back to blog

10 Top Paid Graduates of 2017

The Class of 2017 graduates have a lot to look forward to: CareerBuilder recently found that 74% of companies are hiring new grads, starting salaries are getting a boost, and, most importantly: No more finals!

So, what lessons can be learned to attract these soon-to-be graduates? For starters, it’s worth noting which majors are banking on higher salaries after college. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that degree-holders earn an average of almost 60% more than those with a high school diploma, certain sought-after majors have a particularly rosy outlook.


Highest Starting Salary

Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) ranks starting salaries for a variety of degrees, and trends continue to show that STEM careers demand the big bucks right after graduation.

The top five earners were:

  1. Engineering ($66,097)
  2. Computer Science ($65,540)
  3. Math and Science ($59,368)
  4. Business ($54,803)
  5. Agriculture/natural resources ($54,364)

Liberal arts majors, never fear: Your degrees still ranked highly, with an average salary of $51,925 for Communications majors and $53,459 for Social Sciences majors. In fact, the salaries for these paths are increasing by higher percentages than STEM careers (10-15% vs 5-7%).


Highest Expected Growth

Kiplinger took a different approach to make their list of best degrees for a career. This survey looked at salaries right out of college and over time, and also factored in number of open positions, long-term growth expectations, and percentage of workers who feel their job has a positive impact on the world.

Their methods yielded slightly different results:

  1. Civil Engineering ($55,600)
  2. Biomedical Engineering ($60,900)
  3. Nursing ($56,600)
  4. Computer Science ($63,100)
  5. Information Security ($57,100)

STEM careers pretty clearly take the lead on this list – in fact, they occupied all 10 positions. Most of these courses of study hone specific skills that are in high demand (Actuarial Mathematics, anyone?), meaning graduates are likely to have done the research and know what they’re worth.


So what does it take to hire a new grad?

It’s definitely a candidate’s market, and finding the right hire will take work. To attract new grads to your company, Craig Patterson, the Managing Director for the Professional division of The HT Group, advises showing new grads that your company invests in training and can provide a clear career path. This goes along with research showing that the new generation is searching for stable careers, as well as an agile, diverse workplace.

Working with a trusted staffing organization can also save you time in the hiring process, as recruiters will know the salary landscape for specific fields. It can take a special touch to determine if a “social chair” got that position through prowess in event planning or beer pong.

The HT Group will put in the time to seek out the achievers for you – contact us today to find the perfect new hire for your company.


(New grad looking for work? Submit your resume.)


Need to Find Qualified Employees?

If your company is in search of skilled employees, contact The HT Group here:


Like what you read?

Subscribe to our newsletter for more!

Copyright: dotshock / 123RF Stock Photo