TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

College Rankings by Median Salary of Graduates has published a 2009 College Salary Report, ranking colleges by their graduates' salaries right out of college and ten years later (full methodology here).  Here are the Top 10 colleges by mid-career median salary (college, starting median salary, mid-career median salary) 

1. Dartmouth College: $58,200 / $129,000
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): $71,100 / $126,000
3. Harvard University: $60,000 / $126,000
4. Harvey Mudd College: $71,000 / $125,000
5. Stanford University: $67,500 / $124,000
6. Princeton University: $65,000 / $124,000
7. Colgate University: $51,900 / $122,000
8. University of Notre Dame: $55,300 / $121,000
9. Yale University: $56,000 / $120,000
10. University of Pennsylvania: $60,400 / $118,000

Here is a ranking of the Ivy League colleges by mid-career median salary:

ivy league schools ivy league schools

Here is the ranking of the Top 10 liberal arts colleges by mid-career median salary:

top liberal arts colleges top liberal arts colleges
(Hat Tip: Miriam Cherry.)

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Those are really the TOP TEN?? $250k for a college degree, plus the loss of 4 years of earnings, doesn't look like such a great deal after all.

There must be a market opportunity for an institution that can prove your ability to work hard and deliver results. Something that costs a lot less in time and money than college studies that you'll never use on the job. I'm thinking of the equivalent of Army Ranger training for the business world: something fast and very challenging, with a high dropout rate. It shouldn't cost participants more than $20k plus the value of whatever work they accomplish during their training. The fact that nobody has created such a program probably means that it violates all kinds of labor laws.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Mar 2, 2010 11:55:27 AM

Please also include the data of these graduates who went to work for their family owned corporations. You will be surprised how many had their jobs generated this way. Data like this misleads the public in believing these institutions are better then others or their education is inferior or superior to others when in fact, in many cases the compensation is driven by other factors.

Posted by: Nick Paleveda MBA J.D. LL.M | Mar 3, 2010 8:58:52 AM