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News Release

Starting Salaries Offered to UCSD Engineering Graduates Rise to $51,000-to-$55,000 Range

San Diego, CA, June 21, 2005 – UCSD engineering students graduating this spring with baccalaureate degrees

                              Hiring Salary Range
   2005  2004
  number percent number percent
< $35k 29 8.9% 22 7%
$36k-$40k 30 9.2% 25 7.9%
$41k-$45k 24 7.4% 38 12%
$46k-$50k 52 16% 63 19.9%
$51k-$55k 54 16.6% 51 16.1
$56k-$60k 55 16.9% 45 14.2%
$61k-$65k 16 4.9% 8 2.5%
Over $65k 20 6.1% 13 4.1%
Not sure 46 14.1% 51 16.1%
 TOTAL 326 100% 316 100%
 are  receiving significantly higher starting salaries than their peers garnered last year. An annual survey by the Jacobs School of Engineering of its seniors found that the median starting salary this year for those joining the workforce will be in the $51,000-to-$55,000 range. Last year’s median salary was in the $46,000-to-$50,000 range. The most recent survey, completed June 2, found that 59 percent said they were looking for jobs and 38 percent were pursuing post-graduate education.

Of the survey respondents who were planning to take jobs, 79 percent said they had accepted job offers will work for business and industry, 9 percent accepted offers from educational institutions or nonprofit organizations, and 6 percent will work for a branch of the military.

“Defense companies are in the hiring mode and those involved in homeland security are really ramping up,” said Glynda Davis, senior student development officer at UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering. “Foreign students are ineligible for these defense- and homeland security-related jobs because those positions require U.S. citizenship. However, both U.S. and foreign students graduating from the Jacobs School have received offers from 

   What are your immediate plans
  after graduating from UCSD?
 Further school  Employment  Other
 2005 217 38% 342 59% 16 3%
 2004 186 35% 322 61% 22 4%
consumer electronics giants and a range of other types of companies.” Companies are most eager to recruit students not only with high academic performance, but also those with “the package” ‑ demonstrated ability to effectively communicate, multitask, prioritize, and work as part of a team. “The students with ‘the package’ are more likely to get a higher starting salary that those who don’t,” said Davis.

The 2005 Jacobs School survey included responses from 575 of the school’s 1,913 seniors majoring primarily in bioengineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering,

     Employer Location
   2005  2004
  Number Percent Number Percent
Abroad/International 4 1% 4 1%
Non-California U.S. 18 6% 22 8%
Northern California 29 9% 29 9%
Southern California (not San Diego Co.) 59 18% 44 14%
San Diego County 195 61% 194 63%
Other 17 3% 13 4%
TOTAL 322 100% 306 100%
 and structural engineering. Of the 326 seniors who indicated in the survey that they had accepted job offers, 61 percent said they will remain in San Diego County and 27 percent said they will take jobs in other parts of California. Of the Jacobs School’s total 13,416 alumni, 5,634 live in San Diego and 4,981 reside in other parts of California.

The rise in starting salaries comes on the heels of an active recruiting season on the UCSD campus. While companies are eager to hire graduating engineers, many are also offering internships to students with one or more years remaining until graduation. Undergraduates also add their personal  academic information into a database, and employers involved in the Jacobs School’s Corporate Affiliates Program have access to the information. The companies can quickly identify promising job candidates based on the students’ declared major, grade point average, and other factors.

The Jacobs School, which has the largest combined graduate and undergraduate engineering enrollment of any University of California campus with more than 5,300 students, was rated 11th among 179 engineering schools, and 6th in the nation among public universities in the 2005 U.S. News rankings.

Media Contacts

Rex Graham
Jacobs School of Engineering