Michigan State University is a school located in East Lansing, Mich. with around 42,000 undergraduates. Alumni report earning excellent value for their tuition dollars; the school ranks in the top 16 percent of universities by return on investment. Enthusiasm for sports runs deep here (Go Spartans!), and the urban location affords rich cultural experiences for the students. The figures in this rundown were provided by Michigan State University alumni who took the PayScale salary questionnaire.

College ROI Report


20 Year Net ROI 


Annual ROI 

8.4 %

Total 4 Year Cost 


Compare to Other Schools

College Salary Report


Early Career Salary 


Mid-Career Salary 


% High Meaning 

48 %

Compare to Other 4-Year Schools

Michigan State University (MSU) Median Salary by Job


Packaging Engineer
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See all degrees for Michigan State University (MSU) »
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 14 Sep 2019
  • Individuals Reporting: 7,495
  • View Table

About This School

East Lansing, MI 48824-1046



Research University, State School, For Sports Fans

77 %

19 %

50 %

21 %


The education industry, the manufacturing industry, and the health care industry are just a few of the areas in which Michigan State University grads find work. The majority of Michigan State University alumni wind up in the automotive manufacturing industry. Starting salaries of about $65K are the median among Michigan State University grads.


Male graduates of Michigan State University out-earn their female counterparts significantly, earning an average of $73K versus around $59K for women.


Among Michigan State University alumni, those working as Software Engineers report the highest median pay of $76K, followed by Mechanical Engineers ($75K), and Marketing Managers (approximately $70K). Relative to other positions, compensation dwindles for Financial Analysts; alumni in this role face average salaries of $57K.


Many Michigan State University students are Detroit, Mich.-bound following college. Another city that attracts a wealth of Michigan State University grads is New York, N.Y.; given its high compensation (approximately $79K is the average salary), the city's popularity should come as no surprise. Though Lansing, Mich. takes the cake for lowest pay among Michigan State University grads (the median salary is around $54K there), it remains a common destination for former students. Other popular cities include Chicago, Ill. and Grand Rapids, Mich.

Degree Major

Michigan State University grads who hold a Master of Engineering (MEng / ME) can expect to fare better than most fellow alumni, earning an average $111K per year. Those holding a Master of Social Work (MSW) are less fortunate in terms of earnings, bringing in about $45K on average per year.


Many Michigan State University grads have knowledge of Project Management, with approximately one-sixth of alumni using this program on the clock. Competency in Budget Management translates into above-average pay for former Spartans — they earn 22 percent more than their fellow graduates. Demonstrated ability in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Data Analysis rank among leading skills as well.

Benefits and Perks

Just one in three grads enjoy paid vacation and merely one-fifth of alumni get paid sick time. It is no small feat that most grads are given health coverage, and a strong majority of former students accept dental insurance. Most graduates allocate some part of their earnings to a company-sponsored 401(k) savings plan. Additional benefits handed to Michigan State University alumni include a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Compensation averages $65K for University at Buffalo alumni, making their earnings most comparable to Michigan State University grads. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Wayne State University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago are also similar to Michigan State University.

Michigan State University (MSU) Job Listings

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1440 1840
ACT Scores 23 28

Key Stats for Michigan State University (MSU)


50 %
50 %
$38,764 - $83,818
$45,597 - $101,430

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 2954 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
$38,618 - $86,919
$42,237 - $91,283
$48,540 - $99,806
$40,894 - $85,307
$55,878 - $119,213
$61,875 - $105,748
$38,256 - $75,561
$69,995 - $108,414
$47,038 - $81,049
$40,496 - $89,070
$44,649 - $93,426
$36,062 - $76,695
$40,108 - $84,573
$39,254 - $80,142
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