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College grads’ salary offers up 4.8%

Updated: October 20, 2011 12:27AM

Employers have loosened the purse strings for this year’s crop of college graduates.

The average starting salary offer to the Class of 2011 rose 4.8 percent to $51,018, compared with offers extended to the Class of 2010, according to the latest survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers released Wednesday.

The increases overall are a good indication that the job market for new college graduates is gaining strength, according to Marilyn Mackes, the association’s executive director. Still, salaries lag previous increases. In fall 2008, the average salary offer increase was 7.6 percent higher than in 2007.

The latest survey shows business graduates saw offers rise 3 percent across all disciplines to $48,694. Accounting graduates saw a 2 percent increase to $49,671. Business administration majors posted a 2.2 percent rise to $44,825, while economics graduates received offers 6 percent higher at $53,906.

Humanities and social sciences graduates saw their average salary offer spike 15.3 percent to $40,057.

Psychology graduates received a 23.8 percent increase to $40,069. But the average is skewed, according to the association. Most of the offers to psychology graduates were for sales or teaching positions, which averaged $35,362 and $38,866 respectively, the survey showed.

How other majors fared:

† Finance: up 4 percent to $52,351.

† Computer science: up 3.7 percent to $63,402

† Information sciences and systems: up 4.4 percent to $57,499

† Petroleum engineering: up 8.1 percent to $80,849

† Electrical engineering: up 2.8 percent to $61,021

† Mechanical engineering: up 3.2 percent to $60,345

† English: up 6.6 percent to $39,611

† History: up 8.1 percent to $40,051

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