Starting salaries for college graduates from Marginal Revolution who got it here:
Missing from the list are geologists who believe it or not would be top of this list. Both the petroleum and mining industries are on a hiring spree. College graduates in Australia, Canada and the U.S are in great demand. Average salaries for geology graduates in the U.S and Canada are now comparable to an M.B.A. More than a decade of low oil and metal prices meant that geology was not seen as an attractive career and there was a growing tendency to specialize in environmental related fields rather than in petroleum or mining geology. Today with prices skyrocketing and natural resources companies expanding their exploration and R&D programs there is a sudden shortage of these type of geology skills in the market. India is doing well too. Starting salaries for Master's students with oil services companies are around Rs. 4-5 lakh per year. Maybe not as much as an IIM graduate but not bad either.
Shear Sensibility has a good post on how teachers can cope with a sudden influx of geology students which is a now a likely scenario given these heady times and Geotripper writes a somewhat idealistic post on whether geologists are unique in that they are in it for the love of the field and not so much the money.
Geology hiring have always been boom and bust affairs. I thought I had the wretched luck of graduating in the mid-nineties when oil prices were really low, but in retrospect it did help me diversify my skills and work experience. My old geology skill sets won't go away and I have already got feelers from oil companies on whether I would be interested in rejuvenating those skills after a gap of so many years. It's always interesting to speculate what the geology job market will look like 15 -20 years from now. Will the current crop of petroleum geology graduates feel the need to go back to school to diversify their portfolio to include renewable energy and environmental geology to meet the demands of a changing energy mix?