Most lucrative degrees for college grads
Survey finds best job market in 4 years, with most college majors seeing salary growth and some students receiving multiple job offers.
By Rob Kelley, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Employers continue to boost starting salaries for the Class of 2006, which is enjoying the strongest job market in four years, according to a recent survey.

The biggest beneficiaries are graduates who majored in information sciences and systems: they are taking home 7.5 percent more than they did last year, according to the Fall 2006 edition of Salary Survey, a quarterly report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

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Employers have made a strong effort to attract college seniors and new grads through on-campus recruiting, career fairs, information sessions, and intern and co-op recruiting, according to NACE.

"These salary increases combined with the results of a recent poll of Salary Survey participants indicate that 2005-06 has been the best job market in the past four years," said NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes in a statement.

According to the survey, majors that have seen some of the biggest increases in average starting salaries are:

Information sciences and systems: Up 7.5 percent to $47,182

Economics/finance: Up 6.2 percent to $44,588

Civil engineering: Up 5.3 percent to $46,084

Chemical engineering: Up 4.9 percent to $56,269

Accounting: Up 4.6 percent to $44,928

Business administration/management: Up 4.2 percent to $41,155

History: Up 4.2 percent to $33,071

For others, modest increases, some declines

Other majors also experienced slightly higher entry-level offers, but the increases from last year's offers didn't outpace inflation.

Mechanical engineering: Up 3.3 percent to $51,732

Electrical engineering: Up 2.9 percent to $53,500

Psychology: Up 1 percent to $30,369

Computer science: Up 0.3 percent to $50,744

Political science and government: Up 0.3 percent to $33,094

And in a few cases, starting offers actually declined. This was true for a few of the liberal arts majors, which only saw a 0.2 percent increase overall as a category.

English: Down 0.2 percent to $31,385

Sociology: Down 0.9 percent to $31,096

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