Most lucrative degrees for 2007 grads

Marketing, business administration and engineering students see the biggest increases in average starting offers.

By Jeanne Sahadi, senior writer

NEW YORK ( -- With less than four months to go before saying sayonara to the quad for good, the class of 2007 is finding it easier than recent classes to get their foot in the work world.

Employers have said they expect to hire 17.4 percent more college grads than they did last year, and in many instances they plan to pay them more, too, according to a survey released this week by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

The students faring the best are marketing and business administration majors.

The average starting offer for seniors majoring in marketing is up 14 percent from last year to $41,323.

Those majoring in business administration are seeing a 9.2 percent jump to $43,523 in average starting salaries.

Others who are seeing pay increases, albeit some far more modest than others, are seniors majoring in:

  • Mechanical engineering: Up 7.7 percent to $54,587
  • Chemical engineering: Up 7.4 percent to $60,054
  • Management information systems: Up 5.5 percent to $46,568
  • Civil engineering: Up 4.8 percent to $47,145
  • Electrical engineering: Up 3.2 percent to $54,599
  • Computer science: Up 2 percent to $51,070
  • Accounting: Up 1.7 percent to $46,508

There are no prior year comparisons for two majors because in prior NACE surveys they were grouped together as one. However, based on prior years' average starting offers in the category (in 2006 it was $45,191), NACE characterized these average starting salaries as "respectable."

  • Finance: $47,905
  • Economics: $51,631

There have been slight decreases in the average starting salary offers for just a few majors, but NACE notes that given that it's still early in the hiring season and the job market is strong for college grads, salary offers may improve in the next few months:

  • Logistics/Materials management: Down 1.8 percent to $43,294
  • Liberal arts (including psychology, political science history, English): Down 1.1 percent to $30,502
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