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  • Computer Science Was Class of 2017’s Top-Paid Master’s Major

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Computer and information sciences majors were among the Class of 2017’s top-paid college graduates at the advanced degree levels, according to results of a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s Summer 2018 Salary Survey found that, at the master’s degree level, computer and information science majors earned an average starting salary of $93,415, which exceeded the salaries of engineering ($84,052) and mathematics and statistics ($79,985) majors. (See Figure 1.)

    Engineering technologies majors ($78,235) and students with degrees in health professions ($74,384) were also among the top earners among Class of 2017 master’s graduates.

    Meanwhile, at the doctoral level, although Class of 2017 computer and information sciences graduates earned an average starting salary of $112,772, business, management, and marketing majors surpassed them by earning starting salaries that averaged $138,468. (See Figure 2.)

    Other top-paid majors among Class of 2017 doctoral graduates were engineering ($95,048), public administration and social service ($86,891), and social sciences ($84,889).

    Figure 1: Top Average Starting Salaries for Class of 2017 Master’s Degree Graduates

    Major Average Salary
    Computer and information sciences $93,415
    Engineering $84,052
    Mathematics and statistics $79,985
    Engineering technologies $78,235
    Health professions $74,384
    Source: Summer 2018 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Top Average Starting Salaries for Class of 2017 Doctoral Graduates

    Major Average Salary
    Business, management, and marketing $138,468
    Computer and information sciences $112,772
    Engineering $95,048
    Public administration and social service $86,891
    Social sciences $84,889
    Source: Summer 2018 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    About Salary Survey: The Summer 2018 Salary Survey report provides actual starting salaries (not projections) for the college Class of 2017, and serves as the final salary report for the Class of 2017. Data were gathered from Class of 2017 graduates through December 31, 2017, and reported to NACE through May 25, 2018. The salary data were reported to NACE through its national Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey by approximately 366 colleges and universities nationwide, and represent data for slightly more than 695,000 graduates at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree levels. The analysis provided here focuses on the data provided for more than 81,800 bachelor’s degree graduates. An executive summary of the Summer 2018 Salary Survey report is available at www.naceweb.org/research/reports/. A report on the Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey will be available in the fall.

    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.