College Business Grads Average Start: $47k

Although most starting salary offers to the college Class of 2009 have decreased slightly from those offers extended to the Class of 2008, business disciplines have seen increases in compensation offers, according to a new report.

As a group, the average offer for business disciplines was up 1% to $46,973, and some of the individual disciplines saw modest increases in their average salary offers, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in a news release regarding the Spring 2009 version of its periodic Salary Survey. For example, the average salary offer to those earning degrees in accounting rose 2% to $48,377, while finance graduates saw their average offer rise 2.3% to $49,754. Business administration/management graduates fared well in comparison, posting a 3.6% increase for an average offer of $45,778.

However, the overall average offer to a 2009 bachelor’s degree graduate was $48,515—down 2.2% from the year before.

The engineering disciplines fared best as a group, posting a 2.3% increase in their overall average offer, which now stands at $58,438. Chemical engineering graduates posted the largest increase with an average offer up 2.8% to $65,403.

Meanwhile, computer engineering graduates posted a 1.8% increase, pushing their average salary offer to $61,017. Experiencing similar increases were civil engineering grads (up 1.7% for an average of $51,793) and mechanical engineering graduates (up 1.6% for an average of $58,749).

Computer science majors didn’t fare as well, losing 3.6% off their average, bringing their current starting salary offer to $57,693.

The survey is a quarterly report of starting salary offers to new college graduates in 70 disciplines at the bachelor’s degree level. More information is available at