Top paying jobs for the class of 2012


Historically, college graduation has been a time of celebration. The years of hard work and studying have come to end, and life in the real world -- with a real paycheck -- can finally begin. Yet for the students who graduated from college over the past three years, leaving the safe haven of a university campus and entering into the unstable job market was more panic provoking than festive.

Now, in 2012, we can at last say that things are really and truly looking up for new college grads. According to the annual survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, overall, employers plan to hire 19.3 percent more new college graduates this fall than they did in the fall of 2010, the first double-digit percentage increase since 2007. In comparison, last year, hiring managers reported that they would be hiring 6.9 percent fewer new grads than the year prior.

There's good news on the pay front, too. Salaries for the graduating class of 2012 are up from the previous year for the first time since 2008. On average, students can expect a starting offer of around $50,462, 5.9 percent higher than the average offer of $47,673 that 2010 grads received. Plus, 75 percent of employers surveyed said they planned to offer higher salaries to this year's graduating class.

Like every year, though, certain degrees command a higher salary than others. While graduates from a variety of majors and disciplines have a shot at a decent salary in 2012, almost all of the top-10 offers will go to engineering and computer science grads. According to the NACE survey, the following are the highest anticipated payouts:

1. Chemical engineering
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $66,886
2. Computer science
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $63,017
3. Mechanical engineering
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $60,739
4. Electrical/electronics and communications engineering
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $60,646
5. Computer engineering
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $60,112
6. Industrial/manufacturing engineering
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $58,549
7. Systems engineering
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $57,497
8. Engineering technology
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $57,176
9. Information sciences & systems
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $56,868
10. Business systems networking/ telecommunications
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $56,808
For those who aren't graduating with an engineering or computer science degree, however, all hope for a high salary is not lost. There are other majors that can expect offers of more than $50,000 per year. Here are 10 more degrees that will pull in the big bucks.
1. Nursing
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $55,774
2. Mathematics
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $55,300
3. Economics
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $54,634
4. Management information systems/ business data processing
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $$54,372
5. Finance
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $53,048
6. Agricultural sciences (not including plant science, animal science or conservation majors)
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $52,934
7. Human resources
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $52,532
8. Logistics/materials management
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $50,602
9. Accounting
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $50,316
10. Liberal arts & sciences/general studies
Average annual salary offer to 2012 grads: $50,313




Source: careerbuilder

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