What Sets the Top Engineering Schools Apart? Not Just STEM.

At first glance, the list of top colleges in PayScale's 2016 College Salary Report looks like a love letter to STEM degrees. Not only do science, technology, engineering, and math subjects dominate the list of highest-paid majors by any degree level, there is an undeniable correlation between how high a college or university ranks and the percentage of STEM degrees they grant. But, as anybody who passed a basic statistics class knows, correlation is not causation. A closer examination reveals that what separates the very best STEM-focused colleges from the rest is that they encourage students to branch out beyond a traditional STEM curriculum. By examining what drives the success of the highest-earning college graduates, we can all learn a valuable career lesson and increase our own earning potential.