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Which College Graduates Earn Top Average Salaries?


If you’re trying to find a college, you’re probably focused on the average cost of tuition. But maybe you shouldn’t be.

Instead, perhaps you should focus on the average salary of college graduates from the schools you are considering.

The 2009 PayScale College Salary Report says that Dartmouth College graduates have the highest mid-career median salary, at $129,000. Loma Linda University alumni have the highest median starting salary, at $71,400.

Here are the 20 US colleges and universities that produce graduates with the highest mid-career salaries. In the case of a tie, the college with the higher median starting salary received a higher ranking.

Colleges and Universities

Mid-Career Median Salary

1. Dartmouth College

$129,000

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

$126,000

3. Harvard University

$126,000

4. Harvey Mudd College

$125,000

5. Stanford University

$124,000

6. Princeton University

$124,000

7. Colgate University

$122,000

8. University of Notre Dame

$121,000

9. Yale University

$120,000

10. University of Pennsylvania

$118,000

11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

$116,000

12. Duke University

$116,000

13. Bucknell University

$116,000

14. California Institute of Technology

$115,000

15. Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn

$114,000

16. Lehigh University

$114,000

17. Carnegie Mellon University

$113,000

18. University of California, Berkeley

$112,000

19. Santa Clara University

$111,000

20. Georgetown University

$111,000

Of course, the salary you can expect depends on more than simply the college from which you graduate. Your career plays a major role in your salary. For better or worse, the average salary of an engineer will probably be higher than the average salary of an elementary school teacher no matter either of their alma maters.

Still, the best college deal may come from average salary statistics, not tuition statistics. Neither will measure a college graduate’s happiness with a chosen field, but it can’t hurt!



3 Responses to “Which College Graduates Earn Top Average Salaries?”

  1. Lynn M Says:

    I agree wtih all the points you made. #1 choose your field based on your interest, skills, talents, passions. You’ll only be truly successful if you like what you do. #2 Don’t overburden yourself with loans that will be difficult to pay back if your starting salary is bound to be low (based on the field you go into). #3 There are so many things to consider when choosing a college. It is worth a look at these statistics but it shouldn’t be the top reason for attending the college. Your readers may want to check out this post for some helpful hints on narrowing down college choices: http://blog.mycollegecalendar.org/2009/07/tips-for-choosing-right-college.html
    Thanks!

  2. John A. Says:

    The top 20 colleges only differ in salaries in a range of about 10 grand, which doesnt really mean anything. The average college grad pulls in around 40 grand a year, but an engineering graduate, from MIT makes +120K. Wow.

  3. College starting salary Says:

    […] Which College Graduates Earn Top Average Salaries? 24 Jul 2009. Still, the best college deal may come from average salary statistics, not tuition statistics. Neither will measure a college graduate's Which College Graduates Earn Top Average Salaries? […]

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