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Stagnant Wage Growth for New College Graduates

July 16, 2019

Students who graduated from college in 2018 with a bachelor's degree earned an average starting salary of $50,944 per year, according to the latest version of an annual survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). That overall average is almost $500 more than last year's average of $50,516 for new graduates, the nonprofit group said. And the 2018 figure is up just 1.4 percent from the 2015 average of $50,219.

The survey also includes discipline-specific averages. For the last three years, computer science graduates have topped the list. But the average staring salary for graduates in this major, $71,411, is down 1.7 percent from last year's average of $72,677. Meanwhile, the annual starting salary for engineering graduates ($66,638) was up 1.7 percent, while the average for business graduates was slightly down, to $52,040.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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