Class of 2018 graduates of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics are earning above-average starting salaries across a number of fields, according to this year’s 2019 Salary Survey of over 100,000 students from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). In several fields, Lerner College grads beat national starting salary averages by up to 20%.
Lerner hospitality alums, for example, earn starting salaries 20% above the national average. Lerner accounting graduates earn starting salaries 16% higher than the national average, a difference of more than $8,000.
This trend also holds true for Lerner graduate students: Lerner master’s degree graduates earn starting salaries that are 16% above average, an almost $12,000 difference. Lerner MBA alums also earn about $8,500 more in their starting salaries than their peers from other business schools.
What explains these above average results? Jack Baroudi, Lerner’s senior associate dean of academic programs, discussed the way Lerner programs go beyond the classroom and focus heavily on real world experiential activities—this means that students graduate with strong resumes full of relevant work related skills that stand out and attract high-paying employers.
“The NACE report reflects the high level of care our team puts into working with our students and presenting them with unique experiential learning opportunities, including internships and externships, independent studies, mentorship and more,” Baroudi said. “Our team members dedicate their time and attention to connecting our students with the opportunities that will best help them to meet their career goals.”
Jill Panté, director of the Lerner Career Services Center, explained that almost half of Lerner students graduate with multiple job offers thanks to opportunities like these. This, she said, has a huge impact on their final salary, and “shows that the Lerner degree has a higher than average return on investment.”
Panté went on to say that Lerner students develop a number of traits and skills that employers are seeking. This, she said, sets them apart during the job search process.
“Lerner students have an incredible grit and motivation to succeed,” she said. “The Lerner students I meet with are concerned about making a difference in their community and industry, not necessarily making a high salary.”
“Our students are problem solvers and are always trying to better themselves and their knowledge,” Panté continued. “When employers and mentors come back to campus and interact with our students, they consistently comment on how impressive and motivated our Lerner students are.”
Baroudi said that this difference is reflected in the impressive salaries that Lerner graduates earn right after graduation: “This is just one measurement of how the Lerner College sets its students up for success.”