June 25, 2018, BY Beth Kaszuba

See highlights of the 2017 Bucknell Postgraduate Report of Activity

Bucknell's Class of 2017 broke a University record for highest mean starting salary, with last year's graduates reporting an average of $56,993 — an increase of more than $2,000 from the 2016 average of $54,625, according to the University's annual Postgraduate Report of Activity.

The survey, administered by Bucknell's Career Development Center roughly nine months after graduation, received a strong 99 percent response rate, in keeping with previous years. Data on employment status, employers and salaries was collected from 859 out of 867 individuals.

Ninety-six percent of 2017 graduates reported that they were either employed, in graduate school, preparing for graduate school or volunteering. Of those, 74 percent were employed, 14 percent were enrolled in graduate or professional school and 3 percent were both employed and enrolled in graduate school. Four percent were preparing for graduate school, and 1 percent were volunteering. In addition, 1 percent of respondents were engaged in other activities, while only 3 percent continued to seek employment.  

"The power of Bucknell's interdisciplinary, liberal arts education is again reflected in the collected data," said Pamela Keiser, executive director of the Career Development Center. "Members of the Class of 2017 not only earned a record-setting average salary in their first months after graduation, but they are also pursuing careers and opportunities with firms and organizations ranging from Apple to United Way Worldwide and Goldman Sachs to the Peace Corps."

Fifty-nine percent of respondents reported salary information, a similar response rate to the previous year's survey. Broken down by colleges, the mean starting salaries were:

  • $52,354 for graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences;
  • $71,752 for dual-degree graduates of the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Engineering;
  • $68,296 for graduates of the College of Engineering; and
  • $58,569 for graduates of the School of Management, which has since been elevated and named the Kenneth W. Freeman College of Management.

Of those who reported employment, 20 percent were in financial services, 14 percent were in engineering, 11 percent were in consulting, 9 percent were in education and 9 percent were in communications/sales and marketing. Other represented sectors included healthcare, research, law and insurance. Class of 2017 graduates also chose service with organizations such as Teach for America, AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.

In addition, Bucknell alumni continued to perform strongly in terms of mid-career salaries. The University remained ranked in the top 10 among liberal arts colleges nationwide in the PayScale 2017 ROI Report, which measures mid-career salaries through a return-on-investment metric.

Read the full Postgraduate Report of Activity.