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Ah, the days of researching average starting salaries. It was a wonderful time, full of promise, where you would just browse through potential career options related to your degree like a stoner perusing a takeout menu on payday. As we all came to find out, the employment world doesn’t work like that. More often than not, your first job is usually not the one you want, and likely pays much less than you were anticipating back when you took the numbers in your career center’s brochure seriously.
There are, however, a few majors with nice starting salaries that hold up to scrutiny, which is borne out by a study of employment stats done by Michigan State. Among other general and specific numbers about jobs and the economy, they made a list of the starting salaries by each major. Here’s the top ten:
Electrical Engineering — $57,030
Computer Engineering — $56,576
Mechanical Engineering — $56,055
Software Design — $54,183
Computer Programming — $54,065
Chemical Engineering — $53,622
Computer Science — $52,237
Civil Engineering — $51,622
Mathematics — $47,952
Construction — $45,591
That list probably surprises no one. Engineering has always been a lucrative field, because there will always be a small number of people who actually have the intelligence and wherewithal to even get a degree in the first place. It’s also not a shocker that computer-related jobs are that high as well. Everything runs on computers now, and employment is still trying to catch up to demand there. Programmers get paid big bucks, and software companies don’t give two shits what your experience is, as long as you can code. Hell, even if you strike out in the higher end market, a computer-related degree will still get you an hourly job doing IT in any company for $15 an hour, minimum.
Not surprisingly, the less technically-focused degrees are on the low end, with Advertising coming in below even Social Work, which has been the stereotype of a low-income job requiring a college degree for years. Your coursework might be focused on advertising with Fortune 500 companies, but your first job out of school will likely be doing social media for a locally owned company for minimum wage. Don Draper didn’t have to put up with this shit, that’s for sure.
[via MSU Today]