Things are Looking Up for the Latest Class of College Graduates

Call me sentimental as I will be partaking in a college graduation celebration this weekend (UNC Chapel Hill) but it led me to think about what it might be like to be entering the “real world” today.  One statistic is surprisingly bright: starting salaries are said to have “soared” for the Class of 2017. * 

Here are a few of the bright spots:

  • Average pay for this crop of graduates has hit the highest in at least a decade to $49,785. (not bad!)
    • this number represents data pointing to today’s salaries being 14% higher than that of graduates in 2007 prior to the recession (14% seems a bit tepid to me but nonetheless higher).
  •  The job market is strong.**
    • Software development roles saw a 5% increase in the past year to $65,232
    • Engineers can expect to earn a starting salary of $63,036, up 1% in the past year.
    • Actuaries, $59,212
    • Entry-level scientists and researchers $58,773.
  •  San Francisco and New York lead the way in geography…with Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta all not far behind.
  •  Two thirds of graduates at one school polled had at least one job offer (but that poll had a low response rate).
  •  According to data, college graduates over age 25 earn about twice as much as adults with a high school diploma or only some college.

WSJ article here

**Although in a separate report I heard that employers are finding it harder to fill greater amounts of spots requiring specific types of training — further strengthening the incentive for people of ALL ages to consider some type of specific skill or higher education.

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