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March 27, 2006
Competition for Top College Grads Drives Offers Higher

For a Limited Time receive a FREE Compensation Market Analysis Report! Find out how much you should be paying to attract and retain the best applicants and employees, with customized information for your industry, location, and job. Get Your Report Now!

If students graduating from college in May are as fortunate as those who graduated a year ago, they'll be pleasantly surprised when they go out job-hunting this summer. According to a survey conducted by WetFeet Research & Consulting Data of more than 2,600 students from 24 top-tier undergraduate programs and 24 MBA programs, last year's undergraduates expected to earn an annual base salary of $41,950 with a signing bonus of $1,814. Instead, they ended up being offered an average starting salary of $44,574 and a signing bonus of $2,818.

Newly minted MBAs actually received a slightly lower base salary ($89,598) than they anticipated, but the higher-than-expected signing bonuses they received, an average of $15,817, came close to making up the difference.

According to the survey's authors, recruiters at top-tier undergrad and business schools will need to compete aggressively to land top students again this year. Today's candidates are likely to apply to fewer employers, to expect higher salaries, and to make employment decisions much earlier in the recruiting cycle.

For more information on The WetFeet Compensation and Offers Report --the first study to provide offer data as reported by students themselves, not employers--visit

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