A new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers adds more evidence to what Poets&Quants For Undergrads has long reported: A business degree continues to be a good investment.
Starting salaries for 2022 graduates with a business degree are projected to climb 3.1% over last year, to an average base of $60,695, according to NACE’s Winter 2022 Salary Survey. That’s nearly double 2021’s projected increase of just 1.6%.
Overall, the survey, based on 124 employer respondents, found that projections for the Class of 2022 range from an increase of 5.4% for STEM majors as well as agriculture and natural resources majors to a decrease of 14.8% for humanities majors.
“This is unlike what we saw last year at this time. Then, employers projected increases in all reported categories of majors at the bachelor’s degree level, and now we’re seeing some majors lose ground in terms of starting salaries,” Shawn VanDerziel, NACE executive director, says in a release.
“However, it is important to keep in mind that these are projections, and it is very early in the salary-reporting cycle for the Class of 2022.”
BUSINESS DEGREES STILL IN HIGH DEMAND
The NACE survey also found that employers planned to hire candidates with business-related degrees more than any other major. Business majors represented six of 10 categories for the types of candidates employers are looking to hire in 2022.
Of the survey respondents, 66.1% planned to hire candidates with a finance degree in the upcoming year. Another 65.5% planned to hire candidates with accounting degrees and 61.3% candidates with a degree in business administration or management.
Further down the list, logistics and supply chain degrees are needed by 50.8% of the employer respondents and marketing degrees are needed by 46%.
SALARIES, DEMAND RISE FOR MBAS
Survey data in the NACE report largely jells with the salary data reported in our latest ranking of undergrad business schools where average salaries rose between 2 to 9% at five of the top 10 paying schools from our survey. At the top schools, starting salaries ranged from $73,000 to $85,000. Starting salaries and internship pay are likewise soaring in industries popular with business majors such as investment banking and consulting.
It’s also important to note that the NACE survey doesn’t include bonuses and other compensation. Bonuses at P&Q’s topped ranked schools ranged from $9,000 to $12,000, raising total compensation up to high $80s to $90s for graduates from the top schools.
Something for undergrad business students to keep in mind: Their stock goes up even higher if they choose to earn an MBA after a few years of professional experience. Demand for MBA degrees was higher than any other advanced degree, with 30.6% of employers planning to hire one in the coming year. Demand for graduate degrees in accounting was 23.4% while finance was 21.8%.
In its summer 2021 survey, which provides actual starting salaries (not projections) for the Class of 2020, NACE found a 51.4% salary differential between a bachelors and a masters degree in business. That year, the average starting base salary was $54,392 for a BBA and $82,372 for an MBA.
For its report, NACE surveyed employer members from October 4 to December 3, 2021. A total of 124 surveys were returned for a 17% response rate. Of respondents, 7.3% were from the Northeast, 19.4% were from the West and Rocky Mountain Region, 11.3% were from the Southwest, 14.5% were from the Southeast, 12.9% were from the Mideast, and 34.7% were from the Great Lakes region.
Read the full executive summary here.