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PayScale Releases 2014-15 College Salary Report, Ranking Colleges on Alumni Post-Grad Earnings

Report includes new data for Two-Year colleges as well as earnings for graduates who go on to earn higher degrees in addition to a bachelor’s; Liberal Arts degrees combined with graduate education provides solid foundation for mid-career earnings

Seattle – September 10, 2014 - PayScale, Inc. today announced its 2014-15 College Salary Report.

"Prospective college students are being asked to make critical decisions about their financial future without all of the necessary information," said Lydia Frank, Editorial Director, PayScale. "If students understand a bit about their future earning potential before making choices about where to attend, what to major in and how much to borrow, they'll be in a much better position financially once they graduate and enter the workforce."

PayScale expanded the breadth of data in the 2014-15 College Salary Report. In addition to ranking over 1,000 colleges on median early career and mid-career salaries for alumni earning only a bachelor's degree, PayScale has also included:

  • The same alumni salary outcome data for all graduates from a school, including those who went on to obtain higher degrees (e.g. master's, MBA, Ph.D.) to better represent schools who prepare a large percentage of their students for graduate school.
  • Early career and mid-career median salary data for alumni who earned associate degrees at 349 public and private two-year colleges.

 

PayScale's 2014-15 College Salary Report will include a data visualization showing which schools saw the biggest differences in median pay data comparing all graduates (including those with higher degrees) to graduates with only a bachelor's degree.

New this year, PayScale included schools that grant two-year degrees as well. PayScale's two-year college rankings compare the early career and mid-career salaries of alumni who received an associate degree from one of the 349 public community colleges and private career colleges we have data for this year.

The full report can be found at: http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report

"The relationship between college tuition, what a student chooses to study while in school and becoming a wage earner after graduation has become clear," said Katie Bardaro, Lead Economist, PayScale. "The PayScale College Salary Report focuses on salary because, simply, it's PayScale's expertise, and data on post-graduate earnings is hard to come by elsewhere. We want to empower students with information and set them up for success in regards to their future careers and financial health."

Highlights from the 2014-15 PayScale College Salary Report for Four-Year schools includes:

  • Harvey Mudd College once again has alumni who report the highest mid-career (10 years of experience or more) salaries, both for alumni who only earn a bachelor's degree ($133,800) and all graduates ($137,800).
  • For alumni who only earn a bachelor's degree, The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis is ranked first place for early career salaries ($80,700). The data are for those in the civilian workforce and not for current military personnel. When alumni with advanced degrees are included, CalTech gets the top spot with a median early career salary of $82,200.
  • While schools with a heavier liberal arts concentration tend to rank lower for early career salaries, several liberal arts colleges report impressive mid-career median salaries, especially when alumni who go on to receive advanced degrees are included in the mix. Notable examples are Washington and Lee University (median mid-career salary for all graduates: $133,500); Colgate University (median mid-career salary for all graduates: $122,000); and Williams College (median mid-career salary for all graduates: $114,500).
  • SUNY Maritime College has the highest-earning alumni of any public school. Bachelor's-only graduates from SUNY Maritime College report early career median salaries of $62,100 and mid-career median incomes of $121,700.
  • Engineering schools and schools that grant a large number of STEM degrees tend to rank very highly on PayScale's lists, especially for early career salaries, because those skills are in such high demand in today's economy. Engineers and tech workers have the easiest time finding high-paying work right out of school.
  • Stanford once again beats all Ivy League schools in terms of highest-earning graduates with bachelor's only graduates reporting a median mid-career salary of $126,400 – even better when you include those who go on to earn higher degrees at $133,700 10+ years out of school. Harvard took the crown for the Ivy League school with the best reported salaries for alumni who stop at a bachelor's degree ($118,200 at mid-career) while Yale won out when graduates who went on to earn higher degrees were included ($124,600 at mid-career).
Highlights from the 2014-15 College Salary Report for Two-Year schools includes:
  • The Fashion Institute of Technology, a public 4-year school in New York that grants associate degrees, had alumni who reported the highest mid-career median salary ($71,000). San Diego City College in California came in a close second – SDCC grads report earning $70,900 after 10 years in the workforce.
  • Excelsior College, a private not-for-profit school in New York, had the highest-earning graduates right out of school. Alumni there reported an early career (0-5 years experience) median salary of $56,200.
  • Overall, public community colleges out-performed private career colleges in terms of associate-only graduate salaries. The best private career college for mid-career salary is Dunwoody College of Technology ($66,100).
  • The private for-profit career college with the highest earning graduates is Heald College in Concord, California, where alumni report a mid-career median salary of $64,600

 

A note on methodology for the PayScale College Salary Report: All data used to produce the 2014-15 PayScale College Salary Report were collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale's salary survey (roughly 1.4 million over the last year). 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 methodology visit: http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/methodology

About PayScale

Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world containing more than 40 million salary profiles, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale's products are powered by innovative algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real-time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index ™, PayScale's subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate™, PayScale Insight™, and PayScale Insight Expert™. PayScale's cloud compensation software is used by more than 3,000 customers including Cummins, Warby Parker, Zendesk, Clemson University and Covenant Dove. For more information, please visit: www.payscale.com or follow PayScale on Twitter or Facebook.