Looking at the PayScale data on the pay of college graduates, I was struck again by how very different schools can produce graduates who earn similar salaries.
My favorite example is comparing the University of Southern California (USC) to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CalPoly). All three are southern California universities. In our report, at mid-career, median total cash compensation of graduates is:
- USC was at $103K
- CalPoly at $102K
- UCLA at $97K
While UCLA pay is 6% less, the differences are not particularly statistically significant between these three.
These are three very different schools: a selective private research university, a leading public university, and a state school whose "career orientation is evident in its programs in Agriculture, Architecture, Business, Design, Education, Engineering, Graphic Communication and Journalism." How can all produce graduates who earn nearly the same amount?
In this post, I will look at how this is possible, and see what it means for the cost/benefit analysis in choosing colleges.
Should you be earning like a USC grad? Spend 5 minutes completing the PayScale online salary evaluation survey and know.