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  • Computer Science, Engineering Grads Have Highest STEM Starting Salary Expectations

    April 20, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    A computer science major at work.

    TAGS: salaries, student attitudes, nace insights

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Computer science, engineering, and engineering technology majors had the highest starting salary expectations among Class of 2015 STEM graduates, according to results of NACE’s Class of 2015 Student Survey.

    Figure 1 displays each STEM major’s median starting salary expectation, both in general and by their top target industry. (Only major-industry cross-sections with at least 10 respondents were included.)

    Already having had the highest expectation of any STEM majors regardless of top target industry, engineering majors targeting the chemical/pharmaceutical manufacturing and motor vehicle manufacturing industries had even higher expectations (both $67,501).

    Similarly, computer science majors who targeted the engineering services ($67,084) and miscellaneous professional services consulting ($62,500) industries also had particularly high expectations.

    Reflecting the fact that mathematics majors are composed of two groups of students—those who aspire toward “Wall Street” type jobs and those who aspire toward teaching—those targeting the finance, insurance, and real estate industry had rather high expectations ($57,501), while the expectations of those targeting the education industry were far more modest ($40,000).

    Also among the lowest expectations were biology, physical science, environmental science, and science technology majors.

    Results from Class of 2015 STEM graduates are featured in Students in Demand: An Insight Into Class of 2015 STEM Graduates. Highlights from the report are available on NACEWeb.

    Figure 1: Median Starting Salary Expectations, by Top Target Industry

    Top target industry Median salary
    Overall $57,273
    Computer/Electronics Manufacturing $55,000
    Information $57,501
    Engineering Services $67,084
    Miscellaneous Professional Services Consulting $62,500
    Government $52,500
    Engineering Overall $61,001
    Healthcare $55,833
    Oil & Gas Extraction $65,000
    Construction $56,786
    Chemical/Pharmaceutical Manufacturing $67,501
    Computer/Electronics Manufacturing $63,750
    Motor Vehicle Manufacturing $67,501
    Miscellaneous Manufacturing $59,039
    Engineering Services $58,900
    Overall $56,563
    Engineering Services $55,000
    Overall $45,938
    Education $40,000
    Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate $57,501
    Biology Overall $32,721
    Education $32,501
    Healthcare $32,795
    Agriculture $32,500
    Chemical/Pharmaceutical Manufacturing $42,501
    Overall $40,386
    Overall $33,750
    Overall $45,833
    Source: Students in Demand: An Insight Into Class of 2015 STEM Graduates, National Association of Colleges and Employers
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