Demand for new college graduates may be down this year, but large employers are still raising the ante for those with strong academic records. According to a recent survey of 263 major corporations by Coopers & Lybrand, salary offers have typically been running 3% to 5% higher for high-ranking 1992 college grads, with average increases for those with bachelor's degrees ranging from 3.2% for majors in computer science to 10.3% for agricultural science majors.

The survey notes that recruitment of mbas at top business schools remained strong, with average starting pay rising from $52,400 in 1991 to $53,700 (not counting sign-on bonuses or incentive packages). mba graduates of the Massachusetts of Technology garnered the highest salary offers, averaging $58,000.

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