The new year is bringing good news for newly minted college graduates.
Class of 2012 graduates earned higher salaries on average than their 2011 predecessors — an increase of more than 3 percent, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, or NACE.
The findings from NACE's January 2013 survey show salary increases for new graduates across a range of disciplines.
The average starting salary for a 2012 graduate is $44,455, compared with $42,987 for 2011 grads, according to the survey.
"The encouraging news that the overall average salary for this group is 3.4 percent higher than the average salary for last year's class is bolstered by the fact that salaries have increased across all broad categories of majors," the salary survey says.
Salaries rose in the eight disciplines surveyed: business, communications, computer science, education, engineering, health sciences, humanities and social sciences, and math and sciences.
The sharpest salary gains were found in education, where 2012 graduates' salaries at $40,668 were 5.4 percent higher than the average $38,581 earned by 2011 graduates.
At the bottom of the scale were humanities graduates with an average salary of nearly $37,000, or 2 percent more than their previous year's counterparts.
The top earners were engineering graduates, with an average salary of $61,913 - an increase of nearly 4 percent over 2011 graduates. They were followed by graduates in computer science with an average salary of $59,221, about a 4 percent bump from 2011.
"We've seen a steady increase in the average starting salary for bachelor's degree graduates over the past two years, indicating improvement in the job market for college graduates," Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director, said in a statement.