Starting salary offers up by 6 percent for the class of 2011

According to a report released this week by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average salary offer to graduates of the college class of 2011 has risen six percent over last year's average.

The NACE's Fall 2011 Salary Survey report shows that the overall average salary offer to a bachelor's degree graduate rose from $48,288 for the class of 2010 to $51,171 for the class of 2011.

"The overall salary increase is the result of gains across disciplines," NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes said in a statement.

Among graduates earning business degrees, the average salary offer rose by 4.6 above the September 2010 average, from $46,672 to $47,805. Salary offers to business administration/management graduates rose 5.4 to $46,372, while offers for economics graduates rose 3.9 percent to $53,690, and the average salary offer for finance majors increased by 4.8 percent to $51,103.

Those earning computer-related degrees saw their average salary rise by 9.6 percent from $58,819 to $63,760. The average offer for those majoring specifically in computer science jumped 9.3 percent to $66,084, while those majoring in information sciences and system saw their average salary offer rise by 5.9 percent to $55,619.

For engineering majors as a whole, the average salary offer rose 2.8 percent from $58,669 to $60,291. The average salary offer to petroleum engineering graduates rose by 7.1 percent to $82,740, making it the highest-paid major in the Fall 2011 Salary Survey. Chemical engineering graduates saw their average salary offer increase by 1.8 percent to $66,058, while salary offers to computer engineering graduates rose by 4.1 percent to $62,849.

The NACE Salary Survey is a quarterly report of starting salary offers to new college graduates in 70 disciplines at the bachelor's degree level. The survey compiles data from college and university career services offices nationwide.

The next NACE Salary Survey will be released in January of 2012.