NIU graduate salaries grow

By Galvin Kennedy

If recent salary trends for NIU graduates continue, seniors suffering from senioritis might be provided with an antidote.

The average salary for bachelor’s degree recipients went up 5 percent from the 1987-88 graduating class to the 1988-89, according to data published by NIU’s Career Planning and Placement Center.

The data also indicated that all six of NIU’s colleges offering undergraduate degrees experienced an increase in the average salaries for graduates.

The center annually conducts a mail survey of the post academic year’s graduates to learn where they have gone, what they are doing and how much money they are making.

After obtaining graduates’ names from the office of registration and records, center employees mail the survey during the summer and wait for responses. A follow-up survey is sent to non-respondants in September.

The cut off for returning the survey is around the end of October, said career counselor Vickie Oliver, who helped prepare the reports.

“Compliance with the survey is strictly voluntary,” she said.

The 1988-89 College of Engineering graduates are raking in the highest mean salary—nearly $27,500.

But the graduates with the mean percentage increase were from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, who are earning 20 percent more than their predecessors.

Dawn Oberman, statistical services specialist at the College Placement Council, said the increase in engineering salaries on a national basis is a result of “an increased demand for technical professionals.

“There has been a severe shortage of petroleum and chemical engineers since last year, and there’s no end in sight,” she said.

Graduates from the College of Business received the second highest mean salary at more than $23,000, followed by the College of Professional Studies, who earn about $22,056 per year.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts fared out at fourth and fifth with salaries of $21,429 and $19,217, respectively. The average salary for education graduates was $17,464.

Higher salaries are understandable in light of such variables as cost of living and inflation, Oliver said.

National salary trends are consistent with those at NIU. A salary survey conducted by the College Placement Council, Inc. for 1989-90 graduates indicated that accounting graduates garnered offers 5 percent higher than last year. NIU student salaries went up 3 percent.

Oberman explained national studies are conducted retrospectively so “we can’t make any predictions on how salary trends will move in the future.”

Oliver said statistics for the 1989-90 graduates should be available by February.