January 10, 2022 | By Kevin Gray
TAGS: compensation, salaries, surveys, nace insights
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Salary projections for Class of 2022 bachelor’s degree graduates are a bit of a mixed bag, according to results of NACE’s Winter 2022 Salary Survey.
Projections for the Class of 2022 range from an increase of 5.4% for math and sciences and agriculture and natural resources majors to a decrease of 14.8% for humanities majors. (See Figure 1.)
This is unlike last year, when employers projected increases in all reported categories of majors at the bachelor’s degree level.
Computer sciences majors are once again projected to be the highest paid group of majors ($75,900) and have the second highest projected increase this year (5.2%). They were also the highest paid category last year with an average salary projection of $72,173.
Engineering graduates are likely to be the second highest paid; their average salary projection ($73,922) is up 4% over last year’s projection.
Class of 2022 math and sciences graduates are also expected to be paid higher starting salaries this year, as their overall average salary projection ($66,760) is 5.4% higher than the average projection for their counterparts from the Class of 2021. While this matches the highest increase of all reported categories in this report, last year’s overall expected increase for this group of majors was just 1.3%.
The overall average salary projection for business majors ($60,695) is 3.1% higher than last year’s projection. This projected percentage increase is nearly double that of last year’s increase, which was just 1.6%.
In addition to the average projected salary for humanities majors dropping sharply—by nearly 15%—to $50,681, communication majors are also expected to see a decline in salary, albeit, at 4.7%, one that is not as severe, bringing their expected average salary to $55,455.
The Winter 2022 Salary Survey report contains annual salary projections for Class of 2022 college graduates. The figures reported are for base salaries only and do not include bonuses, commissions, fringe benefits, or overtime rates. The report provides the detailed salary projections by academic major and degree level, along with breakouts by both industry and geographic region. NACE obtained the data in this report by surveying its employer members from October 4, 2021, through December 3, 2021. A total of 124 surveys were returned—a 17% response rate. The Winter 2022 Salary Survey report will be available to members in MyNACE in mid-January.
Figure 1: Average Salaries by Discipline / Bachelor's Degrees
Overall unemployment rate
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Unemployment rate, bachelor’s degree grads age 20 – 24
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Average starting salary, Class of 2020 bachelor’s degree graduate
Summer 2021 Salary Survey
Projected hiring increase for the Class of 2022
Job Outlook 2022