New college grad salaries increase – Education News

on May17

16 May 2017 | 5:00 pm

New college graduates landing their first entry-level gig can expect to make 3 percent more than their peers a year ago, according to new a study.

Hay Group, a unit of Los Angeles-based executive search firm Korn Ferry, looked at the salaries of 145,000 entry-level positions from more than 700 organizations nationwide and compiled a snapshot of 25 jobs across multiple industries.

Based on those 25 positions, 2017 college grads nationwide can expect an average salary of $49,785, compared to $48,270 last year. In Chicago, the average is $54,515, up from $51,649 last year.

Read more: These are Chicago’s best places to work

When stacked up against six other major cities—San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas and Atlanta—Chicago ranked No. 4 in highest average entry-level salary. San Francisco was No. 1 at $62,829.

And looking back to darker economic times: 2017 grads overall will make 14 percent more than those who graduated before the Great Recession, in 2007.

TOP JOBS

The five highest-paying jobs (with the national and Chicago average salaries) are:

• Software developer ($65,232; $71,429)

• Engineer ($63,036; $69,024)

• Actuary ($59,212; $64,837)

• Scientist/researcher ($58,733; $64,356)

• Environmental professional ($56,660; $62,043)

The five lowest-paying jobs:

• Buyer/logistics ($44,247; $48,450)

• Call center specialist ($41,158; $45,068)

• Claims examiner ($37,508; $41,071)

• Customer service rep ($35,848; $39,254)

• Category assistant ($35,592; $38,973)

With the national unemployment rate back down to pre-recession levels, at 4.4 percent, companies are now having to recruit and pay for top talent. (The rate peaked at 10 percent in October 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

​ The National Association of Colleges & Employers says employers plan to hire 5 percent more new college graduates this year than they did from the class of 2016.

SEEING THE IMPACT ON CAMPUS

Marty Gahbauer, associate director of the Career Development Center at Loyola University Chicago, remembers how when he started at Loyola in 2009 he had only heard stories about employers coming to campus to aggressively recruit students. Now he’s seeing it firsthand.

There’s a wait list for employers at all of the university’s job fairs, he said, which accommodate anywhere from 50 to 120 employers at eight events throughout the school year.

“Over the past three, four years, you’ve seen the build in terms of employers coming back on campus, and it feels like it’s reached that tipping point where the hiring is strong and steady, and there’s not as many concerns as there have been in the past.”

Should all college grads get their hopes up?

LaSalle Network CEO Tom Gimbel says no. Not everyone coming out with a college degree is going to get paid more.

“Kids that are graduating from tier one, tier two, Big Ten, small liberal arts and private schools, those kids are the ones seeing an 8 to 10 percent increase,” he said.



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