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6 Colleges that Get You the Most Pay When You Graduate

6 Colleges that Get You the Most Pay When You Graduate

By Catherine Conlan
Monster Contributing Writer

If you’re making plans to go to college and want get the most out of your investment (or your parents’), PayScale has some information you won’t want to miss.

Their salary pros talked to graduates with bachelor’s degrees who are employed full-time and not on active military duty or in a contract position to determine which colleges’ graduates earn the most. They looked at both recent graduates with five years or less post-graduate employment experience and mid-career professionals with at least 10 years of experience.

Many of the top colleges do well in getting high salaries for recent grads because they specialize in engineering and technology, says Katie Bardaro, director of analytics and lead economist at PayScale. “These are the majors that offer the biggest salaries,” she says.

1. Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, Calif.

This private school focuses on science, engineering and mathematics. According to the National Science Foundation, Harvey Mudd has the highest rate of science and engineering Ph.D. production among undergraduate colleges. But even without a higher degrees, grads earn a median starting salary of $73,300 and median mid-career salary of $143,000.

2. U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md.

While many graduates go on to careers in the military, the outlook for civilian graduates is also strong. Median starting salary for graduates is $77,100 and for mid-career professionals it’s $131,000.

“The jobs held by civilian graduates tend to be tech- and engineering-focused, which are high-wage job areas,” Bardaro says. In addition, “Graduates accumulate experience and skills while serving their military obligation that help them move into both higher positions (e.g., managers) and in-demand positions (e.g., again, technology).”

3. Tie: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

This private research university has a strong academic reputation in engineering, technology and the physical sciences, as well as a thriving arts program. The median starting salary for Caltech grads is $68,400 and the median mid-career salary is $124,000.

3. Tie: Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J.

This research university also has a satellite campus in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1870 as one of the first colleges dedicated to engineering and offers a bachelor’s degrees in engineering and science. Median starting salary for graduates is $64,900 and median mid-career salary is $124,000.

5. Babson College, Wellesley, Mass.

The only business school in the top six, this private college’s undergraduate program has ranked No. 1 in entrepreneurship for the 17-year history of the U.S. News & World Report ranking. All graduates receive a bachelor of science in business management.

“Babson has been successful in finding its graduates positions at top firms,” Bardaro says. The median starting salary for graduates is $59,700 and the median mid-career salary is $123,000.

6. Princeton University, N.J.

This Ivy League research university offers many science, technology, engineering and math majors, Bardaro says. “Additionally, its notoriety/name brand and strong alumni association helps graduates obtain strong roles.” Median starting salary for graduates is $56,100 and median mid-career salary is $121,000.

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