
  7. Information Security Systems, $58,798
  8. Computer Science, $57,762
  9. Management Information Systems, $57,301
  10. Technical Engineering, $55,693

About 48% of surveyed employers said they planned to increase starting salaries by up to nine percentage points from last year. "We have not seen this many employers raising salary offers since 2006-07," the report authors write. That finding is consistent with a report by the Wall Street Journal that salaries for new grads in 2017 are higher than they've been in a decade.

The No. 1 factor that determines salaries

However, the CERI researchers note that only 13% of employer respondents planned to give out performance bonuses toward the end of the first year of employment (Strauss, Forbes, 6/28; Collegiate Employment Research Institute report, accessed 6/30).


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