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The escalating cost of higher education is causing many to question the value of continuing education beyond high school. The risk is especially nerve-racking for low-income families and individuals who may have a difficult time making ends meet without the additional burden of college tuition and fees. However, according to the Summer 2007 issue of Salary Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), increased hiring is increasing the average starting salary is for a college graduate.

Just what were the findings?College Campus

  • Chemical Engineering majors earned an average 5.4 percent more than 2006
  • Computer Engineering majors averaged $56,201, up 4.8 percent
  • Mechanical Engineering rose 4.6 percent to $54,128
  • Electrical Engineering increased by 3.2 percent to $55,292
  • Civil Engineering up 5.4 percent to an average of $48,509
  • Information Sciences received a 4.6 percent increase to $50,852
  • Economics graduates (business/managerial) were offered an average of $48,483, while finance graduates received approximately $47,239
  • Management of Information systems posted a 4.2 percent increase to $47,648
  • Business Administration and Management graduates saw their average rise 3.9 percent to $43,701
  • Accounting grads' average rose 2.3 percent to $46,718
  • Marketing graduates averaged $40,161, up 6.1 percent
  • Political Science majors averaged 5.9 percent more at $34,590
  • English majors' averages rose 5.3 percent to $32,553
  • Psychology majors averaged $31,631, up 4.7 percent
  • Sociology majors earned 3.5 percent more at $32,033
  • History majors were offered an average of $33,768, up 3.3 percent.

Overall it seems as if the hiring trends keep moving upward. The reason for this has to do with increased competition by college students for jobs according to Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

In that survey, nearly nine out of 10 employers reported that they’re seeing more competition for new college graduates than in past years, and they believe that competition will continue to increase in the coming years

The article also adds that college graduates received higher levels of saving, increased personal/professional mobility, improved quality of life for their children, better consumer decision making, and more hobbies and leisure activities time than high school graduates alone.

However, there are disadvantages to these findings as well. Because of the higher competition to both get into college and to find a job just after college, there are higher expectations on performance in these areas. Students and Job Searchers will have a harder time and much more demands placed upon them than in previous years. This translates into additional stress and a need for more commitment to studying and training.

Additionally colleges are becoming more and more expensive. This year alone, many states are increasing tuition by 10-15% which translates to hundreds of dollars added for each student per semester.

From 2001 to 2006, average tuition at public universities jumped 35% after adjustment for inflation, the largest five-year increase on record, according to the College Board. - USA Today

For those in High School and for those with no college education, it is good to consider carefully your options for getting a college degree. Now may be the best time to get a degree, and it is very worthwhile to carefully consider the long term investment of an education.

Are you willing to invest time and money towards a college degree? It will take long term commitment and dedication to obtain a degree. However, employers will continue to favor those with college degrees when hiring for a long term position. A degree means that you are willing to work hard for the long run, and with the current trends of starting salaries on the rise, the reward would definitely be worth the investment.

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