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New college grads to make less $$$

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- College students gearing up to graduate this spring are likely to make less on their first job than those who got their degree last year, according to a report released Thursday.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers said that average salary offers to 2010 bachelor's degree candidates are down 1.7% to $47,673, compared to $48,515 last year.

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Students seeking liberal arts degrees may face the hardest blow. Their average initial pay offers are down 8.9% to $33,540, based on data collected from college career services offices.

Starting salary amounts extended to graduates with positions in business management are down 8% to $42,094, and students with jobs in the marketing field have dipped 2.1% to $42,710.

Last year's graduates had a tougher time landing jobs, but starting salaries only slipped 1.2% compared with 2008 graduates, said NACE employment information manager Andrea Koncz.

"This year, graduates are starting to get the jobs but at slightly lower offers," Koncz said. NACE's summer and fall surveys may provide a clearer picture since more students will have secured jobs by then. (Check tuitions for any 4-year college)

Not all grads will be making less.

"Students graduating with more technical degrees are in higher demand," Koncz said.

The average pay for students earning computer-related degrees has climbed 5.8% to $58,746.

Introductory salaries are up 1.6% for finance majors and 0.4% for accounting students.

For engineering students, initial pay offers are 1.2% higher at $59,149. Electrical engineering majors' salaries have jumped the most, by 3% to $59,326. Pay offers for chemical engineers and civil engineers are up more than 1%, but computer engineers and mechanical engineers will only see 0.2% increases.  To top of page

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