College graduates of the class of 2010 are not only competing for fewer jobs than those who have graduated in the recent years before them, they also are accepting less pay. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' quarterly salary report, the average starting salary for new graduates was $48,661, a 1.3 percent decrease from that of 2009 graduates. Starting salaries for college grads began to decrease in 2009, and the last increase was seen in 2008, with then graduates earning 7.6 percent more than the class of 2007.
The biggest drop in salary was for those who graduated with a degree in general studies, decreasing by 17.7 percent with an average offer of $37,356. Graduates who majored within the liberal arts were offered an average salary of $33,540, a drop of 8.9 percent from the previous year. Times are even tough for business graduates. Business administration majors are starting at $42,094, an 8 percent decrease, while offers made to marketing majors fell by 2.1 percent at $42.710. And even though they live in a society that revolves around technology, majors in this field who graduated with degrees in computer science and computer engineering also experiences a slight drop in salary offers.
Even though salaries for many majors are decreasing, there are some that are paying new employees more. Surprisingly a slow economy has not hurt those in hospitality services management, as these graduates experienced the highest increase, 10.6 percent, in average salary offers at $44,397. And not all majors in the technology field are hurting financially, those graduating in information sciences had an average salary offer of $55,084, a 5.7 percent increase. The average starting salaries of engineering graduates rose by 4.2 percent to $59,670, with the highest increase, 13 percent, for those in petroleum engineering whose offers averaged $85,417. Students who handle money just may continue to make more, as offers for economics majors rose 2.1 percent to $50,885, and a slight increase of 0.8 percent was made in salary offers for finance majors averaging $50,356.
In the end, all of this talk of joblessness and salary cuts may have recent college grads feeling discouraged and confused about what they should do. Those struggling in this economy need to remember to appreciate any job that they do have and look for opportunities to gain experience in the career field they are interested in. That way, when salaries do begin to increase again, they have the qualifications and the experience to prove they deserve a pay raise.