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Keep salary offers in check for new college grads

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Starting pay for new grads will remain modest this year, except in certain fields, such as tech and engineering, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) predicts.

In a new report, NACE forecasts the average salary offer to computer science grads, which plummeted in 2002 and 2003, will rise 4.9 percent to $51,042 this spring. Information sciences grads will see a 3.9 percent increase, averaging $43,741. Those percentages are still nowhere near the level of a few years ago, when double-digit increases were typical.

Civil engineering grads will see a 5.1 percent increase in average starting salary, up to $43,159. Electrical engineering grads posted a 2.4 percent in-crease, to $51,113.

Average offers to graduates in business administration, marketing, accounting and economics/finance will rise only between 0.3 percent and 4 percent over last year. And offers for general liberal arts grads are expected to continue losing ground.

For more details, see www.naceweb. org.

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