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  • STEM Grads Projected to Earn Class of 2016’s Highest Average Starting Salaries

    January 27, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Three STEM students use a microscope.

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

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    Among bachelor's degree graduates from the Class of 2016, those from the STEM disciplines are expected to receive the highest starting salaries, according results of NACE's Winter 2016 Salary Survey.

    The top three projected salaries are for engineering, computer sciences, and math and sciences graduates.

    Overall, the average salary for bachelor's degree graduates earning engineering degrees is projected to be $64,891, up 3 percent over the average salary projection for engineering graduates from the Class of 2015 ($62,998). (See Figure 1.)

    The computer sciences fields follow with an overall average starting salary projected at $61,321. Two of the three reported computer science disciplines also top the $60,000 mark, while the third—information science and systems—falls just below that mark ($59,810).

    Graduates in math and sciences are also in high demand by employers; overall, graduates in these fields are expected to average $55,087.

    Business majors land in the fourth spot, with a projected starting average of $52,236, an increase from the projected $51,508 for Class of 2015 graduates.

    Among the remaining broad categories on the list, only the salary projection for humanities majors improved from last year—to $46,065 from $45,042.

    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 average salaries by discipline, bachelor's degrees

    Broad Category 2016 Average 2015 Average
    Engineering $64,891 $62,998
    Computer Science $61,321 $61,287
    Math & Sciences $55,087 $56,171
    Business $52,236 $51,508
    Agriculture & Natural Resources $48,729 $51,220
    Healthcare $48,712 $50,839
    Communications $47,047 $49,395
    Social Sciences $46,585 $49,047
    Humanities $46,065 $45,042
    Education $34,891 NA
    Source: Winter 2016 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers
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