Will attending an elite college like Harvard or Stanford result in a higher salary? (On average, yes). How much more do engineering majors bring home than English majors? (As much as $21,800 to start).
Most important: How much can you expect to earn with your bachelor’s degree? (A new report at PayScale.com may have the answer).
The PayScale College Salary Report
As the cost of undergraduate education skyrockets, prospective students and parents should be asking: What kind of return is this investment going to yield? Perhaps, like me, you’re out of school and still wondering the same thing.
Wonder no more. The PayScale College Salary Report provides median starting and mid-career salaries for dozens of bachelor’s-level majors and hundreds of colleges nationwide.
Yes, college rankings are old news. But it’s about time we learned what kind of bread the graduates of various colleges and majors are earning. Sure, student-faculty ratios and high bars-per-capita are still important, but salary stats will matter for forty years, not just four. Here’s a preview of what the College Salary Report offers:
Highest Paying Undergraduate Degrees
- Aerospace Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
U.S. Colleges with the Highest Paid Graduates (Bachelor’s Degree Only)
- Dartmouth College
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Harvard University
- Harvey Mudd College
- Stanford University
- Princeton University
Does It Matter?
This College Salary Report is interesting at first, but I don’t find its results that surprising. I would have guessed that engineers earn more than English majors. Similarly, I hope Ivy League grads earn more than the rest of us. (Otherwise, why do students compete so hard and pay so much to attend them?)
What I would like to see is a report that combines a college’s alumni salary data with its tuition and average financial assistance. In other words, which schools cost the least but can earn you the most? In the meantime, this report is a start. (Access the full report).
What do you think? Should anticipated earnings play a role in students’ college and/or major decisions? Did salary expectations play a role in your decisions? Were the results what you expected?