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  • Economics Projected as Top-Paid Class of 2016 Social Sciences Major

    April 01, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Researchers compare different sets of data.

    TAGS: salaries, trends and predictions, surveys, nace insights

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    Economics majors are expected to be the top-paid Class of 2016 social sciences graduates at the bachelor’s degree level, according to results of NACE’s Winter 2016 Salary Survey.

    Economics majors are projected to earn an average starting salary of $49,271. (See Figure 1.) This is down slightly from last year, when projected salaries for economics majors reported in NACE’s Winter 2015 Salary Survey averaged $50,832.

    Other projected average salaries for Class of 2016 social sciences graduates include those for political science/international relations ($47,372), psychology ($44,851), social work ($43,339), and sociology ($43,110) majors. Among these majors, only the projected salary for sociology majors is up from that reported in the Winter 2015 Salary Survey.

    Data contained in NACE's Winter 2016 Salary Survey were obtained from August 5, 2015, through November 6, 2015. The Winter 2016 Salary Survey is available to members in MyNACE. An executive summary report is available at  

    Final starting salary data for the Class of 2015 will be available in the Spring 2016 Salary Survey.

    Figure 1: Projected salaries for Class of 2016 social sciences majors, bachelor's degrees

    Academic Major Mean 25th Percentile Median 75th Percentile
    Economics $49,271 $42,350 $50,000 $55,000
    Political Science/International Relations $47,372 $40,500 $46,000 $55,000
    Psychology $44,851 $40,000 $45,000 $49,500
    Social Work $43,339 $35,357 $43,000 $50,000
    Sociology $43,110 $37,000 $40,500 $50,000
    Source: Winter 2016 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers