Median Starting Salaries for College Graduates $27,000 or $40,735?

According to “…employer-based data…[of] actual starting salaries…” the median is $40,735 for 2011.  This number was reported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. (

According to a survey by Knoledge Networks (, which has the “…only nationally representative sample of young people…that can be surveyed online…” it is $27,000 for “…those coming into the workforce in 2009 and 2010…”  These numbers and quotes are from a report, Worktrends, by The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

Which do you think is correct?  All I can say is that a survey where the Executive Summary’s second paragraph starts with  the sentence, “Overall, the average starting salary for a Class of 2012 graduate is $44,442…” is, in my opinion, misleading.  First, the average is $1873 more than the median that even they report, yet they decide to report the higher number.  Second, they don’t say which employers they survey.  Third, and most importantly, unemployed is not an employer,so they seem to be missing a lot of people who would lower their median and average considerably.  What about part-time employment?  Do they count that? Probably not.  This all just looks like more marketing to me.  For example, remember my post about the undergraduate data from Washington University? Students: Understand the difference between Oranges and Apples when picking a school


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