Career, Personal Finance 

Best College Degree Salaries for 2006 Graduates

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A couple months after most graduations, it’s time once again to look at how the Class of 2006 fared in what appears to be the strongest job market in the last five years (I graduated three years ago, at what was close to the end of the weakest few years of job markets) and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has released the results of their survey. The increases are nominal increases and not real, in other words they aren’t inflation adjusted (so you can take a 4% discount off the increases). That means that in the “some decreases” list you’ll see positive numbers but it’s actually a net decrease after inflation.

Jobs with the greatest increase in starting salaries:

  • Hospitality services management: +9.7% to $34,480
  • Business administration/management: +6.3% to $42,048
  • Accounting: +5.5% to $45,656
  • Economics/Fninace: +5.1% to $45,112
  • Information sciences and systems: +8.5% to $48,593
  • Civil engineering: +5.4% to $46,023
  • Chemical engineering: +4.7% to $56,335 (oil!)

Some decreases:

  • Computer engineering: +2.3% to $53,651
  • Electrical engineering: +3.2% to $53,552
  • Mechanical engineering: +3% to $51,732
  • History: +3.1% to $32,697
  • Psychology: +1.2% to $30,218
  • Communications: -0.4% to $31,876
  • Political science and government: -2.6% to $32,665
  • Sociology: -2.7% $30,944
  • English: -4.1% to $30,906

via CNN Money.

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “Best College Degree Salaries for 2006 Graduates”

  1. Kurt says:

    Uh, why do some of the “decreases” in fact show gains?

  2. jim says:

    Inflation for the last 12 months was 4.2%, so if you received a raise of under 4.2% you in fact lost purchasing power over last year.

  3. Kurt says:

    Hahah. See, I have this problem were i don’t read things in their entirety. 🙂

  4. jim says:

    Reading is over-rated anyway… that’s why pictures are worth so much. 🙂

  5. Bob says:

    actually I would think these are REAL increases in purchasing power considering a lot of graduates are getting bonuses, relocation packages, and other nice sign-on bonuses that are not factored in with regular salaries. The job market for college grads is very strong right now and that is making employers have to compete and give lots of goodies :).

  6. Jason says:

    A little surprising to see hospitality services management at the top of the list. I am not surprised to see chemical engineering high up there. I was just talking a couple of days ago with someone who mentioned how good the job market was in petroleum engineering was right now.

  7. jim says:

    Well, we’re talking increases from last year and not highest salaries… hospitality services mgmt degrees earn less than $35k a year. If you consider that travel fell after 2001 and only recently have they recovered (someone just announced that airline seat sales just reached pre-2001 levels), it makes sense that hospitality services management graduates are finding the market better than past year.

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