This year's college graduates found the job market a mixed bag, but the demand for chemical and petroleum engineers brought higher starting salaries, a survey says.

The survey by the College Placement Council Inc., based in Bethlehem, showed that graduates in the technical fields were aggressively recruited and received higher starting salaries, while graduates in other fields faced a tight job market.Salary offers to petroleum engineers rose 7.4 percent since September 1989 to an average of $35,202 a year, the survey said. Chemical engineers also saw a 6.6 percent increase to average salaries of $36, 112.

Salaries for mechanical engineers also increased, but not by as much, the survey said. Starting salaries rose 5.2 percent to an average of $32,064.

The demand for health-care professionals also continued to grow.

A nursing shortage drove the starting salaries for nursing graduates up 13.5 percent to an average of $28,270. Allied health graduates got 12.4 percent more in 1990 over 1989, with the average starting salary being $27,436.

Computer science graduates saw salaries increase 4 percent to $29, 804, but the need for information science graduates shot their starting salaries up 8.3 percent to $28,631.

Cutbacks by financial employers resulted in a tight job market for economics and finance majors, the survey said. Those majors saw starting salaries rise 1.9 percent to an average of $25,184.

Salaries for human resources majors averaged only 1.1 percent more in 1990 to $23,101. But salaries for journalism graduates dropped 3 percent to $19,488.

MBA's fared well, although there were reports of decreased hiring, the survey said.