Business Majors See Starting Salary Increases

May 27, 2003 ( - New college graduates with accounting degrees have seen starting salary offers increase 2.6% in 2003.

Accounting majors can now expect an average annual starting salary of $41,360, according to a new survey. The majority of their offers were for public and private accounting positions, but those receiving offers in the areas of consulting and financial analysis were more likely to be offered bigger paychecks, according to the Spring 2003 Salary Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Breaking it down by sector:

  • Financial analyst positions were starting at $45,761
  • Consulting positions were starting at $45,680
  • Public accounting positions were starting at $42,191
  • Private accounting positions were starting at $42,145.

Other Business Degrees

Other business disciplines revealed increases as well, with business administration graduates receiving the highest increase (3.7%) to $35,209. Many of those job offers were for sales and management trainee positions.

Additionally, economics/finance majors received 1.8% more than last year, pushing their average offer up to $40,764, while marketing graduates received a 1.3% increase, raising their average offer to $35,822.

On the other side of the coin, management information systems (MIS) graduates were hit hardest among the business disciplines; their average offer dropped 5.0%, to $41,543. Similarly, the once red-hot computer science degree has seen its average offer decrease 7.6%, but still runs at a strong $46,536.

Starting Out

Looking across all degrees, a separate report by NACE found that employers expect to hire about the same number of new college graduates for 2002-2003 as they hired in 2001-2002. By industry, those projecting the highest increases in college hiring are:

  • Construction companies (35.7%)
  • Consulting services organizations (14.3%)
  • Public accounting firms (14.0%).

Conversely, those industries looking at the steepest cuts in college hiring include:

  • Utilities companies (31.0%)
  • Engineering/surveying firms (29.1%)
  • Chemical manufacturers (22.8%).