Grad salary offers on the rise

Chemical engineers, marketing majors are raking it in, but accounting grads aren't seeing similar increases.

By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- This year it really pays to have a college degree.

Salary offers made to soon-to-be college graduates are on the rise in just about every field, according to a quarterly survey of 81 schools published this week by the National Association of Colleges & Employers' (NACE).

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This year engineering majors were once again some of the most handsomely compensated, according to NACE. Chemical engineers topped the list with the average offer climbing 5.6 percent over the past year to $59,707. Civil and mechanical engineering majors saw job offers climb by roughly 5 percent or more.

Marketing majors, by far, experienced the biggest jump in salary. Over the past year, offers climbed 10.3 percent, on average, to $41,285.

Accounting majors, while one of the mostly highly sought after students by employers on college campuses, only saw their starting salaries climb just 2.7 percent to $47,421.

Offers made to computer science grads, which fell in the 2005-2006 school year, have rallied this year, climbing 2.5 percent to $52,177.

Salaries for liberal arts majors appear to be holding steady. Based on early numbers, the salary offers for liberal arts majors were up 1.2 percent from last spring to $31,333, but below the pace of inflation.

So far this year, the job market has looked pretty promising for the 1.5 million college seniors set to graduate this year, despite recent signs of weakness in the larger U.S. labor market.

In fact, NACE estimated last fall that employers will hire 17.4 percent more graduates this year than they did in 2005-2006.

And that trend appears to be showing up on college campuses nationwide.

"We are seeing a real aggressive push for the hiring of new graduates," said Stan Inman, director of career services, at the University of Utah, which graduates roughly 5,000 students annually.

While U.S. economic expansion certainly is driving the college labor market, many employers are ramping up their hiring in an effort to find replacement workers for the fast-approaching retirement of the baby boomer generation.

NACE plans on publishing its next quarterly report in July.

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Salary offers made to soon-to-be college graduates are on the rise in just about every field, according to a quarterly survey published this week by the National Association of Colleges & Employers' (NACE).

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices 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.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.