Thingish Things

ACTUAL Starting Salaries

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - May• 19•11

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) released dubious statistics two weeks ago claiming that the “average salary offer to all Class of 2011 graduates” is $50,462 . These pages called bullsh*t, as did every single reader responding to the post. The number simply didn’t mesh with reality.

Friday’s New York Times story, Outlook is Bleak, Even for Recent College Graduates, concurs with that assessment — in a big way.

In her story, Catherine Rampell of  The Times writes:

The median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000, down from $30,000 for those who entered the work force in 2006 to 2008, according to a study released on Wednesday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. That is a decline of 10 percent, even before taking inflation into account.

Of course, these are the lucky ones — the graduates who found a job. Among the members of the class of 2010, just 56 percent had held at least one job by this spring, when the survey was conducted. That compares with 90 percent of graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007. (Some have gone for further education or opted out of the labor force, while many are still pounding the pavement.)

I’d like to see the statistical acrobatics NACE had to use to come up with its figures.  Its “average” was $23,000 more than Rutger’s medium– almost double.  You don’t have to be a math major to be skeptical of that. Or, was NACE cooking the numbers to rationalize its member fees as a professional organization? That’s the larger question.

I’m a PR guy.  I blow sunshine up you know where for a living.  But NACE’s numbers look like more than spin to me.  They appear downright fraudulent and they ought to be checked, before struggling college graduates see them and begin feeling like big fat losers. That would be a crime. They have it tough enough already.



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  1. Me says:

    Language, Billy, language!

  2. Bill says:

    I was intoxicated by the name of an old bar game.

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