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Signing Bonuses for New Graduates to See Upswing

Business, engineering and computer science majors are most likely recipients

More U.S. employers plan to offer signing bonuses to Class of 2015 college graduates than they have for any other graduating class over the past five years, according to a December 2014 report from the nonprofit National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Fifty-one percent of respondents to NACE’s Job Outlook 2015 survey said they will offer signing bonuses to Class of 2015 graduates, marking the first year that the percentage of employers with plans to offer signing bonuses has topped 50 percent.


Among the employers with plans to offer signing bonuses, almost two-thirds plan to offer them only to select bachelor’s degree candidates. The selected majors that are most likely to receive signing bonuses are business, engineering and the computer science fields.

Academic majors projected to receive the largest average signing bonus are:

Chemical engineering at $5,250.

Engineering (type not specified) at $5,107.

Computer science at $4,364.

By industry, food and beverage manufacturers are most inclined to offer signing bonuses to Class of 2015 graduates.

Data for the Job Outlook 2015 survey were collected from Aug. 11-Oct. 7, 2014.

Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him on Twitter @SHRMsmiller.

Related SHRM Articles:

Engineering Majors Top Salary Projections for Class of 2015, SHRM Online Compensation, January 2015

Sign-On, Retention and Spot Bonuses Show Upswing, SHRM Online Compensation, June 2014

Signing Bonuses Promote Trust, Raise Expectations, SHRM Online Compensation, April 2014

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