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Average starting salary offer for college class of 2011 up by 4.8 percent

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According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Summer 2011 Salary Survey, the average starting salary offer for the college class of 2011 is $51,018, an increase of 4.8 percent over last year's average of $48,661. This is the third consecutive quarterly increase--the Winter and Spring reports also showed salary increases.

"The steady increases in starting salary offers we're seeing this year is a good indication that the job market for new college graduates is gathering strength," Marilyn Mackes, executive director of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, said in a statement.

Graduates in the business disciplines saw a 3 percent increase in their average starting salary offers to $48,694, while graduates in the computer science disciplines saw an increase of 4.3 percent to $62,328. The engineering disciplines saw a 2.5 percent increase to $60,465, and humanities and social sciences graduates saw a 15.3 increase in average starting salary offers to $40,057.

Average starting salary offers for individual majors rose as follows:

  • Accounting: 2 percent increase to $49,671
  • Business administration: 2.2 percent increase to $44,825
  • Chemical engineering: no change, staying at $65,617
  • Civil engineering: less than 1 percent increase to $52,069
  • Computer engineering: 7.6 percent increase to $64,499
  • Computer science: 3.7 percent increase to $63,402
  • Economics: 6 percent increase to $53,906
  • Electrical engineering: 2.8 percent increase to $61,021
  • English: 6.6 percent increase to $39,611
  • Finance: 4 percent increase to $52,351
  • History: 8.1 percent increase to $40,051
  • Information sciences and systems: 4.4 percent increase to $57,499
  • Mechanical engineering: 3.2 percent increase to $60,345
  • Petroleum engineering: 8.1 percent increase to $80,849
  • Psychology: 23.8 percent increase to $40,069

The survey compiles data from college and university career services offices nationwide. The National Association of Colleges and Employers' next salary survey, the Fall 2011 Salary Survey, will be released in early September.

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