Starting Salaries for Selected College Majors

June 21, 2010 by  
Filed under College Newswire

I take all of the data I see with a huge grain of salt, especially when it comes to average salaries, because gathering  accurate salary data is nearly impossible without access to tax returns.  However, even if the below salary numbers are not accurate, they are likely representative of an overall pattern.  For some number of years, engineers, particularly in the chemical and petroleum sectors have been receiving higher starting salaries than their classmates.  Computer Science majors have also been both highly sought after and well-paid.  As for grads with Business or Marketing degrees, their starting salary may appear to be respectable, but the demand for their services has not been high in the post-recession market.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, Spring 2010 survey, graduates with bachelors degrees in the following areas can expect an average starting salary of:

Discipline (bachelor’s degree level) Current
Accounting $48,575
Business Administration / Management $42,094
Chemical Engineering $66,437
Civil Engineering $52,443
Computer Engineering $61,121
Computer Science $60,426
Electrical / Electronics Engineering $59,326
Finance $50,546
Marketing / Marketing Management / Marketing Research $42,710
Mechanical Engineering $58,881
Psychology $32,303

Should you let these numbers be a guide to your choice of  college major?  Absolutely not.  Choose a major that will engage you and help you build the skills to be competitive in the graduate school and employment markets.  In the long run, highly skilled, well-educated people who can bring value to employers will always be in demand.


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