Study: 2016 college grads see 3.8% salary increase over last year's class
- The class of 2016 earned 3.8% more salary than 2015 grads, reports SHRM. The results from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)'s Fall 2016 Salary Survey show that the average 2016 graduate salary is $52,569, compared to $50,651 for the last graduating class at the same point a year ago.
- The 3.8% salary increase is significantly above the rate of inflation; consumer prices rose by 1.6% from October 2015 to October 2016. Reported salaries for graduates with computer science degrees – the survey’s highest paying degrees – are driving the salary increase in general. Grads with engineering degrees earn the next highest salaries, but the highest year-over-year increase was in pay for math and statistics graduates, a rise of almost 16%.
- According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 Survey, employers planned to hire 11% more new graduates during the 2016-17 period than in 2015-16, but slower than expected economic growth has led to a diminished 5.8% increase.
Savvy students know what the going salaries are in their chosen fields, but recent studies suggest that college students and employers are not entirely on the same page when it comes to entry-level salaries. In recruiting and hiring college grads, employers will want to review the going pay rates in their respective regions to keep wages competitive to attract these graduates.
It's also notable that jobs in the STEM fields have contributed to the increases given the reported shortage of STEM talent within many companies as well as the impact of the potential tech hiring bubble. Both developments are worth keeping an eye on for tech recruiters, and each could significantly impact new grads' chances of finding available positions regardless of their qualifications.
While big corporations have the resources for large-scale recruiting, employers on smaller budgets can offer valuable first-job experiences for young people entering the job market.