Piggy BankThings may be looking up for recent college graduates hoping to retire their student loans before their retirement age. Although there are fewer jobs in the overall pool, CollegeRecruiter.com reports the Class of '09 is still seeing good starting salaries. According to data from the Summer 2009 Salary Survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the tech industry, while stumbling earlier in the year, seems to be recovering nicely.

In spring 2009, the broad category of computer science-related fields (computer science, computer programming, computer systems analysis, and information sciences and systems) experienced a 5 percent drop off in the group's overall average offer compared to spring 2008. Currently, however, the average offer to this group is up 1.9 percent over last summer to $59,418.

Among the specific disciplines in this group, computer science grads saw their average salary offer rise 1.6 percent to $61,407. Information sciences and systems grads, however, saw their average offer slip slightly to $52,089, down less than one percent from last year at this time.

As a group, engineering graduates enjoyed the highest salary increase. Overall, the average offer to engineering graduates rose 3.7 percent to $59,254.

So cheer up graduates. If you're skillful and lucky enough to get a foot in the door, at least you won't be working for peanuts. Just create value once you're there, and you'll continue to work up the ladder.

-- Chad Broadus