Average starting salary for grads with bachelor's degree up 2.4 percent

The overall average starting salary for Class of 2013 new college graduates currently stands at $45,327, an increase of 2.4 percent over the reported average of $44,259 for Class of 2012 graduates, according to the September 2013 Salary Survey.

Bolstering this positive news is the fact that salary increases are not limited to certain fields of study that are "carrying" the class. In fact, they are evident in all disciplines except one, computer science. (See Figure 1.)

Following are several highlights from the report:

  • Among the Class of 2013, the business disciplines experienced the largest increase to their overall average starting salary, which rose 7.9 percent to $55,635.
  • As a group, graduates in the computer sciences field saw their overall average starting salary decrease 2.5 percent from $60,038 last year to $58,547 this year.
  • Education majors not only saw their overall average salary bump up by 3.2 percent to $40,337, but all of the individual education fields also posted increases to their individual starting salary averages. The increases ranged from 1.7 percent for physical education majors to 7 percent for pre-elementary education graduates.
  • The overall average salary for engineering graduates rose 2.3 percent to $62,062. While some engineering disciplines saw large increases to their average starting salaries—e.g. bioengineering majors posted a 10.1 percent increase—other disciplines, such as computer engineering and aerospace engineering, saw decreases.
  • Overall, the average starting salary to graduates in the humanities and social sciences increased 2.6 percent over last year, bringing it to $37,791. Of the 11 reported majors within this group, eight posted increases to their average starting salaries, while just three posted decreases. On the higher end of the majors with increases were sociology (10.8 percent to $37,000) and criminal justice (8.1 percent to $34,800).
  • Graduates earning degrees in the math and science disciplines saw the least movement in their average starting salary in this report. The overall average salary for the group rose just 0.9 percent over last year, which brings it to $42,731.


Figure 1: Average Salaries by Discipline

Broad Category

2013 Average Salary

2012 Average Salary

Percent Change









Computer Science












Humanities & Social Sciences




Math & Sciences








Source: September 2013 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers


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