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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Job Market : PART ONE: JOB PROSPECTS : Starting Salary for College Graduates Trails Inflation

May 17, 1987|NANCY RIVERA BROOKS

Salaries for this year's college graduates will be up, but the increase is not keeping pace with inflation, studies by two universities show.

Average starting pay will rise 2.1% from last year, according to Northwestern University's 1987 Endicott-Lindquist Report, a survey of 230 companies.

Michigan State University, which polled 761 employers, predicted that salary offers for graduates with bachelor's degrees will increase 2.9% to $21,815. At the master's degree level, the expected gain is 2.8% to $26,628. And for doctorates, it is up 2.5% to $30,754.

U.S. consumer prices, however, rose at an annual rate of 6.2% during the first quarter of this year.

The relatively small increase in starting salaries "is a function of the marketplace," said Victor R. Lindquist, director of placement at Northwestern.

John D. Shingleton, director of placement at Michigan State, said today's starting salaries are generally down, in inflation-adjusted dollars, from when the university began tracking pay 12 years ago.

"The only disciplines that have kept (up) with inflation have been engineering," he said.

STARTING SALARIES FOR COLLEGE GRADUATES (Estimated, 1987 graduates)

Bachelor's Starting Percent Change Degrees Salary From 1986 Engineering $28,932 +1.8% Chemistry 27,048 +6.0% Computer Science 26,280 +2.6% Mathematics, Statistics 25,548 +1.4% Accounting 22,512 +3.4% Economics, Finance 21,984 -0.1% Business Administration 21,972 +0.5% Liberal Arts 20,508 +0.5% Sales, Marketing 20,232 +4.2% Other Fields 21,948 +1.1%

Source: Northwestern University's 1987 Endicott-Lindquist Report

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