• Projected Salaries for Class of 2016 Master's, Doctoral Degree Graduates


    CONTACT: Kevin Gray, 610.868.1421, ext. 139
    Andrea Koncz, 610.868.1421, ext. 121
    E-MAIL: kgray@naceweb.org
    akoncz@naceweb.org
    DATE: January 28, 2016
    SUBJECT: Projected Salaries for Class of 2016 Master's, Doctoral Degree Graduates

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Engineering graduates are projected to be the highest-paid at the master's degree level for the Class of 2016, while computer science majors have the top projected salary at the doctoral level, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE's Winter 2016 Salary Survey report shows that the average overall salary projection for Class of 2016 engineering graduates at the master's degree level is $73,871, up from the projected $69,698 for Class of 2015 graduates. (See Figure 1.)

    This year's computer science master's degree graduates follow closely with an overall average salary projection of $72,080—which is 1.3 percent higher than the projected average of $71,140 for the Class of 2015.

    Business majors earning master's degrees are also seeing a higher average salary projection this year of $71,663, which is up 5.5 percent from last year's average of $67,890.

    However, the projected average salaries for both communications and social science majors are down. The average projected for 2016 communications majors at the master's degree level is $55,727 (compared to $59,130 projected for 2015 master's degree grads); among social sciences majors, the average salary is projected at $52,333, down from $54,816.

    At the doctoral degree level, all four of the categories reported here are projected to see increases over last year's salaries.

    Computer science majors are projected to pull in the highest overall salary—$101,324. (See Figure 2.) That's a 7.8 percent increase over the projection of $94,000 for 2015 computer science graduates at this degree level.

    Figure 1: Projected average salaries by discipline, master's degrees

    Broad Category 2016 Average Salary 2015 Average Salary
    Engineering $73,871 $69,698
    Computer Science $72,080 $71,140
    Business $71,663 $67,890
    Math & Sciences $67,891 $64,465
    Communications $55,727 $59,130
    Social Sciences $52,333 $54,816
    Source: Winter 2016 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Projected average salaries by discipline, doctoral degrees

    Broad Category 2016 Average Salary 2015 Average Salary
    Computer Science $101,324 $94,000
    Math & Sciences $98,693 $73,150
    Engineering $95,055 $88,397
    Business $74,459 $58,000
    Source: Winter 2016 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    About Salary Survey: The data contained in NACE's Winter 2016 Salary Survey were obtained by surveying NACE employer members from August 5, 2015, through November 6, 2015. A total of 274 surveys were returned—a 27.4 percent response rate. Of those responding, 14.2 percent of respondents were from the West, 23 percent were from the Northeast, 31 percent were from the Midwest, and 31.8 percent were from the Southeast.

    An executive summary of the Winter 2016 Salary Survey report is available at www.naceweb.org/salary-resources/salary-survey.aspx.

    Final starting salary data for the Class of 2015 will be available in the Spring 2016 Salary Survey.

    About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at www.naceweb.org/press-releases.aspx.