Best Universities and Colleges by Salary Potential

Want to earn a college degree, but not sure which school to choose? Check out this list of colleges with the highest alumni salaries.

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Bachelor's Only
Salary data for alumni who earned a bachelor's degree and did not go on to earn any additional degrees.
All Alumni
Salary data for all alumni who earned a bachelor's degree, including but not limited to those who went on to earn additional degrees from any school.
Rank 
School Name 
School Type
Degree Type 
School Sector 
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 0-5 years experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 10+ years experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
% STEM Degrees
 
% degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering or math subjects
151Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$55,500$112,80053%24%

151St Lawrence University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$55,500
Mid-Career Pay$112,800
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees24%
152Private School, Religious, Research UniversityBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$56,400$112,60050%20%

152University of St Thomas (Minnesota)
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,400
Mid-Career Pay$112,600
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees20%
152Engineering, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$66,700$112,60064%88%

152Capitol Technology University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$66,700
Mid-Career Pay$112,600
% High Meaning64%
% STEM Degrees88%
154Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$61,200$112,50053%39%

154Wentworth Institute of Technology
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$61,200
Mid-Career Pay$112,500
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees39%
155Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$52,600$112,10050%11%

155Clark University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,600
Mid-Career Pay$112,100
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees11%
156Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$52,100$112,00066%20%

156Wittenberg University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,100
Mid-Career Pay$112,000
% High Meaning66%
% STEM Degrees20%
156Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$55,000$112,00047%3%

156American University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$55,000
Mid-Career Pay$112,000
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees3%
158Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$58,000$111,90054%24%

158Marquette University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$58,000
Mid-Career Pay$111,900
% High Meaning54%
% STEM Degrees24%
159Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$57,700$111,70051%19%

159Gonzaga University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$57,700
Mid-Career Pay$111,700
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees19%
160Engineering, State SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPublic$63,300$111,60058%61%

160Montana Tech of the University of Montana
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$63,300
Mid-Career Pay$111,600
% High Meaning58%
% STEM Degrees61%
161Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPublic$58,600$111,50053%35%

161University of Massachusetts-Lowell
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$58,600
Mid-Career Pay$111,500
% High Meaning53%
% STEM Degrees35%
162Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$55,000$111,40043%5%

162La Salle University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$55,000
Mid-Career Pay$111,400
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees5%
163Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$51,400$111,30052%23%

163Albion College
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$51,400
Mid-Career Pay$111,300
% High Meaning52%
% STEM Degrees23%
164Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$54,300$111,20045%7%

164St John's University-New York
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$54,300
Mid-Career Pay$111,200
% High Meaning45%
% STEM Degrees7%
165Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$52,900$111,10048%25%

165Rhodes College
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,900
Mid-Career Pay$111,100
% High Meaning48%
% STEM Degrees25%
166Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPublic$61,500$110,80050%38%

166Purdue University-Main Campus
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$61,500
Mid-Career Pay$110,800
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees38%
167Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPublic$56,400$110,70046%22%

167Miami University-Oxford
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$56,400
Mid-Career Pay$110,700
% High Meaning46%
% STEM Degrees22%
167Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$52,100$110,70061%25%

167Lawrence University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$52,100
Mid-Career Pay$110,700
% High Meaning61%
% STEM Degrees25%
169Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$57,100$110,60050%24%

169DePauw University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$57,100
Mid-Career Pay$110,600
% High Meaning50%
% STEM Degrees24%
170Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$54,200$110,50047%22%

170Denison University
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$54,200
Mid-Career Pay$110,500
% High Meaning47%
% STEM Degrees22%
170Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$56,900$110,50051%24%

170Vassar College
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$56,900
Mid-Career Pay$110,500
% High Meaning51%
% STEM Degrees24%
170Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$58,400$110,500N/A0%

170Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$58,400
Mid-Career Pay$110,500
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
173Party School, Private School, Religious, For Sports FansBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$59,000$110,30043%11%

173Providence College
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$59,000
Mid-Career Pay$110,300
% High Meaning43%
% STEM Degrees11%
174Private School, Research UniversityBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$58,500$110,20040%14%

174Pace University-New York
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$58,500
Mid-Career Pay$110,200
% High Meaning40%
% STEM Degrees14%
175Business, Sober School, State SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPublic$57,600$110,10037%8%

175CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPublic
Early Career Pay$57,600
Mid-Career Pay$110,100
% High Meaning37%
% STEM Degrees8%
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Choosing a college isn’t a simple task – you want to pick a school that will challenge you intellectually and provide you with life experiences that help you grow as a person. But unless you want to live in your parents’ basement for the rest of your life, you also want to pick a school that prepares you for a successful career, both in terms of getting hired and equipping you with the skills to properly do your job. PayScale’s College Salary Report has ranked colleges and universities by the median salaries of their alumni. By knowing how much you can expect to earn after getting your bachelor’s degree, you can choose a school wisely and set yourself up for future financial security, especially when evaluating how much to borrow to help pay for your education.

The data used to calculate all salary information comes from millions of people who have taken the PayScale Salary Survey and told us where they received their bachelor’s degree. If you want to see salaries based off alumni who only received a bachelor’s degree, use the Bachelor’s Only tab. To see median alumni salaries that include data from graduates who went on to earn a graduate degree (at any school, not just the university where they obtained a bachelor’s degree), use the All Alumni tab.

The Best College By Alumni Salary

You might assume that the highest earners in the country come from well-known Ivy League Schools like Harvard or Princeton, but the truth is, the highest median alumni salaries often come from students who attended small colleges with strong engineering programs.

If we focus on early career earnings, elite military schools reign supreme. For bachelor’s-only graduates, the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy at Annapolis are often home to high earners. The fact that West Point and Naval Academy alumni graduate with military experience probably increases their worth to employers.

The colleges with the highest-earning alumni almost all have one thing in common – they produce a lot of engineers and other workers with valuable STEM degrees. However, that doesn’t mean that everybody should become an engineer. PayScale publishes this data to help students understand the typical salaries they will likely go on to earn, and the corresponding amount of student debt they can afford to take on.

But don’t count liberal arts schools out just yet. Harvey Mudd and the USNA are both technically liberal arts schools as well because of the curriculums they require of graduates before receiving their degrees. However, even more classically styled liberal arts schools, like Washington and Lee University, Colgate University, Carleton College and Williams College produce high-earning graduates. Prospective students should just be aware that a liberal arts degree may mean it takes them a longer time to get settled in the career of their dreams, but their well-rounded, analytical skillsets and ability to clearly communicate can set them up for successful careers.

Both public and private schools can produce high-earning alumni. All military academies produce high-earning grads (again, when looking at grads in civilian jobs), and SUNY – Maritime College, the University of California – Berkeley and the Georgia Institute of Technology produce very high-earning alumni, beating out some Ivy League Schools.


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