Combining good value and great education, San Jose State University is ranked in the top 9 percent of universities by return on investment. Alumni report high financial returns compared to the tuition they paid to attend this a university based in San Jose, Calif. Enthusiasm for sports runs deep here (Go Spartans!), and the urban location affords rich cultural experiences for the students. This report is based on the answers of SJSU graduates who responded to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

College ROI Report


20 Year Net ROI 


Annual ROI 

10.1 %

Total 4 Year Cost 


Compare to Other Schools

College Salary Report


Early Career Salary 


Mid-Career Salary 


% High Meaning 

54 %

Compare to Other 4-Year Schools

San Jose State University (SJSU) Median Salary by Job


Software Engineer
249 profiles



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Project Engineer
68 profiles




See all degrees for San Jose State University (SJSU) »
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 22 Jun 2019
  • Individuals Reporting: 5,071
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About This School

One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0001


State School, For Sports Fans

57 %

27 %

88 %

44 %


The software development industry, IT services, and the medical device manufacturing industry are just a few of the areas in which SJSU grads find work. The most popular professional field seems to be software as a service (SAAS) development. Consistent with the high SAT scores reported by SJSU alumni, former students go on to earn high salaries. Starting salaries of $75K are the median among SJSU grads.


There is a sizable difference between men's post-college salaries and women's: the median for the former is $86K, but the median for the latter is only $72K.


The most generous salaries among SJSU alumni are reportedly earned by Senior Software Engineers, whose median earnings come to $125K, followed by Software Engineers (about $100K) and Software Developers (around $89K). Sliding in near the bottom are Executive Assistants, who report earnings of approximately $62K.


Many SJSU alumni remain in San Jose after graduation; just under a third of grads find permanent positions in the workforce here. It is no surprise that Sunnyvale, Calif., which hands out the biggest paychecks (the average salary is about $96K), is another of the most popular spots for former SJSU students. The city with the lowest median paycheck frequented by SJSU alumni is Fremont, Calif., where earnings average approximately $72K. Nearby San Francisco, Calif. is also a top pick for SJSU grads, as is Santa Clara, Calif.

Degree Major

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) will compensate SJSU grads at a much higher rate than other degrees — these alums rake in $112K on average per year. Average annual salaries for those with a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) are the lowest of the pack, earning $54K.


Knowledge of Java seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 37 percent more than their former classmates' salaries (around $103K). Many former SJSU students are familiar with Microsoft Excel, and about a seventh of grads move on to positions where this experience is utilized. Also considered top-notch skills are Project Management, Microsoft Office, and Data Analysis.

Benefits and Perks

Though vacation and sick days are paid for some, these benefits are reported by the minority of graduates (one-third of alumni and one-fifth of alumni, respectively). A large number of respondents opt for a 401(k) to save for retirement. Health insurance benefits extend to a large number of former students, and a strong majority of former students sign up for dental plans. San Jose State University grads are also lucky enough to receive a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and free drinks.

Related Schools

California Polytechnic State University graduates, who earn $68K on average, make a similar amount to SJSU grads. Other schools similar to SJSU include California State University-East Bay, San Francisco State University, and California State University-Stanislaus.

San Jose State University (SJSU) Job Listings

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores*
* SAT writing score is not included.
920 1180
ACT Scores 20 26

Key Stats for San Jose State University (SJSU)


47 %
52 %
$48,016 - $97,457
$52,694 - $117,329

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1932 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
$50,541 - $107,658
$46,537 - $98,026
$68,994 - $120,025
$70,147 - $127,653
$68,357 - $138,874
$65,436 - $136,769
$73,509 - $111,435
$48,444 - $100,438
$50,393 - $112,828
$57,123 - $119,157
$53,777 - $116,631
$58,459 - $122,604
$52,627 - $118,156
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