Early data from a forthcoming NACE study indicate that the gender pay gap has widened over the past year, with female graduates now earning just 72 cents to every dollar earned by male graduates, down from around 81 cents.
What is the advantage of obtaining a master’s degree? In terms of average starting salary, that advantage has been declining in recent years.
The unusual and uncertain times experienced by the college Class of 2021 in its final year was reflected in its outcomes, which improved from last year, but remained down from pre-pandemic levels, according to NACE’s First Destinations for the College Class of 2021 report.
More than 80% of schools conducted first-destination surveys in 2021-22, according to NACE’s 2021-22 Career Services Benchmarks Survey Report.
Free downloads from the NACE Center: These studies examine how internships impact the development and initial career outcomes of college graduates.
NACE’s First-Destination Survey Standards and Protocols were developed by a task force of practitioners, and reflect feedback provided during a public comment period by more than 100 career services professionals. The standards/protocols are designed to address the needs of individual institutions to track graduate outcomes, and can be used to address growing demand by accrediting bodies and governmental agencies.
A career center compiles first-destination survey data; other offices on campus want access to the raw data.
The final overall average starting salary for the Class of 2019 is $53,889, which is up 5.8 percent over the final average starting salary of $50,944 for the Class of 2018.
Computer sciences majors have the highest starting salary at the master’s-degree level for the Class of 2019, while business grads are the top-paid at the doctoral level.
Transportation and materials moving majors earned the highest average starting salary by far among Class of 2019 associate degree graduates.
The average starting salary projections for all reported categories of majors for Class of 2021 bachelor’s degree graduates show increases, albeit some of them are on the smaller side.
Starting salaries are expected to increase among many master’s degree majors this year.
There is a trend toward an erosion in salary differentials among the degree levels, according to results of NACE’s Class of 2019 First-Destination Survey.
The final overall average starting salary for the college Class of 2020 landed at $55,260—2.5% above the final average starting salary for the Class of 2019.
What value can a master’s degree have over a bachelor’s degree? For certain majors, the differential in starting salaries is substantial.
starting salary; compensation; master’s degree; doctoral degree; advanced degree; first destination; Class of 2020; Salary Survey
Class of 2020 graduates got fewer jobs than any other class since NACE first began reporting on employment trends with the Class of 2014.
As was the case with bachelor’s level outcomes, the employment outcomes for graduates earning master’s degrees declined in 2020 in comparison with 2019.
There are many factors that contribute to the gender pay gap and severe consequences of long-term inequity in pay.