College & Workforce Readiness Opinion

NACE Report Reveals Growth in Education Industry, Drop in Salaries

By Emily Douglas-McNab — January 22, 2014 1 min read
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I recently came across a survey in Forbes from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) detailing salary information for more than 400,000 employers, from business to education to health sciences, and a variety of other industries. The data was collected in November 2013 from several sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Job Search Intelligence.

NACE connects HR and staffing professionals with university and college career services professionals at nearly 2,000 organizations across the country. They also provide data and analysis around salaries, recruiting, and hiring of college educated individuals.

According to the NACE survey, the average starting pay of 2012 college graduates with a bachelor’s degree was $44,482. In 2013, the average graduate earned $45,633. However, the data shows that the average starting salary for graduates entering the education field decreased 0.2 percent. See the chart below for more information. (Note: This information is from starting salaries, not salaries reported from job offers.)

The NACE report also showcased industries with the largest average starting salaries in 2013 for graduates with a bachelor’s degree. The highest paying jobs were in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction ($86,000); management of companies and enterprises ($57,891); construction ($57,742); manufacturing ($55,020); and finance and insurance ($54,660).

While the education industry saw a small drop in average starting salary, it actually attracted the largest number of graduates in 2013 by far. Specifically, “educational services"--which includes organizations that “provide instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects,” such as schools districts, universities, or training centers--had nearly 450,000 new graduates enter the field last year.

NACE also runs an employment survey that asks students whether they have found work. In 2013, “only 29.3% had landed jobs prior to graduation.” NACE also follows up with a survey of recent college graduates to see if they have found a job. In 2011, “59% of grads had found jobs 6-8 months after graduation, meaning more than 40% were unemployed.” Not surprising, but very concerning nonetheless.

Share your thoughts. Does this data surprise you? What does it say about the state of the education industry?

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