Engineering tops 2008 list of majors with highest average starting salary offers

Despite negative trends in many parts of the economy and the general economic gloom reported in the national media, the college Class of 2008 ended the year on a positive note, according to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

College graduates with degrees in the engineering fields boast the highest average starting salaries at the end of 2008. Survey responses revealed that 94 percent of all disciplines had increases to their average starting salary offers.

“One force driving the overall increase in the average salary offer to all college graduates is the strong demand for and low supply of technical graduates,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

The Winter 2008 issue of NACE’s Salary Survey shows that chemical engineering graduates are currently pulling the highest average starting salary offer—$63,749 —followed by graduates in computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering.

The remainder of the top nine majors, in order, are finance, accounting, business administration/management, and marketing/marketing management.

Top Five Starting Salary Offers

National Averages, Winter 2008

Discipline Average Salary
Chemical Engineering $63,749
Computer Science $58,377
Electrical Engineering $56,512
Mechanical Engineering $56,429
Civil Engineering $49,427