American Society of Employers (ASE) releases 2018 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey

By: American Society of Employers

Large spike seen in hiring of Human Resources/Labor Relations graduates.

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Manager, Communications, ASE, 248.223.8040, hnezich@aseonline.org

Livonia, Mich. —March 27, 2018 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, released the organization’s 2018 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey today. The annual survey provides a comprehensive look at the current state of wages and benefits provided to co-op students and recent college graduates.  The survey also presents employers a snapshot of the recruitment and retention trends associated with these new entrants to the workforce.

Mary E. Corrado, ASE President and CEO, stated, “Today’s employers must be able to attract these newest entrants to the workforce with competitive wages.  They also must be prepared to help them adapt to the work environment and set clear career goals in order to retain these younger workers.”

164 companies responded to the 2018 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey.  The average number of employees per participant was 827.  80% of respondents are located in the metro Detroit region with 49% of those classified as automotive suppliers.

2018 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey Highlights:

  • Nearly three out of four (73%) respondents say their company has hired, or plans to hire, a recent college graduate in 2018, similar to what was reported in 2017.
    • While the percentage of companies hiring a recent college graduate is similar to last year, less organizations are increasing their efforts to do so.
    • 23% of the companies have increased their hiring efforts this year compared to last year, a decrease of 9% from 2017.
    • Even though fewer companies are increasing their hiring efforts, the number of companies who decreased their efforts remains at 3%, and we instead saw an 8% increase in those whose efforts remained the same.
  • Statistically, the top five in-state institutions the responding companies actively recruit from are: 1) Michigan State University; 2) University of Michigan; 3) Wayne State University; 4) Oakland University; 5) Michigan Technological University.
  • Based on hiring activity, the top three most popular technical Bachelor-degree disciplines hired in the past year were: 1) Mechanical Engineering; 2) Electrical Engineering; 3) Computer Science
    • The overall hiring of graduates with a Computer Science degree increased by 12% from last year.
  • Based on hiring activity, the top three most popular non-technical Bachelor-degree disciplines hired in the past year were: 1) Business Administration; 2) Accounting; 3) tied between Finance and HR/Labor Relations
    • The hiring of graduates with an HR/Labor Relations degree for companies with 1 to 100 employees went from 0% in 2017 to 14% this year.
  • The top three knowledge/skill factors organizations consider when making hiring decisions, in order, are: 1) related coursework; 2) computer skills; 3) degree level.
  • The top three perceived shortcomings of recent college graduates are: 1) adaptation to work environment (57%); 2) career expectations (56%); 3) compensation expectations (49%).
  • Of the seven disciplines named above (Business Administration, Accounting, Finance, HR/Labor Relations, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science) the highest starting salaries went to the engineering disciplines.  The average starting salary for Mechanical Engineering was $65,160; and for Electrical Engineering the average was $58,865.  Finance came in at $52,686; Computer Science came in at $52,513; Accounting came in at $51,733; Business Administration came in at $50,965; and HR/Labor Relations came in at $49,809.
  • Pay rates for high school and college co-ops and interns were separated by technical and non-technical roles; the average hourly rate for a college senior in a technical field is $17.66 and $15.47 for a non-technical field; the average hourly rate for a college junior in a technical field is $16.46 and $14.70 for a non-technical field.

To obtain a copy of the 2018 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey, contact Kevin Marrs, Vice President at ASE, 248-223-8025 or kmarrs@aseonline.org.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization

Celebrating its 115th year of service, The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.