Top-Paying Jobs for the Class of 2011

Top-Paying Jobs Historically, college graduation has been a time of celebration. The years of hard work and studying have come to end, and life in the real world - with a real paycheck - can finally begin. Yet for the students who graduated from college over the past three years, leaving the safe haven of a university campus and entering into the unstable job market was more panic-provoking than festive.

Hiring of new college graduates began to decline in 2008, when companies first started feeling effects of the recession. By 2009, the graduating class was faced with industry-wide hiring freezes. Things started to look up for the class of 2010, but companies - many of which had gotten used to doing more with less - were still hiring cautiously.

In 2011 we can at last say that things are really, truly looking up for new college grads. According to the annual survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers: Overall, employers plan to hire 19.3 percent more new college graduates this fall than they did in Fall 2010, the first double-digit percentage increase since 2007. Last year, hiring managers reported that they would be hiring 6.9 percent fewer new grads than the year before.

There's good news on the pay front, too. Salaries for the graduating class of 2011 are up from the previous year for the first time since 2008. On average, students can expect a starting offer of around $50,462, 5.9 percent higher than the average offer of $47,673 that 2010 grads received. Plus, 75 percent of employers surveyed said that they planned to offer higher salaries to this year's graduating class.

Like every year, though, certain degrees command a higher salary than others. While graduates from a variety of majors and disciplines have a shot at a decent salary in 2011, almost all of the top-10 offers will go to engineering and computer science grads. According to the NACE survey, the following are the highest anticipated payouts:


1. Chemical Engineering

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $66,886


2. Computer Science

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $63,017


3. Mechanical Engineering

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $60,739


4. Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $60,646


5. Computer Engineering

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $60,112


6. Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $58,549


7. Systems Engineering

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $57,497


8. Engineering Technology

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $57,176


9. Information Sciences & Systems

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $56,868


10. Business Systems Networking/ Telecommunications

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $56,808


For those who aren't graduating with an engineering or computer science degree, however, all hope for a high salary is not lost. There are other majors that can expect offers of more than $50,000 per year. Here are 10 more degrees that will pull in the big bucks.


1. Nursing

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $55,774


2. Mathematics

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $55,300


3. Economics

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $54,634


4. Management Information Systems/ Business Data Processing

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $54,372


5. Finance

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $53,048


6. Agricultural Sciences (not including plant science, animal science or conservation majors)

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $52,934


7. Human Resources

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $52,532


8. Logistics/Materials Management

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $50,602


9. Accounting

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $50,316


10. Liberal Arts & Sciences/General Studies

Average annual salary offer to 2011 grads: $50,313


Unfortunately, not all new graduates can expect high salaries right away. Those who might have delayed gratification when it comes to compensation include students who majored in elementary and secondary education, communications, journalism, social work, visual and performing arts, plant sciences and animal sciences - all degrees with an average starting salary of $35,000 or less.


Next: Top Companies Hiring This Week


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Filed under: Hot Jobs

Kaitlin Madden, AOL Jobs Contributor

Editor

Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job seeker blog, The Work Buzz. Kaitlin spends her days researching and writing about all things career-related and trying not to inspire any of her colleagues’ “annoying co-worker” articles. She lives and works in Chicago, but hails from Connecticut and graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a degree in journalism.

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lessthantom4

WHO IS THAT CHICK IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER?!?!?

SHE'S SO UGLY!!!

August 12 2011 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kasey Kaplan

Anyone looking for a job should look on hiredMYway.com. There are signing bonuses and referral bonuses of up to $4k. Here is a link -- http://www.hiredmyway.com/r/XmGjdA_83_6085

June 11 2011 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sumerblastingrl1

correction: sry petroleum engineering might be a little higher based on their source

May 28 2011 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sumerblastingrl1

actually these numbers are about right. except if you look at where they got the numbers petroleum engineering is the highest paid base salary at $68,424. Again I looked this up from where they actually got their information. There are a lot of different websites you can go to and find these figures and they are all roughly around these numbers. Its an AVERAGE. so yes, there are people who are not going to make as much depending on what field they go into, where they live, how well they did in undergraduate studies, ect.

May 28 2011 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kay

No, these aren't inflated. As an undergrad in Computer Engineering, this is what I have heard from people getting hired. Our school tracks hiring salaries, and this is what grads at our state school are getting. The thing with engineering is that you may have a year or so experience when you are hired due to co-ops.

May 28 2011 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miashmia11

I completely agree, these numbers are inflated. I am a college graduate 2004 and one year away from my MBA. I'm not even earning that much!

May 26 2011 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello

The annual salary offer amounts stated in this article are inflated DRASTICALLY.
In today's market one would have to be at least mid career to walk in with that figure.

Many college grads out there WITH years of experience in the field they are applying for/being hired into are seeing starting salaries akin to an entry level position that does not require a degree.

It is sad but true. I know MANY people with degrees who lost jobs and are now working for $12 an hour just to have a job. These are people with many years of experience in their field.

Once again, shame on AOL.

May 13 2011 at 5:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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