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  • The Projected Top-Paid Class of 2017 Master’s 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: February 7, 2017
    SUBJECT: The Projected Top-Paid Class of 2017 Master’s Degree Graduates

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Computer science and engineering are projected to be the highest-paid master’s degree graduates from the Class of 2017, according to a new report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    Results of NACE’s Winter 2017 Salary Survey found that the overall average salary projection for Class of 2017 computer science graduates is up more than 12 percent from last year’s projection and now stands at $81,039. (See Figure 1.)

    Meanwhile, engineering graduates—who topped the list of projected highest-paid master’s degree graduates last year—are second this year. Their average salary for the Class of 2017 is projected to be $75,053, just 1.6 percent higher than last year.

    Two others majors—business and math and sciences—are expected to be paid salaries that are more than 3 percent higher than last year’s projections. The projection for Class of 2017 business degree graduates at the master’s degree level is $74,066, up 3.4 percent from last year. Likewise, math and sciences master’s graduates are expected to earn $70,061, an increase of 3.2 percent from last year.

    Figure 1: Projected average salaries by discipline/master's degrees, 2017 and 2016

    Broad Category 2017 Average Salary 2016 Average Salary
    Computer Science $81,039 $72,080
    Engineering $75,053 $73,871
    Business $74,066 $71,663
    Math & Sciences $70,061 $67,891
    Source: Winter 2017 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    About Salary Survey: The data contained in NACE's Winter 2017 Salary Survey were obtained by surveying NACE employer members from August 5, 2016, through November 30, 2016. A total of 243 surveys were returned for a 25.3 percent response rate. Of those responding, 14.8 percent of respondents were from the West, 23.5 percent were from the Northeast, 29.6 percent were from the Southeast, and 32.1 percent were from the Midwest.

    An executive summary of the Winter 2017 Salary Survey report is available at www.naceweb.org/salary-resources/salary-survey.aspx.

    (Note: The Spring 2017 Salary Survey report will include final starting salary data for the Class of 2016. The final report for the Class of 2017 will be available in spring 2018.)

    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.