The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.
Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.
Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.
Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.
Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.
To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.
College graduates with bachelor’s degrees are making more right out of school, on average, than their peers who graduated just two years prior.
In its most recent survey, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that for 10 broad degree categories ranging from engineering to communications, 2016 graduates are projected to have an average salary of $50,556. That’s up 5% from 2014, when new grads earned an average of $48,127.
The survey, which looked at the first-year income of more than 45,000 graduates, found big differences in pay depending on the new hires’ college majors. Here’s a breakdown of average projected salaries by discipline for 2016:
|Bachelor’s Degree Major||2016 Average Salary|
|Math and Sciences||$55,087|
Even as overall salaries have increased, some trends persist. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) majors, for example, consistently earn more than their humanities peers. On the highest end are the class of 2016’s engineers, who on average will earn $64,891. The top-paid engineers are petroleum engineers, projected to earn an average of $80,600 in their first year out of college, per 2015 data.
In addition, according to NACE, more than half of employers surveyed say they plan to hire STEM grads, making them among the most highly sought-after students in the class. After science and engineering, business majors take home the most money. They’re also the most in demand: more than three-quarters of employers put business majors on the list of grads they’d like to hire. Those in communications and social sciences fields, on the other hand, are looking at lower starting salaries this year than last.
For more insights into the college majors that pay you back the most, check out PayScale’s 2015-2016 College Salary Report, with information on more than 200 majors.