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, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- 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).

Quiz
Succeed in your new job?
Whether you're changing positions mid-career or starting your first real job out of college, new hires face common pitfalls. Do you know how to avoid them?
1. Five minutes from now, you will step on to an elevator whose only other passenger is your company's CEO, whom you haven't met before. You are most likely to:
Be completely tongue-tied and say nothing.
Introduce yourself and give a 30-second summary of the work you're doing and why you're excited about it.
Chat about the weather.

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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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.