Best Colleges in California by Salary Potential

California has more colleges and universities than any other state. Find out which schools are the state's best four-year colleges by earning potential. [Read More]

Wondering how to choose the best college in California is by alumni salary? This list provides data on several dozen of the best four-year colleges by earning potential in California. Selecting a school in the Golden State means plenty of options, as there nearly 200 colleges to choose from.

Almost every year, alumni of Harvey Mudd College are among the highest-paid college graduates in the state. (Harvey Mudd has had bragging rights to the highest alumni salaries in the country for the past several years, too.) Another California tech powerhouse for early and mid-career salaries is the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

When ranking by early career salary, you might be surprised to find out that Loma Linda University beats some more well-known schools on our list. Loma Linda grants mostly medical degrees and produces lots of nurses, so those who graduate with a bachelor's degree from Loma Linda are popular hires and see high salaries right away.

The two colleges with the most STEM degrees granted are the mostly-male Coleman University and Caltech, both with more than 90 percent STEM degrees. For students looking for mentorship and personal attention, both Caltech and Loma Linda University boast extraordinarily low student-to-faculty ratios of one faculty member to every three students. Each of these schools have very specific focuses - Loma Linda offers hands-on medical training to students interested in becoming medical professionals, while CalTech is famous for its scientific and engineering pursuits.

The University of California, San Diego grants the largest share of STEM degrees of any public school. Fifty percent of UCSD students major in a science, technology, engineering or math subject.

California is home to some of the most famous and well-regarded public universities in the nation. The University of California, Berkeley; UC San Diego; and California State University San Louis Obispo. California State University, Northridge is the biggest school in California, with more than 33,000 students.

California has one of the most famous coastlines in the United States, and is home to plenty of colleges with easy beach access. But that doesn't mean that students surf more than they study -- alumni of UCSD, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Pepperdine University and San Diego State University all earn a comfortable median mid-career salary and have beautiful, beachside campuses.

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