Survey finds graduate salaries surging

Average salaries for SUNY Oswego graduates made a sizable jump, despite a fairly flat job market, according to the college’s most recent career survey.

At $32,400, the average salary among 2004 graduates jumped more than $1,200 from the previous year’s average, the “Beyond Oswego” survey of 2004 graduates by the Office of Career Services found. Especially noticeable were nearly $3,000 jumps in the average salaries of graduates of the School of Education and School of Business, at $35,332 and $34,311, respectively.

Communication studies graduates reported the highest average salary ($42,556), followed by those with degrees in vocational teacher preparation ($40,272) and technology education ($37,321). Among School of Business graduates, those majoring in management science had the highest average pay ($37,000).

The highest reported salary was for a business administration major making $85,000.

The overall rate of recent graduates employed full time or pursuing graduate degrees stayed the same from the previous year, at 83 percent. Those reporting they had a job nudged down from 65 to 64 percent, while those in graduate programs edged up from 18 percent to 19 percent. Among responding 2004 graduates, 14 percent were still seeking work, while 3 percent said they were not looking at the time.

Because of the time it takes to compile and analyze the data, the survey provides a good snapshot of what graduates were doing, but represents an outdated picture of the job market, said Bob Casper, SUNY Oswego director of career services.

“Employers are painting a brighter picture for 2006 graduates, as the current job market is better than 2004 was,” Casper said. A national survey found a 20 percent increase in the number of companies who plan to do more hiring this year, he added.

The “Beyond Oswego” survey showed that 18 percent of employed graduates found work outside New York state. Of those who remained in the Empire State for work, the bulk found employment in Central New York (42 percent) with sizable numbers also employed in Western New York and downstate (14 percent each).

Among those pursuing advanced studies, half were doing so in Central New York, with more than four out of five remaining in state. Graduates were attending institutions that included Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Syracuse, Temple, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina, California at Berkeley, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the New England School of Law and SUNY Upstate Medical University.

The survey had a 74 percent rate of response among its target audience of Oswego graduates in August and December 2003 and May 2004. For more information or results, visit

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(Posted: Jan 25, 2006)