Salaries To Rise Nearly 5% For Biz Undergrads

Starting salaries for undergraduate business majors in the Class of 2017 are expected to rise by nearly 5% to $54,803, up from last year’s average of $52,236. The higher pay is more than a $6,000 premium over the typical graduate coming out of college this year.

That’s according to the a survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), The report, based on 243 respondents, also showed that starting salaries for engineering, computer science, and math and science graduates will be the highest among the graduates earning bachelor’s degrees in 2017.

On the other hand, business majors will outearn majors in agriculture, the social sciences, communications and the humanities. While grads with technical majors will earn the most, are employers told the trade group they intend to boost starting salaries across all categories of majors. Average increases will range from 2% to 15%.


Engineering graduates from the Class of 2017 are expected to be the highest paid with an overall average salary projection of $66,097. This is up almost 2% over last year’s average salary projection of $64,891 for Class of 2016 engineering graduates. Driving the high overall average salary for this group is that, as was the case last year, all of the individual reported engineering majors have average salary projections that exceed $60,000.

Graduates earning computer science degrees will also be substantially paid with an overall average salary projection of $65,540. Like engineering graduates, computer science graduates’ salary projection is up from last year ($61,321), but by almost 7%. In addition, all of the individual computer science disciplines have overall average salary projections near or greater than $65,000.

At $59,368, math and science degrees came in third in terms of highest salary projections for the Class of 2017. Their overall average salary projection is up 7.8% over last year’s ($55,087). The most frequently reported salaries among the math and sciences group are for specific math/statistics majors; their average salary projection of $60,153 is up 5.6% over last year’s projection of $56,979.


The overall average salary projection for Class of 2017 business majors is $54,803. This year’s projection is an increase of nearly 5%t over last year’s average of $52,236. Of the reported business disciplines, management information systems majors hold the highest average starting salary projection ($59,642). And, while they also held the highest average salary projection of the business degrees in last year’s Winter 2016 Salary Survey report, this year’s projection is 4.9% higher than last year’s ($56,846).

Gaining even more ground is the average starting salary projection for Class of 2017 social sciences graduates, which is up almost 15% over last year’s projection. This year, the average salary projection stands at $53,459, up from the $46,585 projected for Class of 2016 graduates. Within this group, the salary projection for economics majors is driving the overall surge; their current projection of $56,678 is 15% higher than last year’s average of $49,271.

Also netting a sizable jump in their projected average salary this year are graduates who will earn degrees in the communications fields. This year’s average salary projection of $51,925 is up 10% over last year’s average ($47,047). This comes as good news for these graduates as last year’s overall average salary projection was down 5 percent from the projected salary of $49,395 for the Class of 2015. In addition, the average salary projection for advertising majors has bounced back from last year’s low of $47,500, and now stands at $52,004, up almost 9.5% over last year.

Salaries for humanities graduates are also projected to be on the rise. The average salary projection of $48,733 for the Class of 2017 is up 5.8% over last year’s average projection of $46,065.

The NACE said the data was collected from its employer members from Aug. 5, 2016, through Nov. 30, 2016. A total of 243 surveys were returned for a 25.3% response rate. Of those responding, 14.8% of respondents were from the West, 23.5% were from the Northeast, 29.6% were from the Southeast, and 32.1% were from the Midwest.

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