Best Value Colleges For Business Careers

If you've always dreamed of wielding power in the boardroom and are soothed by the tick of the stock market, then you probably imagine that you're destined for a high-powered business job.  Read More

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1University of Pennsylvania(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$979,000
Total 4 Year Cost$234,000
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,760
2Cornell University - Ithaca, NY(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$840,000
Total 4 Year Cost$233,000
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,840
3Georgia Institute of Technology(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$826,300
Total 4 Year Cost$86,700
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,600
4University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$823,100
Total 4 Year Cost$129,900
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
5Stanford University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$819,700
Total 4 Year Cost$233,300
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,880
6Santa Clara University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$816,200
Total 4 Year Cost$226,800
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,120
7Johns Hopkins University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$809,700
Total 4 Year Cost$233,300
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,920
8Columbia University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$771,400
Total 4 Year Cost$241,600
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,720
9Georgia Institute of Technology(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$751,300
Total 4 Year Cost$161,700
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,600
10Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$738,500
Total 4 Year Cost$234,500
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$34,960
11University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$731,600
Total 4 Year Cost$221,400
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
12Seton Hall University - South Orange, NJ(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$717,000
Total 4 Year Cost$196,000
Grad Rate64%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$44,800
13Emory University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$715,400
Total 4 Year Cost$227,600
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,920
14 (tie)California State University - Stanislaus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$710,500
Total 4 Year Cost$82,500
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$19,360
14 (tie)Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$710,500
Total 4 Year Cost$232,500
Grad Rate85%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$40,800

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

A business or finance career path can definitely lead to a healthy salary, but you'll probably need a college degree to get started. And since you're a future mogul, you should be thinking in terms of college return on investment for business majors before you choose a college. PayScale's College ROI Report ranking of the best value schools for business career paths can help you determine where you'll get the highest return on investment for the money you spend on tuition.

The University of Pennyslvania's Wharton School of Business is world-renowned, and is one of the only business schools in the United States with a strong undergraduate program, so it's no surprise that Penn provides the highest return on investment for alumni who go on to work in business and finance. UPenn is the alma mater of Donald Trump, Peter Lynch of the Magellan Fund, Elon Musk and even Warren Buffet. (Warren Buffet dropped out of Wharton's undergraduate program after just two years as a student there.) Alumni who receive a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and go on to work in business or finance jobs see a 20-year net ROI of $979,000 without financial aid. With the typical financial aid package included, the 20-year net ROI of a Wharton education is over one million dollars. Approximately 45 percent of UPenn students receive some form of financial aid.

Ivy League Cornell University provides the second best value for those who plan to work in business jobs. Cornell alumni who go on to business jobs get a 20-year net ROI of $840,000. That's more than $100,000 less than first place University of Pennsylvania, but it's no small number. Located in Ithaca, New York, business is just one area where Cornell alumni shine, but if you are interested in a business career, or a finance career path, you may want to aim high and dress warm, because Cornell is not only a great value, it's pretty cold in the winter.

The next two best value schools for business jobs and finance jobs are public colleges. In-state residents at the Georgia Institute of Technology who go on to work in business report a 20-year net ROI of $826,300, followed closely by University of California, Berkeley, alumni, who earn $823,100 more than if they had not gotten a bachelor's degree. Berkeley's Haas School of Business is well known for producing famous alumni who go on to rule the business world, especially in the tech industry -- Robert Lutz of General Motors, Donald Fischer (founder and CEO of The Gap) and Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert -- all went there, but you may be surprised to see Georgia Tech so high on the list. Joe Rogers, Jr. (longtime CEO of Waffle House), Mike Duke (CEO of Wal Mart) and James D. Robinson, III (Coca-Cola CEO) were all Georgia Tech Bulldogs.

A career path in business can mean hundreds of jobs, including those in the finance industry. A career path in business and finance can include anything from business intelligence, business analyst, investment analyst, buyer, accounting, underwriting, training and development, or any related position.