The Value of That College Degree: Despite Economy Grads Doing Better

Everyone knows that the economy is tough right now. The U.S. DOL put out the report on jobless claims today and it shows that jobless claims rose (as reported in Yahoo! Finance news) reversing previous declines. Despite that the NACE reported that companies are hiring more graduates that in 2007 and, as reported on they are finding higher starting wages. Take a look at these:
  • Civil engineering graduates: 6.4 % increase over 2007; average offer of $51,632
  • Mechanical engineering grads: 5.3% increase; offer of $57,009
  • Business administration/management: 5.1% increase; average offer of $45,915
  • Marketing: 4.7% increase; offer of $42, 053
  • Economics majors grads: 4.2% increase; offer of $50,507
  • Accounting graduates: 2.9%; average offer of $48,085
  • Electrical engineering grads: 2.9%; offer of $56,910
  • Finance grads: 2.8% increase; offer of $48,547

Leading the way:

  • Computer science graduates: 13.1%; offer of $60,416
  • Liberal Arts graduates: 2.6%; offer of $36,419

Now, all things being equal, I would just as soon have the salary offered the computer science types, but all of them are decent. It would be nice if HR folks got the higher levels, but many people come into HR from the liberal arts area. It is much better to come to HR from business admin.

If you have been laid off maybe going back to school might be the best option. There is some monetary value to having a college to degree. It would be interesting however to contrast this with trade positions such as HVAC, plumbers, etc. What are entry level wages for those positions after training in the trade? Anyone have those numbers.

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