For most, choosing a career means following a deep-rooted passion. When you truly have a love for what you do, money seems to fall out of the picture. But sometimes it’s hard not to be curious with regard to which majors and future careers are bringing in the largest starting salaries. So, which new college graduates brought in the top salaries in 2012?
Even in the current uncertain job climate, it seems 2012 was the year for technical majors—particularly those in engineering. Computer engineering and chemical engineering majors dominated the list, according to a new report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
The January 2013 salary survey reported starting salaries for new college graduates in more than 90 disciplines at the bachelor’s degree level. The data comes as a compilation from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and a master set of data developed by Job Search Intelligence. It’s important to note that the salaries used in the report are accepted starting salaries, rather than the original salary offers.
At the top of the list, computer engineering majors accepted starting salaries at $70,400–just $4,000 more than the major in second place, chemical engineering. Computer science came in third with a starting salary of $64,400, just $400 more than the fourth place major, aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering. Others that made the list include mechanical engineering, electrical/electronics and communications engineering, and civil engineering. Non-engineering majors whose average starting salaries were among the highest were finance, construction science/management, and information sciences and systems.
“This is not surprising since the supply of these graduates is low, but the demand for them is so high,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.