Starting Salaries Start to Slip

By Geoff Roth

starting salaryIf you're a recent college graduate and have been fortunate enough to land a job, that is good news. But, there is a bit of a black cloud around that silver lining.

According to a new survey, the average starting salary for new college grads slipped this year, down 1.3 percent from last year.

-- See average salaries for workers aged 25 to 44.

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The survey, done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, shows that the average starting salary across all disciplines was at $48,661, down from an average of $49,307 last year.

But, as is the case with hiring trends, all degrees and disciplines are not equal. Students with degrees in information sciences saw a hefty increase from last year, up 5.7 percent, at an average starting salary of $55,084. And, it may not come as a surprise that those with liberal arts degrees saw the biggest slide from last year, down 3.9 percent to $34,747.

According to the survey, the highest starting salaries are still going to students with computer engineering degrees, at an average of $59,917. But, that average was down 2.9 percent from last year.

Another organization that monitors starting salaries, Payscale, doesn't look at the ups and downs of salary levels, but does keep track of averages. According to their latest report, students with chemical engineering degrees are bringing in the highest average starting salary, at $65,700.

While average salaries are down in the United States recent grads in China are starting to feel the effects of a growing economy. According to a recent survey by one of China's largest human resource companies, the average salary for college graduates in China rose 10 percent this year. But, to put things in perspective, that average salary is the equivalent of around $4,800 a year.

Next: Hiring Trends for 2010: Where the Jobs Are >>

Geoff Roth is a former TV news manager now teaching journalism at Hofstra University. He has hired hundreds of people and counseled both professionals and students as they hunt for jobs. Geoff is chronicling life after TV News at

Filed under: College
Geoffrey A Roth

Geoffrey A Roth


Geoff Roth is a 30-year veteran of the TV news business. He has hired hundreds of people and counseled both professionals and students as they hunt for jobs. Geoff is chronicling life after TV News at

He was part of the original staff of CNN when it started up in 1980, and has worked for national and local news organizations across the country as everything from a writer to News Director. He is now rounding out his career as an Assistant Professor in the journalism department at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  

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