May 21, 2013

Top 30 Colleges for Highest Starting Salaries: 2013

Out of 1,058 colleges surveyed, graduates of these schools grabbed the biggest starting paychecks

The escalating cost of a college education is causing some to question the wisdom of pursuing a degree, at least on purely economic terms. We wondered if choice of school makes a big difference.

The answer, according to data collected by payscale.com on 1,058 U.S. colleges is a resounding yes. Information was gathered through surveys of employees around the country. The number of schools included in the list account for 88% of colleges with an enrollment of at least 5,000 students. Confidence in the results is pegged at plus or minus 5 percentage points. (Payscale.com has a detailed explanation of its methodology on its site.)

We’ve looked at their data and compiled a list of 30 schools ranking them based on average starting salary a graduate of that school would make.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised, but almost every school on the list is a private institution. Several are schools devoted to technology and engineering, and many do not have a high national profile. And, of course, graduates of the Ivies do well right after leaving school.

(Check out 30 Best Paying College Majors: 2013 on ThinkAdvisor.)

The career chosen can make a difference, too, as we detailed last year. Maybe you get what you pay for (think of the higher tuition costs), but much of that higher starting salary might go to paying off student loans.

Payscale.com, when conducting its surveys of employees, also gauged how meaningful jobs were by asking, "Does your work make the world a better place?"

Check out the Top 30 Colleges for Highest Starting Salaries:

University of Pennsylvania students on the march. (Photo: AP)

30. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Location: Philadelphia

Starting Salary: $56,100

Mid-Career Salary: $102,000 (Overall ranking: 34th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 50%

 

29. MILWAUKEE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

Location: Milwaukee

Starting Salary: $56,200

Mid-Career Salary: $87,500­­­ (128th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 49%

Babson college. (Photo: Wikimedia)

28. BABSON COLLEGE

Location: Wellesley, Mass.

Starting Salary: $56,700

Mid-Career Salary: $117,000 (8th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 36%

 

27. POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK

Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Starting Salary: $56,800

Mid-Career Salary: $117,000 (8th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 58%

Lehigh University

26. LEHIGH UNIVERSITY

Location: Bethlehem, Pa.

Starting Salary: $56,900

Mid-Career Salary: $118,000 (6th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 51%


25. SOUTH DAKOTA SCHOOL OF MINES & TECHNOLOGY

Location: Rapid City, S.D.

Starting Salary: $57,300

Mid-Career Salary: $99,500 (52nd)

% With High Job Meaning: 54%

Montana Tech Diggers' mascot

24. MONTANA TECH of the UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA

Location: Butte, Mont.

Starting Salary: $57,400

Mid-Career Salary: $82,600 (213th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 68%

 

23. KETTERING UNIVERSITY

Location: Flint, Mich.

Starting Salary: $57,800

Mid-Career Salary: $88,800 (113th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 45%

Stanford University library.

22. STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Location: Stanford, Calif.

Starting Salary: $58,200

Mid-Career Salary: $114,000 (10th)

% With High Job Meaning: 59%


21. PRINCETON

Location: Princeton, N.J.

Starting Salary: $58,300

Mid-Career Salary: $137,000 (1st)

% With High Job Meaning: 49%

SUNY Maritime College campus at Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula.

20. SUNY MARITIME COLLEGE

Location: Bronx, N.Y.

Starting Salary: $59,000

Mid-Career Salary: $109,000 (17th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 57%


19. GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Location: Atlanta

Starting Salary: $59,000

Mid-Career Salary: $101,000 (34th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 52%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

18. MISSOURI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Location: Rolla, Mo.

Starting Salary: $59,000

Mid-Career Salary: $95,100 (70th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 54%


17. RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

Location: Troy, N.Y.

Starting Salary: $59,500

Mid-Career Salary: $105,000 (22nd-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 51%

Cooper Union's Foundation Hall, in the East Village, where Lincoln and other presidents have spoken.

16. COOPER UNION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE AND ART

Location: New York

Starting Salary: $59,700

Mid-Career Salary: $103,000 (31st-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 56%


15. CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

Location: Pittsburgh

Starting Salary: $59,800

Mid-Career Salary: $104,000 (26th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 49%

Stevens Institute on the Hudson River with Manhattan in the background.

14. MOLLOY COLLEGE

Location: Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Starting Salary: $60,700

Mid-Career Salary: $82.800 (208th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 58%

 

13. STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Location: Hoboken, N.J.

Starting Salary: $60,900

Mid-Career Salary: $112,000 (12th)

% With High Job Meaning: 43%

Embry-Riddle campus

12. WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

Location: Worcester, Mass.

Starting Salary: $61,000

Mid-Career Salary: $102,000 (34th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 47%


11. EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY WORLDWIDE CAMPUS

Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.

Starting Salary: $62,200

Mid-Career Salary: $66,600 (138th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 81%

Rose-Hulman campus

10. ROSE-HULMAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Location: Terre Haute. Ind.

Starting Salary: $62,300

Mid-Career Salary: $99,800 (49th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 54%


9. THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY

Location: Philadelphia

Starting Salary: $63,200

Mid-Career Salary: $80,300 (263rd-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 86%

Loma Linda College campus.

8. LOMA LINDA COLLEGE

Location: Loma Linda, Calif.

Starting Salary: $63,400

Mid-Career Salary: $82,100 (227th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 78%


7. COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES

Location: Mountain, Golden, Colo.

Starting Salary: $64,200

Mid-Career Salary: $105,000 (22nd-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 64%

Air Force Academy cadets celebrating graduation. (Photo: AP)

6. U.S AIR FORCE ACADEMY
(Includes civilian jobs only)

Location: Colorado Springs. Colo.

Starting Salary: $65,400

Mid-Career Salary: $101,000 (46th-tie)

% With High Job Meaning: 64%

 

5. HARVEY MUDD COLLEGE

Location: Claremont, Calif.

Starting Salary: $66,800

Mid-Career Salary: $135,000 (2nd)

% With High Job Meaning: 59%

Students on MIT campus (Photo: AP)

4. CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Location: Pasadena, Calif.

Starting Salary: $67,400

Mid-Career Salary: $127,000 (3rd)

% With High Job Meaning: 58%

 

3. MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

Starting Salary: $68,400

Mid-Career Salary: $118,000 (6th)

% With High Job Meaning: 55%

Naval Academy graduates fling their hats at Annapolis, Md., ceremony. (Photo: AP)

2. U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY
(Includes civilian jobs only)

Location: Annapolis, Md.

Starting Salary: $72,200

Mid-Career Salary: $122,000 (4th)

% With High Job Meaning: (Not enough data)

Sorry, Navy, Army beat you this time. One happy West Point graduate. (Photo: AP)

1. U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY
(Includes civilian jobs only)

Location: West Point, N.Y.

Starting Salary: $76,000

Mid-Career Salary: $120,000 (5th)

% With High Job Meaning: (Not enough data)

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Check out these Top 10 lists at AdvisorOne:

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