With an average starting salary of $61,112, computer science is the third most highly paid major for the Class of 2010, according to a National Association of Colleges and Employers study of recent bachelor’s degree program graduates. Computer engineering and electrical/electronics engineering came in fourth and fifth at $59,917 and $59,381, respectively. Ranked first and second were petroleum and chemical engineers.
“Those high starting salary offers reflect the uneven supply and demand that exists for these graduates, even in the current economy,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director. “All of the top five earners are in short supply. Each accounts for less than 1 percent of the degrees granted.”
Engineering degrees accounted for only 5.4 percent of the 1.56 million bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2008, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
However, despite these relatively high starting salaries, each is actually lower in comparison to last year’s averages. The average starting salary for computer engineering grads is down 2.9 percent while electrical/electronics engineering has seen a decline of 1.2 percent. The loss was smaller for computer science graduates as the average only slipped 0.5 percent.