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.”
However, this is all to say that your major in college does play an outsize role in the kind of job you land. So if you're looking to earn a comfortable living directly after school, try to steer clear of these fields of study.