Good and Bad News on Salaries for Class of 2022 Graduates



By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

Undergraduate students who will be graduating this year will find a mixed bag when it comes to entry-level salaries.  That’s the news from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), based on their winter salary survey.

NACE salary projections for 2022 graduates range from an increase of 5.4% for math and sciences, and agriculture and natural resources majors, to a decrease of 14.8% for humanities majors. The overall outlook is not nearly as good as was the case for 2021 graduates when salary increases were forecasted for all majors at the bachelor’s degree level.

As was the case in 2021, NACE said computer science majors, at an average of $75,900, will be the highest paid group of majors after a projected increase of 5.2%.   Engineering majors are forecasted to be the second highest paid group at $73,922, a 4% increase over 2021. Increases are also projected for math and science, social science, business, agriculture, and natural resource majors. In addition to a significant decline in salaries for humanities majors, students with a communication degree are also forecasted to be down almost 5% from 2021.

Despite the mixed projections for 2022, the director of UofL’s University Career Center, Bill Fletcher, expects these numbers will be up across the board in the coming year.  “Organizations of all sizes are having trouble now filling job openings.  That means more competition for talent across all disciplines. So students who are well-prepared for the job market should find salaries that are edging upward in the coming year.”  

A total of 124 employers of varying sizes from around the country responded to the NACE salary survey.  The full results of the NACE salary survey are in the table below.