Companies Recruiting College Grads May Need to Increase Their Budgets

I was recently talking with a friend of mine whose son is starting his sophomore year in college and just changed his major to Petroleum Engineering.  When she asked her son why he chose that major he informed her that is has the highest starting salary potential of any job for college graduates.  He obviously did his research as you will see below.

As a quick follow-up to my recent post about college recruiting, here are the top-paying jobs for recent college graduates (and those which give the term “entry-level” a new meaning):

1.      Petroleum Engineer. Putting physics, chemistry, and industrial engineering classes to work can net a twenty-something nearly $120,000

2.      Computer Hardware Engineer. It requires a computer science degree and the ability to keep up-to-date with almost-daily changes in the industry. But at $97,000, it’s probably worth it.

3.      Electrical Engineer. The field now includes robotics. And it can bring an $85,000 salary.

4.      Investment Banker. Who said that scientists and technicians should have all the good-paying jobs? $85,000 a year for those who can perform top-notch financial research and communicate it effectively.

5.      Economist. No longer practitioners of “the dismal science” and certainly no longer confined to the halls of academia and government, economists help companies (and non-profits) of all shapes and sizes understand and prepare for changing market trends. Salary: $84,000.

6.      Computer Programmer. No need to explain this one. Starting salary: $73,000.

7.      Management Analyst. I’ll confess that I hadn’t heard of this job before reading the description in the article that provided the information for this post. I guess they assist in making and executing strategic plans for businesses. Hard to imagine someone right out of college doing that, but easy to imagine a smart 23-year-old contributing to a team – especially when he or she can make $73,000.

8.      Database administrators. Like everything else related to IT, these people are in demand. And the starting salary of $73,000 reflects that.

9.      Registered Nurses. I’ve read a lot about a coming (and possibly current) shortage of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Add to that the force of unions and you get a $68,000 salary.

10.  Landscape Architects. The modern rage for good design and environmental responsibility have created a demand for these professionals. The result: a $64,000 starting salary.

As you can see from some of these starting salaries, companies may being seeing a rise in their human resource expense line, driven by the newest members of the work force.  This will put even more pressure on corporate recruiters to better execute on their talent management strategies and tactics if they want to fill some of the above mentioned positions without having to offer the highest salary in the market.

Do these starting salaries seem high, low or about right to you?  Feel free to comment below!

Views: 115

Comment by Megan Flynn on September 1, 2011 at 11:56am
Where did this information come from? As a semi-recent college graduate with many friends in these fields, as well as someone who recruits Computer Hardware and Software Engineers, these figures seem way off.
Comment by Tim Giehll on September 2, 2011 at 10:33am

Someone in our marketing team said these figures made her question her career choice!  Do you think they seem high?


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