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Salaries For New Graduates Has Increased Since Last Year

Good News For New Grads: The Class of 2008 Is So Money

According to a recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary offer is 4 percent higher for 2008 graduates than offers received by the class of 2007. Whatever you received your bachelor's degree in doesn't necessarily point to what type of job you'll end up working as your first, but some majors lend themselves to a more direct path than others.

If you regret choosing your major, don't feel like you must pursue a job in a related field — consider using your first job as a stepping stone and a way to get your foot in the door with an industry that interests you, even though you may not have the educational background to support it. Transitioning is always an option at any point in your career, but you're better off taking those chances now instead of in a couple of years when your salary needs and life demands may not be so flexible. Careerbuilder rounded up some of expected salaries for common majors that new grads can look forward to, along with some of the job opportunities that you could possibly pursue with your degree.

  • Economics - $52,926: Career options for economics majors vary from private consulting for businesses to working for government agencies.
  • Nursing - $52,129: Nursing majors can find job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, doctor offices and other medical facilities.
  • Chemistry - $52,125: Chemists can find work in laboratories, pharmaceuticals, chemical manufacturing or research and development, and more.
  • Political science/government - $43,594: Political science and government graduates have the option of working in the state, local or federal governments, as well as in the private sector or nonprofit organizations.
  • Human resources - $40,250: Human resources majors work as assistants and payroll or benefits coordinators, and in diversity training.

There are five more on the list so just


  • History - $35,956: A degree in history (aka liberal arts) means you can be an educator, researcher, communicator or editor, information manager, advocate or even a businessperson.
  • Communications - $35,196: Communications has much of the same focus as public relations, advertising, journalism, marketing and business management. The skills you learn in this major are transferable to many areas.
  • English language and literature - $34,757: English majors typically work in education, but other traditional fields of work include writing and editing for newspapers and publishing firms, public relations and broadcasting, or technical writing for advanced industries.
  • Journalism - $32,250: Journalism majors will find successful careers in print, broadcast TV or radio journalism, as well as opportunities in media relations.
  • Psychology - $30,877: Psychology graduates can put their degree to use in the mental or social services sectors, as well as in business or education.
  • Public relations/organizational communications - $30,667: Careers in public relations include orchestrating PR strategies for companies and nonprofit organizations, writing communications and even working in advertising.


Join The Conversation
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
These numbers do seem extremely high for new graduates. I am just glad that we are posting great messages for new grads. I JUST graduated and am feeling the anxiety of not wanting to work in my "field" and trying to break in at entry-level in a new area. It's starting to get rough a week out of the gate. Thanks Savvy.
katiedid0985 katiedid0985 9 years
As a former reporter I concur that they make bad money. True I was in a rural area, but 24k sound pretty par for the course. Although I am a little confused as to why someone went into newspaper reporting (which is what I did) to make more money than TV. Print journalists make about the same or less! (Unless you're in a big market and have been there a long time)
verily verily 9 years
Gotta agree, Bella. It's insane how little journalists get paid. My friend started out as a TV reporter making maybe 24k a year and realized that he would never make a lot unless he landed an anchor position in a MAJOR market. He gave up and went back to the newspaper biz, which he had been working in since high school.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Journalism majors would be VERY lucky to get $32k out of the gate. I was offered $24k for an editorial assistant job at a magazine when I got out of school, and from my research, the salaries are still about the same.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Psychology '07. I think that Psychology is one of those fields that if you want to get involved in, it requires at least a M.A. or Ph.D. for high advancement and prestigious careers. At least all the types of counseling I know of require some sort of higher degree. However, it's a good major in terms of the fact that it doesn't limit you and it's a good feeder for Law School, business, marketing and a slew of other things. This just can make it a little overwhelming since there is not necessarily a defined path.
ehadams ehadams 9 years
Class of 2007 FTL. :( These do seem really high. I graduated in 2007 and most of the jobs I applied for paid around $35k in Los Angeles. So either these salaries are for people with graduate degrees, or people who have been working for years in that job- not new grads with no experience. Kinda misleading.
juju4 juju4 9 years
I'm in LA, and I seriously doubt that new grads will be getting $40K for an HR position, but it really depends on what kind of work experience they had in college. If someone doesn't have experience, an entry level office position in HR would probably pay $35K in this economy. At my office we've noticed that recent graduates tend to over-estimate what they are worth right out of the gate. It is always rough to break the news to them when they expect $60K a year with no experience!
MindayH MindayH 9 years
I think this goes for big cities. I work as a recruiter and feel like these pay rates are on the high side for new grads.
cassedy04 cassedy04 9 years
my two cents.... its important to note that these are averages - some people will get more and some people may get less
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ... I've been in publishing for 2 yrs and am NOW getting that salary for English majors.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
Political Science '04 and aside from my internship I have never worked in my field.
bluebird bluebird 9 years
any good news for general business students?
aistea311 aistea311 9 years
English major :)
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
Working on my Criminal Justice/Psychology degree. :woohoo:
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Communications major circa '04. Ha.
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