Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Class of 2011: Your paychecks will be bigger

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- College grads are getting offered bigger paychecks for the first time since 2008.

Students who will graduate this spring are receiving job offers with starting salaries averaging $50,034 per year, up 3.5% from last year, according to a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Meanwhile, employers surveyed by NACE said they plan to boost hiring of college graduates by 13.5% from a year ago.

Business majors noticed the biggest bump, with the average salary offer rising nearly 2% to $48,089.

Within the business discipline, accounting majors received salary offers of $49,022, up 2.2%, while finance majors were offered an average $50,535, an increase of 1.9%.

Offers for business administration/management graduates slipped slightly to $44,171, down 2.3%.

Graduates majoring in engineering -- typically one of the highest-paying fields -- didn't see a big change overall, with the average starting salary down a mere 0.3% but still high at $59,435.

Certain engineering majors, however, saw significant jumps, with electrical engineering majors receiving an average salary offer of $61,690 -- up 4.4% from the previous year. Offers for mechanical engineers climbed 3.8% to $60,598.

But it didn't pay as much to graduate with a degree in civil engineering this year, with starting salaries in that field slipping 7.1% to $48.885.

While the association's survey didn't break out starting salaries for individual liberal arts majors, offers were up a whopping 9.5% to $35,633 for the group as a whole. That compares to a steep drop of 11% last year.

The quarterly survey tracks starting salary offers to new college graduates in 70 disciplines nationwide at the bachelor's degree level. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.88%3.83%
15 yr fixed2.84%2.96%
5/1 ARM3.24%3.09%
30 yr refi3.92%3.94%
15 yr refi2.94%3.05%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,472.37 200.36 1.23%
Nasdaq 4,707.78 80.69 1.74%
S&P 500 1,951.36 27.54 1.43%
Treasuries 1.99 -0.05 -2.60%
Data as of 11:56am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.38 -0.17 -1.09%
Apple Inc 110.38 0.80 0.73%
Micron Technology In... 15.91 1.14 7.72%
General Electric Co 25.47 0.28 1.11%
Microsoft Corp 45.57 0.96 2.15%
Data as of Oct 2


The NFL is the world's richest sports league and by far the most popular sport in the U.S. But it has struggled to attract overseas fans. More

The September jobs report is lowering the chances the Fed will raise interest rates later this year. More

Smarties, a Halloween candy staple, have been around for 66 years. Three Millennial women are revolutionizing it. More

Spending more than you make is bad for your finances, but other not-so-obvious money habits will hurt your long-term savings. More