Class of 2019 Receiving Higher Starting Salaries


By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

The final report is in from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and it shows students who graduated in 2019 received a nearly 6% starting salary increase over their undergraduate peers from the previous year.

The salary data was reported to NACE through its national Class of 2019 First-Destination Survey by approximately 356 colleges and universities nationwide and represent data for more than 94,000 bachelor’s degree graduates.

The final overall average starting salary for the Class of 2019 undergrads is nearly $54,000 with computer and information science majors topping the list for the fourth consecutive year (average starting salary of $77,000). Engineering students were second at $70,000. 

The academic discipline that saw the largest salary bump in 2019 was math and statistics majors at $67,000, a nearly 9% increase from 2018.  Health science majors were next at $53,500, while business majors saw an entry-level average salary of $52,000. Social science undergrads received an initial salary of $50,000, marking a 7% increase from the previous year.

As for what to expect in 2020, the director of the University Career Center, Bill Fletcher said students should be cautious with their expectations. "It is difficult to know how salaries will fare during a pandemic.  I suspect high demand majors will continue to do well.  In majors where supply and demand are balanced, salaries will most likely be flat or slightly down."