Because the University of Notre Dame is highly regarded for its scholarship and well established from its founding in 1842, the South Bend, Indiana, school produces students who are in high demand in the working world. Such demand reveals itself in the starting salaries of its graduates as compared with those of other schools.
The university's career center says that the average starting salary for Notre Dame undergraduates was $53,796 a year for the Class of 2011. This proved far higher than the average starting salary of $41,701 reported for all college graduates by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters graduates, for instance, earned an average starting salary of $46,166 (only architecture, at $39,167, was lower). Still, this was higher than the $35,503 yearly salary averaged by humanities graduates at all universities.
The highest starting salaries at Notre Dame went to College of Engineering graduates, who averaged $59,978 per year. In contrast to the overall undergraduate average, Notre Dame engineering graduates made less than the average $61,872 for all engineering graduates at all universities. At Notre Dame, the highest engineering annuals went to computer science at a mean $64,767 and computer engineering at a mean $64,250. The lowest went to aerospace at $56,527. Average annual salaries for other engineering fields included $53,029 for civil, $61,529 for electrical and $59,210 for mechanical.
The Mendoza College of Business boasts the largest enrollment of any college at Notre Dame. Its graduates earned the second highest average starting salary of $56,682 per year. This was higher than the mean $48,144 earned by all business graduates at all universities. Annual salaries for Notre Dame business graduates differed by field. Those who majored in management entrepreneurship ($61,750) and finance ($61,562) averaged the highest starting salaries, while marketing majors earned the least at $49,245. Graduates in accountancy earned $54,044, slightly ahead of information technology management graduates at $53,768.
In 2011, the career center at Notre Dame conducted more than 230 career development programs that over 15,000 students attended. These seminars introduced attendees to different industries and explained the basics of looking for work. The center also used social media and the Internet to get the word out about its services. According to the career center, 54 percent of graduates found full-time employment within six months of graduation. About 30 percent continued on to graduate or professional schools, 9 percent entered service programs and 3 percent joined the military.
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