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  • Preliminary Salaries Show STEM Majors Lead Class of 2019

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Although it is early in the Class of 2019 salary reporting cycle, preliminary results show graduates in several STEM disciplines are expected to be the top paid, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    Results of NACE’s Fall 2019 Salary Survey indicate that, at this early juncture, graduates in the computer and information sciences ($81,292), engineering ($69,180), mathematics and statistics ($68,785), and engineering technologies ($60,473) disciplines are leading the Class of 2019 in terms of average starting salary. (See Figure 1.)

    This year’s overall fall average stands at $55,280, which is 10.6 percent higher than last year’s reported fall average of $50,004 for Class of 2018 graduates. However, it is extremely important to view these results with caution as these are preliminary salaries that are based on a small number of reporting institutions. In fact, year-end reports typically show significantly more-modest increases. (Note: The year-end report for the Class of 2019 will be released in summer 2020.)

    Analysis of the broad categories of majors shows how the limited data are producing results that are not consistent with those collected in the last several years. In fact, the yearly comparisons of the individual disciplines show exactly which areas are driving the overall increase.

    Of the top-paid categories, computer and information sciences show one of the highest increases. In addition, the other top-paid categories are showing increases across the board, creating a perfect scenario for a large increase in reported salaries.  

    Figure 1: CHANGES IN PRELIMINARY REPORTED AVERAGE STARTING SALARIES, 2019 & 2018

    Broad Category 2019 Average Salary 2018 Average Salary Percent Change
    Computer & Information Sciences $81,292 $73,768 10.2%
    Engineering $69,180 $65,455 5.7%
    Mathematics & Statistics $68,785 $65,349 5.3%
    Engineering Technologies $60,473 $57,267 5.6%
    Health Professions & Related Programs $54,175 $52,711 2.8%
    Business $53,912 $51,872 3.9%
    Social Sciences $53,729 $44,047 22.0%
    Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies $50,302 $48,966 2.7%
    Source: Fall 2019 Salary Survey report, National Association

    About Salary Survey: The Fall 2019 Salary Survey report provides actual starting salaries (not projections) for the college Class of 2019. Data were collected from July 10, 2019, through September 27, 2019, and were provided by 89 colleges and universities nationwide, who are participants in NACE’s national First-Destination Survey. The data are preliminary salaries for Class of 2019 graduates in the date range from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. An executive summary of the Fall 2019 Salary Survey report is available on the NACE website.  

    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.