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College grads take a cut in pay

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Graduates in the class of 2010 are making a little less money at new jobs than those who finished school last year, with the weak economy the prime culprit, according to a report released Thursday.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers said the average starting salary for this year's bachelor's degree recipients dipped 1.3%, to $48,661.

"It's just a simple supply-and-demand result of what's going on the economy right now," said association spokeswoman Mimi Collins. "You just have fewer opportunities all the way around."

Among the fields with lower salaries were psychology majors, whose starting pay dropped 5.6%. Computer engineering salaries declined 2.9%, while history majors' pay was down 2.1%

But English majors enjoyed a salary increase of 7.1% this year, and sociology grads' pay rose 5.7%.

Economics graduates saw their average salary ramp up by 2.1%, while information sciences grads got 5.7% more.

Those with engineering degrees other than computers experienced modest salary increases. Chemical engineering majors' pay rose 1.1% to an average starting salary of $65,628, among the highest for all new grads. To top of page

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