According to CNN Money, 2011 college graduates will see an average starting salary increase over the 2010 graduates of 3.5%. The “big winners,” as far as starting salaries go, are engineers – averaging $60,000 plus, while across all majors (including non-engineers), the starting salaries average just above $50,000. Read the full article.
So what does this mean to you? If you are just starting your degree and are interested in engineering, this could be very good news. If you are finishing your degree in, say Liberal Arts, it is still good news since, on average, all majors are seeing a boost in starting salary. In fact, according to the Bureaus of the Census and Labor Statistics, just attending college and earning a degree gives you quite a boost:
Now that you are sure higher education is the right option for you, what area of study? If you know the area of study or even the area of the country that is of interest, I would suggest looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook online, where you can look at information by state or by career/industry.
When I looked at Colorado, I found that the area of the state expecting the largest growth between 2009 and 2019 is western Colorado, with a projected growth in jobs of 9.3%. When I looked at industrial engineers specifically, I found that in Colorado, the expected growth from 2009-2019 is 0.9%, as compared to the projected growth for all occupations of 0.8%.
You’ve been reading the blogs about looking for and securing a position, now you have a concrete tool to start you on your way to find the most likely openings by area of the country and/or area of interest. Go get started finding your next career, and congratulations on your successful completion of another semester of study!