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  • Overall Starting Salary for Class of 2017 Remains Flat

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Class of 2017 bachelor’s degree graduates earned starting salaries that average $50,516, which is up just 0.3 percent over last year’s final average starting salary of $50,359 for the Class of 2016, according to results of a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE’s Summer 2018 Salary Survey found that, compared to the average salary of $50,219 for the Class of 2015, salaries for bachelor’s degree graduates have grown less than 1 percent over the past two years.

    For the third straight year, graduates who majored in various computer science fields earned the highest average starting salary. At $72,677, the overall average for these majors is just 1.1 percent higher than last year’s average of $71,916.

    Class of 2017 engineering graduates are also highly paid, with an overall average starting salary of $65,539. Their salary bumped up barely 1 percent from last year’s average of $64,981.

    Mathematics and statistics graduates are the only other group of majors with an average starting salary that exceeds the $60,000 mark. The overall average salary for this group is $60,631, which is up 1.5 percent over last year’s average of $59,727.

    The average starting salary for bachelor’s degree business majors follows the same overall trend this year, rising just 0.8 percent from $52,047 to $52,456.

    Likewise, average starting salaries for graduates earning degrees in the social sciences are nearly unchanged. The overall average salary for the group stands at $46,707, just 0.1 percent lower than last year’s average of $46,749.

    Health sciences majors, however, are bucking the trend by boasting a 7.5 percent increase to their overall average starting salary, which climbs to $53,872 this year from last year’s average of $50,124.

    Figure 1: Starting Salaries by Discipline for Class of 2017 Bachelor’s Degree Graduates

    Broad Category Average Salary
    Computer science $72,677
    Engineering $65,539
    Math and statistics $60,631
    Health sciences $53,872
    Business $52,456
    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.