Comparing Starting Salaries

People are sometimes interested in “Return on Investment” (ROI) or “value” of their university education, and part of this analysis needs the expected salary after graduating.  Data within Canada seems difficult to find, so I sometimes look at surveys like that produced by NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers) in the US.  Their most recent result (April 2013) is available here in summary form (the full version requires a paid subscription, which I don’t have).

Summarizing the results for 2013, we see the reported average starting salaries for various broad areas (rounding off to the nearest $1,000):

Business:  $54,000
Communications:  $43,000
Computer Science:  $60,000
Education:  $40,000
Engineering:  $62,000
Health Sciences:  $50,000
Humanities & Social Sciences:  $37,000
Math & Sciences:  $43,000
Overall:  $45,000

In many universities, engineering and computer science tuition are among the highest of the programs, so it’s good that their starting salaries are the highest too, on average.

The survey also shows average starting salaries by industry sector.  The sector labelled “Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction” had the highest value, at $84,000, while “Finance & Insurance” had the lowest at $53,000.  I think the first one is skewed by a pretty small number of highly paid jobs though, since there were only 1,100 new grads in that sector versus 100,200 in the Finance sector.

I don’t know how relevant or useful that information is on an individual level, but it’s interesting to look at.

2 thoughts on “Comparing Starting Salaries


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