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About to graduate? Your starting salary just got a Natalia Angulo-Hinkson

It's been a tough road for college graduates looking for work since the Great Recession in 2008. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: a new study shows that average starting salaries for 2017 grads are at an all-time high.

According to research from Korn Ferry's Hay Group division, college grads in the U.S. can expect to make $49,785 on average annually. That's 14 percent more than students who graduated prior to the recession.

Let that sink in.

The new salary estimate is already 3 percent higher than the 2016 average.

"With unemployment rates back down to pre-recession levels and jobs requiring more highly specialized skills, companies will need to offer competitive compensation packages if they hope to attract top talent," Korn Ferry's Benjamin Frost said in a statement.

The analysis looked at 145,000 entry-level jobs across sectors.

Location and career field obviously impact how much you actually get paid. These are the highest-earning fields:

  • Software Developer $65,232 (31 percent above average)
  • Engineer $63,036 (27 percent above average)
  • Actuary $59,212 (19 percent above average)
  • Scientist/researcher $58,733 (18 percent above average)
  • Environmental Professional $56,660 (14 percent above average)

And this is the starting salary in seven cities the research looked at across the country:

  • San Francisco $62,829
  • New York $60,190
  • Los Angeles $55,709
  • Chicago $54,515
  • Minneapolis $53,121
  • Dallas $50,084
  • Atlanta $49,038

It's not a secret that America has a student debt problem. 

The number of student borrowers has jumped from 23 to 43 million in the last decade. Student loans are the common form of consumer debt after home mortgages and the amount owed has surpassed credit card debt.

A staggering number of borrowers are defaulting on their student loans. 

WATCH  |  Being buried under student debt is soul crushing enough. Imagine having to answer to a debt collector because you just can't make a payment. The good news is student borrowers can now at least expect to get paid more.

For more news, check out this morning's 60 Second Circa.