Posts tagged ‘National Association of Colleges and Employers’

July 9, 2013

Petroleum engineer tops the list of highest paid majors

by Grace

Among graduates of four-year colleges, engineers dominate the list of top earners according to a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers survey.  Petroleum engineers are at the top.

Here’s the list of top 10 majors, with starting salaries:

  • Petroleum Engineering: $93,500
  • Computer Engineering: $71,700
  • Chemical Engineering: $67,600
  • Computer Science: $64,800
  • Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering: $64,400
  • Mechanical Engineering: $64,000
  • Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering: $63,400
  • Management Information Systems/Business: $63,100
  • Engineering Technology: $62,200
  • Finance: $57,400

Engineering technology is different from engineering.

Engineering and engineering technology are separate but closely related professional areas….

Engineering programs often focus on theory and conceptual design, while engineering technology programs usually focus on application and implementation.

Also, engineering programs typically require additional, higher-level mathematics, including multiple semesters of calculus and calculus-based theoretical science courses. Engineering technology programs typically focus on algebra, trigonometry, applied calculus, and other courses that are more practical than theoretical in nature.

Average starting salary for college graduates is up from last year.

The average starting salary for a member of the class of 2013 is $44,928, up 5.3% from the previous year, driven by big gains in fields such as health sciences and business.

But these figures are relevant only for those grads lucky enough to find a job during college-recruiting season or soon after. A recent report from the Department of Labor looked at data from 2007 to 2011 and found that 13.5% of bachelor’s degree holders were unemployed a few months after their 2011 graduations (Bleak, but far better than the 17.6% unemployment rate among that group in 2009).

Be careful about picking a college major based on today’s hot jobs.

“In the wake of a one-year jump of 55% in the number of U.S. petroleum engineering freshman students”, students should “be realistic about future job growth“.

April 22, 2013

For 2013 graduates, ‘college hiring to remain relatively flat’

by Grace

Consistent with a jobless recovery, 2013 college graduates see only a modest uptick in new jobs despite last year’s rosy predictions.

The economy might be improving, but few employers are hiring more new college graduates.

In fact, the hiring situation for new graduates looks about the same as last year, which is to say not very good, according to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Broadly, projections for hiring plummeted in 2009 but have ticked upward since then. Yet, there is only supposed to be a 2.1 percent increase in hiring graduates from the class of 2013. That’s the smallest increase in five years.

It’s nowhere near last year’s survey estimate that indicated a 13 percent increase in the hiring of recent graduates.

Demand is higher for jobs related to technology, healthcare, education, and business, and lower for graduates in the humanities and social sciences.


In light of  reports about curtailed school funding increases and an oversupply of teachers, it would be prudent for students to look into the details about exactly what types of jobs are included in the “educational services” category.

Salary increases vary substantially.

The college Class of 2013 commands an overall starting salary of $44,928—up 5.3 percent over the average starting salary their Class of 2012 counterparts realized ($42,666).

Figure 1: Average Salaries by Discipline*

Category 2013 Average Salary 2012 Average Salary Percent Change
Business $54,234 $50,633 7.1%
Communications $43,145 $41,550 3.8%
Computer Science $59,977 $57,529 4.3%
Education $40,480 $38,524 5.1%
Engineering $62,535 $60,151 4.0%
Health Sciences $49,713 $45,442 9.4%
Humanities & Social Sciences $37,058 $36,371 1.9%
Math & Sciences $42,724 $41,430 3.1%
Overall $44,928 $42,666 5.3%

*Source: April 2013 Salary Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Related:  Don’t pick a college major based on today’s hot jobs (Cost of College)

May 2, 2012

Unpaid internships – the good, the bad, and the ugly

by Grace

It’s an employer’s market out there but is there any excuse for employers getting free labor from interns?

Unscientific survey of interns conducted in New York City near the campuses of NYU, Columbia, and FIT

The good and the bad
Unpaid internships are problematic.  On one hand, they can offer unequaled opportunities for college students to gain real-world experience in their chosen field of study.  But some employers take advantage of free labor, only using students to handle menial tasks.  And lower-income students who cannot afford to take a summer off with no pay are penalized in this competitive race to gain valuable industry experience.

The practice of not paying young people for their labor has become so ingrained in the everyday practice of American business that we’ve forgotten how bizarre and recent the development is. In the early 1980s, 3 percent of college grads had had an internship. By 2006, 84 percent had done at least one. Multiple internships are common. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 75 percent of employers prefer students who have interned or had a similar working experience.

Employers have feasted on despair — and these aren’t internships for struggling small presses or rarefied design companies. Subsidiaries of General Electric, a company worth $200 billion, employ them regularly as an “important recruiting tool.” Disney uses eight thousand of them in dismal working conditions. Jennifer Lopez Enterprises uses them. So does The Daily Show. So does the pope. And because internship programs are sheltered from the violation of labor laws by the complicity of universities that give students “credit” for them — as long as the students pay thousands of dollars for those credits — American companies can operate these programs for the most part hidden from scrutiny. The best study of intern life in America found that companies save annually around $2 billion from pseudo-employment.

Government regulations
For-profit employers can get away with not paying student employees as long as they follow the federal government’s six-point test that attempts to ensure an educational experience for the intern.  I agree with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) that the criteria are reasonable except for the one requiring that the employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student.  What?  If the intern is to perform meaningful work, it would be hoped the employer will benefit.  With a rule like this, the government seems to be encouraging employers to skirt the law.

Charles Murray, writing on the problem of growing class divisions, suggests that unpaid internships should be banned.

It amounts to career assistance for rich, smart children. Those from the middle and working class, struggling to pay for college, can’t afford to work for free. Internships pave the way for children to move seamlessly from their privileged upbringings to privileged careers without ever holding a job that is boring or physically demanding.

I disagree with his extreme recommendation, but I would support allowing internships to pay less than the minimum wage.

It can get ugly
This topic is particularly relevant for me since we recently learned that my college son will be working this summer at his dream internship, unpaid.  I am thrilled, but here’s how desperate I am.  Given the tough labor market and the importance of relevant work experience in securing a job after graduation, I would be willing to pay for my son to get the right internship.   Apparently I’m not alone, as internships for sale are part of a growing trend.  I consider that the  “ugly” part of this internship story.

Related:  ‘Six in 10 internships lead to jobs’

March 6, 2012

Employers plan to hire 8.5% more college interns this year

by Grace
The Interns (film)

Good news for college kids: Companies plan to hire more interns this summer—with pay.

Employers plan to hire 8.5% more interns this year, with the vast majority of gigs slated for the summer months, according to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The nonprofit polled 280 member organizations, most of them large firms that recruit on campuses, between November and January.

Altogether, companies plan to hire more than 40,000 interns this year, up from about 36,900 last year, the study found. Nearly all respondents said they plan to pay their interns, though the projected average hourly wage for bachelor’s degree students fell slightly to $16.20, from $16.70 last year.

A sign of more hiring in the future?

The boost in internship hiring could be an early indicator that the job market is improving for college students, especially since many companies offer such programs as a stepping stone to long-term employment, says Andrea Koncz, an employment information manager at NACE.

Or is it simply employers taking advantage of cheap labor to get more work done?

Some labor experts caution against taking such an optimistic view. Companies with tight budgets sometimes cope with a heavy workload by hiring more interns or temporary workers, says Eileen Appelbaum, a senior economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Since these types of workers often don’t show up on the payroll, firms can increase production without incurring permanent expenses, she adds.

“Given the way the labor market is, I wonder if this is not just a form of inexpensive recruiting,” she says.

‘Six in 10 internships lead to jobs’

July 22, 2011

‘Six in 10 internships lead to jobs’

by Grace

Six in 10 internships lead to jobs, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an employment research group also known as NACE.

More details from the NACE website:

April 28, 2011 For students looking to get their foot in the door with an employer, there’s more evidence that taking part in an internship could be the answer, according to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Employers responding to NACE’s 2011 Internship & Co-op Survey reported that an average 39.1 percent of their entry-level hires from the Class of 2010 came from their own internship programs. In addition, the responding organizations reported converting, on average, nearly 58 percent of their interns into full-time hires.

“That’s the highest conversion rate we’ve seen since we started tracking this on an annual basis in 2001,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

Accounting, at least in part, for the highest-ever conversion rate: “Students accepted job offers from organizations at which they interned at the highest rate we’ve ever seen,” says Mackes.

In 2010, 86.5 percent of interns offered a full-time job accepted it, up from 83.9 percent in 2009—the previous “high-water” mark.

“This suggests that students were somewhat wary about the job market and opted to take the offer rather than gamble that something better would come along,” says Mackes. “As the job market improves, it’s likely that we’ll see that change as students have more opportunities available to them.”

Latest reports do not indicate that the job market will improve soon, all the more reason to start working now on next summer’s internship.

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