J. Kent's Blog - Articles for Employers and Job Seekers

Starting Salaries on the Rise for New Bachelor Degrees

Posted by: Emma Berdanier on May 23rd, 2018

Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

Starting Salaries on the Rise for New Bachelor Degrees

As Denver Recruiters, J. Kent Staffing has a strong niche of placing new grads into professional jobs. Good timing is certainly on their side with the favorable hiring climate and unemployment numbers at record lows, making it difficult for companies to find available talent. Many of us remember the very opposite in 2009 when eager grads with normally very marketable degrees found themselves moving back in with mom and dad and working a restaurant job just to make ends meet.

I also remember back to 1988 when, with a hot-off-the-press Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, I secured a Staff Auditor job in Boston with Arthur Andersen at $24,000, with plenty of unpaid overtime. 30 years later, a new Accounting Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers can generally expect a starting salary between $48,000 – $68,000.

2018 – 7.4% Starting Pay Increases in Denver Compared to 2017

According to an ADP study, the West – which includes technology hubs such as Denver, Seattle, and Silicon Valley – leads the way in terms of starting pay increases for newly minted workers. The West boasts increases of 7.4% over last year, compared with 5.1% in the Northeast, 4.9% in the Midwest, and 3.8% in the South.

Companies are eager to hire today, and that demand is driving up starting salaries in almost every sector. According to the National Association of College and Employers, 2018 bachelor’s degrees are earning starting salaries of:

  • Engineering | $66,521
  • Computer Science | $66,005
  • Math & Sciences | $61,867
  • Business | $56,720
  • Social Sciences | $56,689
  • Humanities | $56,688
  • Agriculture & Natural Resources | $53,565
  • Communications | $51,488

Consider Hiring New Graduates and Provide Training and Growth Opportunities

The scarcity of job seekers and increasing wages doesn’t have to be all bad news for companies. Take advantage NOW of the influx of new college grads into the job market! For your job openings that normally have a requirement of 3-5+ years of relevant experience, consider hiring a new graduate who generally comes with 0-2 years of internship and other experience. Their starting salary requirements will still be less than someone with 3-5+ years, and they will be highly trainable. This will also leave plenty of room in your company’s budget to be able to offer growth opportunities and future salary increases to these new employees.

Sources:  HR Magazine, May 2018; USA Today, 5/8/2018