Recent graduate salaries released

By Shawnna Lynch

As a member of the College Placement Council, NIU’s Career Planning and Placement Center uses statistical information from college graduates to provide dollar amounts and percentages for entry-level salary averages and yearly fluctuations.

The CPC has produced information for the period of Sept. 1, 1988 through Aug. 9, 1989.

“Basically, the surveys are provided to serve as a guide of what is being offered in the job market and to let college seniors know what to expect as a starting salary,” said Dawn Oberman, statistical services specialist for CPC.

The survey covers salary information given by students who graduated between Sept. 1, 1988 and Aug. 9, 1989. Surveys are sent via mail to graduates who are asked to respond with their personal experiences of employer practices, expectations and salary offers.

Once the information is gathered, it is collaborated into a central databank called Salary Survey in Pennsylvania. More than 2,800 organizations are members of CPC and are almost evenly split among colleges and employers.

Gary Scott, director of the NIU Planning Center, said the information obtained from NIU graduates is also locally comprised into the “Graduate Follow-Up Study ” newsletter, which is circulated around campus.

On the national level, CPC findings show that employers are willing to pay college graduates more money than last year.

Among engineers, chemical engineers came out the leaders in the salary search for top dollars.

They obtained average starting pay of $32,949, a 6.3 percent increase from last year, surpassing petroleum engineers who held the top spot last year.

Oberman said this salary increase reflects a “severe supply/demand imbalance.”

Petroleum engineers followed with a starting salary of $32,789, a 2.4 percent gain. Female petroleum engineers were offered the highest salary overall among the engineering disciplines with a $33,053 offer extended to them.

“Traditional employers usually make higher offers to women to attract them to their particular fields,” Oberman said.

The largest yearly increase went to human resource graduates who received a 12.4 percent raise in salary offers.

Health professionals benefitted from a 8.3 percent gain over last year, increasing salaries to an average of $24,416.

Employment offers for technical careers such as biology and engineering received 51 percent of job offers, where as non-technical careers such as business, accounting and liberal arts received 49 percent of offers.

Starting salaries in hotel and resturaunt management dipped 2.3 percent to $19,657, but Oberman said the decline does not positively indicate anything. “This is due to maybe just a slowdown in the field—we really have no conclusions on these findings.”

Graduate students are also included in the surveys, and recent findings show an increase in demand and salary. Non-technical M.B.A. graduates without work experience are starting with an average of $33,873. M.B.A. graduates with technical degrees receive $37,873, a 3.3 percent drop from 1988.

Graduates holding technical degrees and having four years work experience received a 8.4 percent increase to average their starting salaries at $49,296.