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MIT graduates earn high marks in the job market

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--The highest salary offered to a member of the MIT Class of 2000--$80,000--went to a graduate of the School of Engineering for consulting work, according to a survey compiled by the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising based on 446 salary offers voluntarily reported by June graduates.

Post-graduate work paid even better.

The average reported offers for individuals earning the PhD ranged from $71,000 to $96,700. The highest offers of $110,000 went to PhDs in the School of Engineering interested in financial or consulting work and PhDs in electrical engineering and computer science.

Other offers at or above $100,000 were for Master of Engineering degrees in computer science and Master of Engineering or PhD degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, Master of Science degrees in the Leaders for Manufacturing Program (LFM) or the Technology and Policy Program, and Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees from the School of Engineering who are interested in careers in financial and consulting work. PhDs in mechanical engineering and LFM received high offers of $96,000.

MIT will award about 1,100 bachelor's degrees and 1,200 master's degrees at Commencement on Friday, June 2. A special hooding ceremony for about 400 PhD recipients will be held the previous day.

The average pay offered to MIT's graduating seniors ranged from $46,200 to $63,900. Average offers per major were computer science--$63,900; electrical engineering--$57,500; materials science and engineering--$54,300; unspecified engineering majors with offers in financial or consulting services--$51,800; mechanical engineering --$51,300; chemical engineering--$50,800; aeronautics and astronautics--$50,500; management--$49,300; economics-- $46,200.

Students in computer science or management received the second highest offers among the seniors at $75,000, followed by electrical engineers at $70,000; mechanical engineers at $62,000; chemical engineers, materials scientists and engineers, and economists at $60,000; and $58,500 for those in aeronautics and astronautics.

A Sloan School graduate and an engineering senior tied for the lowest salary offered at $32,000 for work in securities or commodity contracts.

Although the report didn't break out e-commerce as a category, jobs with Internet firms would fall into the computer systems design/consulting/programming category, which on average offered the second-highest salaries. Only software publishers offered more.

The salary survey reported the lowest, average and highest offers and grouped them in three ways: according to degrees and majors, by type of employer, and by job function. Figures in the report are base salaries only and do not include bonuses, which in many industries constitute a significant portion of employees' earnings.

The Schools of Engineering, Management, and Humanities and Social Sciences (economics only) are included in the report. The small number of students participating from the Schools of Science and Architecture did not constitute a valid sampling.

Average offers per employer type were software publishers-- $61,000; computer systems design--$58,600; computer and electronic products--$57,900; electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing--$55,900; chemicals--$53,000; management consulting --$52,800; environmental consulting--$51,800; aerospace products and parts--$49,700; transportation equipment--$49,700; other consulting--$48,000; pharmaceuticals and medicine--$45,700; banking--$44,600; and financial services--$43,700.

When classified according to job function, computer scientists were in the lead again. The highest offers were for jobs in software design and development and consulting at $80,000. High offers in systems programming and computer programming came in at $75,000.

Average salaries were led by software design and development at $65,300; hardware design and development--$61,300; computer programming--$57,400; and systems/programming--$55,000. Others by job function were consulting--$53,400; research and development and chemical engineering, both at $50,400; production engineering-- $50,200; project engineering--$49,400; manufacturing/industrial-- $47,700; portfolio management/brokerage and investment banking (corporate finance)--$45,000; and investment banking (sales and trading)--$43,600.

Across all degrees, the highest salary offers by job function were made to individuals with PhDs hired to do research and development ($110,000) or technical/scientific research ($105,000), SM degrees to do consulting ($103,000), and MEng degrees to do software design and development or computer programming ($100,000).

The full salary survey report can be found at

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