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Hottest College Degrees – Engineers, Business & Historians

Posted By Jim On 11/02/2006 @ 12:00 pm In Personal Finance | 2 Comments

The job market is smoking hot now, the best in the last four years according to National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), in their Fall 2006 edition of Salary Survey, and if you majored in Information science and systems, you’ll be happy to learn that your salary increased 7.5% over what it would’ve been last year. Information science and systems saw the largest jump, up to $47,182, but other engineers also saw sizeable increases as well. Also on the list were some business focused degrees (economics/finance, accounting, and business) and even the much maligned history majors saw a bump too.

Here’s the top of the pile list:

  1. Information sciences and systems: +7.5%, to $47,182
  2. Economics/finance: +6.2%, to $44,588
  3. Civil engineering: +5.3%, to $46,084
  4. Chemical engineering: +4.9%, to $56,269
  5. Accounting: +4.6%, to $44,928
  6. Business administration/management: +4.2%, to $41,155
  7. History: +4.2, to $33,071

Unfortunately, not everyone benefited from another year… Poor English majors saw a 0.2% drop to $31,385 and Sociology majors’ salaries fell 0.9% to $31,096.

Compare this to Forbes’ list based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics [3] I wrote about in September and you’ll see some overlap. Top dog on Forbes was Chemical Engineering, enjoying a 4.9% jump according , and software engineers (which share a lot of overlap with IS) took second; which agrees with these salary growth rates if you use them as a proxy for demand on those skills.

Let’s compare year over year rates, if you look at the NACE 2005 salary survey [4], you’ll see some of the same degrees growing at high rates. Looks like Information sciences (0% in 2005) is in part making up for lost time whereas Chemical Engineers look to be speeding up with a 4.9% on the heels of a 1.8% increase. It’s interesting to watch trends year after year, isn’t it?

Source: CNN Money [5].


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[3] Forbes’ list based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/hottest-college-degrees-chemistry-engineering-or-both.html

[4] NACE 2005 salary survey: http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/11/pf/college/starting_salaries/index.htm

[5] CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/27/pf/college/lucrative_degree/index.htm?postversion=2006102712

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