Best college tech majors for landing a top starting salary

Not all tech degrees are created equal -- especially when it comes to what you earn straight out of college. Take a look at where the money is in 2013 for new graduates.

salary for college tech majors

Whether you are just entering the IT workplace as a college graduate or are still deciding on a major, knowing which occupations pay the best and are the most sought-after is crucial to making an informed decision.

The April 2013 Salary Survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) looks at the starting salaries for graduates who have a degree in specific areas of study.

The results of this survey come from data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau and a master data set developed by Job Search Intelligence, a compensation measuring firm. This report offers the most recent earnings data from NACE.

For a look at NACE 's January 2013 Salary Survey, click here.

Electrical/Electronics and Communications Engineering Sees Healthiest Growth

Electrical/electronics and communications engineering sees healthiest growth

The report shows the largest overall increase in salary per discipline is in electrical/electronics and communications engineering, which grew 6.2 percent, bringing the average salary in that discipline to $63,400. Of all disciplines, computer engineering produced the highest average salary of $71,700, with computer science right behind it at $64,800, an increase of 5.2 percent since the last report.

Computer Science Major Shows Largest Increase

Computer science major shows largest increase

Much like the previous report, government positions paid the most in the computer science field with starting salaries of $68,800, with manufacturing jobs following close behind at $68,700. Information and finance/insurance were next, tying at $67,200.

Information Science Majors Look to Government

Information science majors look to government

Within the computer science area, computer science majors themselves scored the largest increase—up 5.2 percent to $64,800. Those graduating with an information science and systems major are still faring the best by seeking federal, state, and local government jobs, bringing in $65,200 on average for newly hired grads, followed not far behind by manufacturing, which is now paying $59,900 on average.

Manufacturing Careers for Computer Engineers

Manufacturing careers for computer engineers

Computer engineers working in the manufacturing industry can expect to make $74,900 right off the bat with a bachelor's degree, the highest of any for this area of discipline. Information technology came in a close second at $74,600 on average for graduates.

Electrical/Electronics and Communications Well Governed

Electrical/electronics and communications well governed

Those with an electrical/electronics and communications degree will do well to seek jobs within the federal and local government, where the applicant can expect to make $72,400, the highest average within this discipline. Those with a master's degree in this discipline would do well to look to the manufacturing industry, where they could bring in $83,500 as aerospace engineers.

Engineering Technology Grads Go Private Sector

Engineering technology grads go private sector

Graduates with engineering technology degrees might also want to consider a government career, as the private sector is paying $70,300 on average, with some paying as much as $75,100 annually. Working as software developers within the applications and systems software industry, the average for the engineering technology graduate is $64,000.

Follow Your Dreams, but Dream Wisely

Follow your dreams, but dream wisely

There are many reasons to choose one career over another, including local opportunities within a given industry, monetary goals and personal preferences. A wise student will take the time to consider which field they would enjoy working in, where their talents lie, and where the money is within their particular industry when considering their educational path.

For a look at NACE 's January 2013 Salary Survey, click here.

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