Class of 2008 Grads in U.S. Earned Average $52,000 Four Years On

Bachelor’s degree holders with full-time jobs had an average salary of $52,200 in 2012, four years after graduating at the height of the Great Recession, a study showed.

For those not enrolled in further education, 83 percent of the Class of 2008 were employed four years later, a report by the National Center for Education Statistics showed.

Students who graduated with a degree in a science, technology, engineering or mathematical (STEM) field earned an average of $65,000, 31 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.

“The amount of money earned, jobs held and hours worked all look to be in favor of those who majored in STEM subjects,” Ted Socha, mathematical statistician and project officer for the report said in a phone interview. “It’s where the most in-demand and desired jobs are.”

Ninety-two percent of those with math or technology-related degrees worked full time, compared with 84 percent of those in other fields. They also held fewer jobs in the period, indicating that their employment is more stable, Socha said.

Employed males working one full-time job earned an average of 22 percent more than their female counterparts, who earned an average of $47,400.

The report surveyed 17,110 students about four years after they received their bachelor’s degrees in 2007-2008. The sample provides a nationally representative picture of the about 1.6 million students who completed requirements for a baccalaureate degree between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008.

“We wanted to paint the picture of how different decisions and those who come from different demographics shape what the differences are in terms of employment four years later,” Socha said.

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