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PayScale Announces Breakthrough Education and Salary Report

Unique Salary Survey Sheds Light on Relationship Between College Selection and Earning Potential

Seattle, WA, - July 30, 2008 - PayScale, Inc. today announced its 2008 Education and Salary Report. The research survey, which analyzes the company's database of over 13 million unique compensation profiles, provides a rare - and much-needed - perspective on the relationship between college selection and career success.

The PayScale 2008 Education and Salary Report includes over 2000 data points, including salary data for 40 Majors, from over 300 U.S. based undergraduate colleges and universities. The best collegesreport, can be found at

Some of the highlights from the salary report:

  • Dartmouth College graduates have the highest median salary in the country with a Total Cash Compensation of $134,000
  • Colorado School of Mines has the highest median salary of all schools west of the Mississippi, excluding California, with a median Total Cash Compensation of $106,000
  • The University of California Berkeley is the state school with the highest Median Total Cash Compensation of $112,000
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduates make the same median salary ($101,000) as graduates from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC)
  • Chemical Engineering is the most lucrative college major with a median Total Cash Compensation of $107,000
  • Harvard College graduates frequently enter not-for-profit positions
  • Major state universities provide exceptional value, with median salaries of graduates in the top 5 in their states, just behind highly selective national universities and colleges (e.g., Rutgers in New Jersey, University of Texas, University of Washington, University of Virginia)
  • Graduates of selective small liberal arts colleges do well, with median salaries competitive with major private research universities, though it helps to have an engineering program on campus too (top median salaries: Bucknell, Colgate, Amherst, Lafayette)

The PayScale Salary report looked at the following datasets:

  • Best Salary Potential By Type of School
  • Degrees That Pay You Back
  • Most Popular Jobs By Degree
  • Most Popular Jobs By School
  • Most Popular Schools By Job
  • Best Salary Potential By School Location

"Our 2008 report shows American colleges and universities prepare students for an amazingly diverse set of careers, and high salaries over a career are not always tied to the obvious majors and schools," said Dr. Al Lee, Director of Qualitative Analysis at PayScale. "With great specificity, this report brings home the long term financial impact of the choice of undergraduate school and major. For young people entering college, and contemplating their post-graduate years in the workforce, this is critical information not available anywhere else."

A note on methodology: All data used to produce the Education Package were collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale's employee survey. Self-employed, project-based, and contract employees are not included. For example, project-based graphic designers and architects, and nearly all small business owners and novelists, are not included. For more detailed salary methodology visit:

About PayScale ( is the world's largest ongoing salary survey. With the world's largest database of individual employee compensation profiles, PayScale provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market pay. PayScale's patent-pending real-time profiling technology collects and indexes employee pay attributes worldwide and makes this data available through its online search tools and salary reports at PayScale was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington USA.

Media Contact
Steven Gottlieb
Gottlieb Group Communications, LLC