What’s the best paying college major?

A new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) outlines some of the top fields of employment for new college graduates. The January 2013 Salary Survey recently released marks the fourth report using a new data collected by NACE.

This new and improved report contains employer-based data (from approximately 400,000 employers) gathered from government and other sources, and the data are actual starting salaries, not offers. Because the data come from a statistically valid sample of employers rather than from voluntary reports by students, the new report is more representative of the college population as a whole; the old report was heavily weighted toward engineering, accounting, and other disciplines that traditionally receive job offers prior to graduation.

In this final report on salaries for Class of 2012 graduates, the encouraging news that the overall average salary for this group is 3.4 percent higher the average salary for last year’s class is bolstered by the fact that salaries have increased across all broad categories of majors. The overall increase has carried the average starting salary for Class of 2012 graduates to $44,455, outpacing the average salary of $42,987 for members of the Class of 2011. Among the broad categories of majors, education (5.4 percent), business (4.2 percent), and communications (4.1 percent) experienced the largest increases to their average starting salaries.

Data contained in the Salary Survey are produced through a compilation of data derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, and a master data set developed by Job Search Intelligence. Data for the January 2013 Salary Survey report were retrieved in November 2012, and were compiled using a proprietary methodology created by Job Search intelligence.

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