The Average Salary for the Class of 2017 Hits a Record High

The Average Salary for the Class of 2017 Hits a Record High

Congratulations, Class of 2017 — all those term papers and all-nighters have finally come to an end.

But you have one more reason to break open the bubbly: The average salary for recent grads has increased to $49,785, according to a study by executive-search firm Korn Ferry International.

See, grads, the real world isn't all student loans and moving back home. There are good parts, too!

This number, which came from an analysis of 145,000 entry-level positions across more than 700 organizations, is up 3% from 2016. Even more promising: After being adjusted for inflation, salaries are 14% higher than those of the Class of 2007, before the start of the recession.

"With unemployment rates back down to pre-recession levels and jobs requiring more highly specialized skills, companies will need to offer competitive compensation packages if they hope to attract top talent,” said Benjamin Frost, product manager for Korn Ferry, in a statement.

Now that's a nice change of pace.

Additional findings from the study reveal that students entering science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers can expect the highest starting salaries, with software developers expected to make an average of $65,232 (the highest of the study).

Highest-Paying Entry-Level Jobs

1. Software Developer; $65,232
2. Engineer; $63,036
3. Actuary; $59,212
4. Scientist/Researcher; $58,733
5. Environmental Professional; $56,660

And, of the lowest-paying jobs, the one that came in last — category assistant — still had an average salary of more than $35,000.

Lowest-Paying Entry-Level Jobs

1. Category Assistant; $35,592
2. Customer Service Representative; $35,848
3. Claims Examiner; $37,508
4. Call Center Specialist; $41,158
5. Buyer/Logistics; $44,247

Location plays a role as well, with all seven of the major cities analyzed showing increases in entry-level salaries. The average salary in San Francisco was $62,829, followed by New York City, at $60,190. Of course, before you pack your bags for the big city, don't forget about the added cost of living.

The takeaway: Things are finally looking up in the jobs market. So go ahead, have that second glass of champagne — then get cracking on that résumé.

RELATED: Your College Major Could Predict When You'll Get Married

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