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Best-paying college major: engineering

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Engineering majors continue to boast fatter salary offers than their peers, according to the most recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Majors in the engineering field dominated the association's list of top-paying degrees for the class of 2011, with four of the top five spots going to engineering majors. Each of these majors receive average starting salary offers of more than $60,000.

The only non-engineering major among the top five was computer science, which earned graduating students average starting salary offers of $63,017.

"The entire top-10 list underscores the interest employers have in hiring technical majors," said Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

And the interest in these majors isn't new. Engineering majors in last year's graduating class were also promised the most attractive salaries.

Chemical engineers were offered the highest starting salaries this year -- an average of $66,886. Mechanical engineers received salary offers averaging $60,739, and electrical and communications engineering majors saw average offers of $60,646. Computer engineering was the fifth highest-paying major, with offers averaging $60,112.

Rounding out the top ten best-paying majors were industrial engineering, systems engineering, engineering technology, information sciences and systems, and business systems networking or telecommunications.

But even non-engineering majors are seeing more attractive offers this year, NACE reported in February.

While not quite the $60,000-plus offers that engineers are getting, the average starting salary across all majors is $50,034 -- up 3.5% from last year.

The survey, issued quarterly, monitors salary offers of graduating college students in 70 disciplines at the bachelor's degree level. NACE collects data from college career service offices nationwide. To top of page

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