Bucknell University's Class of 2016 brought in the highest starting salary of any class in the University's history, averaging $54,625. That surpasses the 2015 average of $52,164 by nearly $2,000 and marks the third year in a row that salaries of the previous class topped $50,000.
That figure is just one of the highlights of the University's annual Postgraduate Report of Activity, administered by Bucknell's Career Development Center roughly nine months after graduation.
"This confirms for us that Bucknellians continue to compete successfully in today's marketplace for undergraduate level work opportunities within a wide variety of industry sectors," said Pamela Keiser, executive director of the Career Development Center. "It tells us that leading employers see significant value in a Bucknell education and the corresponding skill set and experience our graduates bring to the workplace."
Following a pattern of previous years, the response rate to the survey was extremely high, with 99 percent of the class — 841 out of 846 students — reporting their postgraduate activities. Ninety-seven percent of graduates were either employed, in graduate school, both employed and in graduate school, preparing for graduate school or volunteering, a 1 percent increase over the Class of 2015. Only 2 percent were still seeking employment, and 1 percent was engaged in volunteer or other activities.
Fifty-seven percent of the respondents reported salary information, a figure similar to last year. The mean starting salary for graduates of the College of Engineering was $65,381; School of Management, $57,642; College of Arts & Sciences, $49,281; and for Dual Engineering/Arts & Sciences, $57,190.
Top employers for the Class of 2016 represented a variety of industries, Keiser said, noting that the interdisciplinary education offered by Bucknell continues to lead to diverse job opportunities. Financial services, engineering, communications/sales and marketing, education, health care, research and development, and public service were among the top industries employing Class of 2016 graduates.
Bucknell also held its position as third among liberal arts colleges nationwide in the PayScale 2017 ROI Report, which measures mid-career salaries — typically 20 years after graduation — through a specialized return-on-investment metric.