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back to index backAMERItalk April,  2017


American Society of Employers (ASE) releases 2017 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation's oldest and largest employer associations, today released the organization's 2017 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey. 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, "This segment of the workforce represents an important category of talent for our members and other Michigan employers.  As the supply of labor continues to shrink, employers should be looking closely at how they attract and retain student workers and new college graduates."

165 companies responded to the 2017 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey.  The average number of employees per participant was 528.  80% of respondents are located in the metro Detroit region with 54% of those classified as automotive suppliers.

2017 Starting Salaries for Co-op Students and Recent College Graduates Survey Highlights:

·       There was an 8% overall increase from 2016 in organizations providing benefits to co-op students. Auto Suppliers providing benefits to co-ops increased 10%. 

·       For college co-ops, the following benefits were provided at least 10% more than in 2016. Prescription drug coverage, Sickness and accident coverage, and Paid vacation.

·       Nearly three out of four respondents (74%) say their company has hired, or plans to hire, a recent college graduate in 2017

o   Just over three out of five (65%) of those companies say hiring practices have remained the same in 2017 as 2016

o   Nearly two out of five (32%) of the companies who have hired or plan to hire a recent graduate in 2017 have increased their hiring efforts this year

·       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) Western Michigan 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) Manufacturing Engineering.

·       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) Sales/Marketing.

·       Automotive suppliers have increased their hiring of both Bachelor-level electrical engineers and manufacturing engineers, resulting in 17% and 13% increases respectively in hiring among automotive suppliers compared to a year ago.

·       The top three knowledge/skill factors organizations consider when making hiring decisions, in order, are: 1) computer skills; 2) related coursework; 3) degree level.

·       As in 2016, the top three perceived shortcomings of recent college graduates are: 1) career expectations (62%); 2) adaptation to work environment (60%); 3) compensation expectations (47%).

·       Of the six disciplines named above (Accounting, Sales/Marketing, Business Administration, Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), the highest starting salaries went to the engineering disciplines.  The average starting salary for Electrical Engineering was $63,013; Mechanical Engineering was $61,463; and for Manufacturing Engineering it was $55,767.  Business Administration came in at $49,110; Sales/Marketing came in at $48,769; and Accounting came in at $45,324.

·       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 $17.59 an hour and $15.52 for a non-technical field; the average hourly rate for a college junior in a technical field is $16.39 an hour and $14.51 for a non-technical field.

"¢ 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) Western Michigan 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) Manufacturing Engineering.

"¢ 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) Sales/Marketing.

"¢ Automotive suppliers have increased their hiring of both Bachelor-level electrical engineers and manufacturing engineers, resulting in 17% and 13% increases respectively in hiring among automotive suppliers compared to a year ago.

"¢ The top three knowledge/skill factors organizations consider when making hiring decisions, in order, are: 1) computer skills; 2) related coursework; 3) degree level.

"¢ As in 2016, the top three perceived shortcomings of recent college graduates are: 1) career expectations (62%); 2) adaptation to work environment (60%); 3) compensation expectations (47%).

"¢ Of the six disciplines named above (Accounting, Sales/Marketing, Business Administration, Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering), the highest starting salaries went to the engineering disciplines.  The average starting salary for Electrical Engineering was $63,013; Mechanical Engineering was $61,463; and for Manufacturing Engineering it was $55,767.  Business Administration came in at $49,110; Sales/Marketing came in at $48,769; and Accounting came in at $45,324.

"¢ 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 $17.59 an hour and $15.52 for a non-technical field; the average hourly rate for a college junior in a technical field is $16.39 an hour and $14.51 for a non-technical field.

To obtain a copy of the 2017 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.

Source: ASE - GAI



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