If you graduated college in the economic abyss of the Great Recession, then you're probably well-acquainted with low-paying scut work. But a new study commissioned by the Korn Ferry Institute surmises that recent grads are earning significantly more money than they ever have -- and that's to say nothing of the insanely lucrative internships flooding certain industries.
According to the data, compiled through an analysis of 145,000 entry-level positions at more than 700 organizations across the country, the average starting salary of new college graduates is $49,785, marking a three percent increase from last year. Factoring inflation, entry-level positions are paying 14% more than they did in 2007, at the start of last decade's economic downturn.
As far as the most lucrative industries for entry-level employees, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers make the largest impression:
- Software Developer $65,232 (31 percent above average)
- Engineer $63,036 (27 percent above average)
- Actuary $59,212 (19 percent above average)
- Scientist/Researcher $58,733 (18 percent above average)
- Environmental Professional $56,660 (14 percent above average)
The lowest paying entry-level jobs were also included:
- Buyer/Logistics $44,247 (11 percent below average)
- Call Center Specialist $41,158 (17 percent below average)
- Claims Examiner $37,508 (25 percent below average)
- Customer Service Rep. $35,848 (28 percent below average)
- Category Assistant $35,592 (29 percent below average)
Despite the climate of skyrocketing rents and the still-ballooning student debt crisis, the data homes in on something actually quite uplifting: the job market has largely recovered from the collapse of ten years ago. Or, as Korn Ferry executive Benjamin Frost tells it: “With unemployment rates back down to pre-recession levels and jobs requiring more highly specialized skills, companies will need to offer competitive compensation packages if they hope to attract top talent.”