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It’s a fantastic time to graduate in the US as an engineer or computer scientist

Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
A good year to be a grad.
By Max Nisen
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

As billionaires and education advocates go back and forth on the value of a college degree, an in-depth survey (pdf) that the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) just released offers an early glimpse of how most (65%) of the 266,119 people who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in the US last year are making out on the job market.

The class of 2014 is doing pretty well for itself, which should give some hope to the hundreds of thousands of American students who graduated over the past few months. More than 55% of the class is currently employed full time, and the average starting salary is $48,190.

Of course, within those headline numbers is a ton of variation. Salary and employment prospects differ pretty starkly. More granular data by sub-major is available at the NACE website:

Using full-time employment as a measure is a bit ungenerous to majors such as biology and the physical sciences, where a large number of students go on to get a graduate degree, but it does give a good sense of the job market overall.

A broader measure of a “career outcome,” which adds students employed in any way (including part-time work and internships/fellowships), those doing service for an organization like AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, those in the military, and those continuing their education puts the positive outcome rate at 80.3%.

NACE plans to repeat the survey on a yearly basis.

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