Top 15 Universities with Highest Graduate Salaries

Top 15 Universities with Highest Graduate Salaries

With so many factors to consider when applying for an undergraduate degree it can be very overwhelming to sift through all the available options. Career prospects are incredibly important to consider when applying for universities and one of the more quantitative methods to rank the different schools is by comparing median alumni salary. That being said, we have compiled a list of the 15 schools with the highest median alumni salaries after 10+ years in the workforce.

15. Dartmouth College

It should come as no surprise that any undergraduate degree from an university in the Ivy League will command a high paying salary, however some might be surprised by Darthmouth’s place on this list given its size and relatively lower profile among the rest of the Ivy League. However, Dartmouth’s smaller size works in its favor as it fosters a closer knit community particularly among the alumni network and within the Greek system. The trust fostered by these systems translates to higher paying jobs and opportunities upon graduation. Furthermore, Dartmouth is known for their Dartmouth plan or “D-plan” which gives students the flexibility to pursue internship opportunities throughout the year rather than exclusively during the summer giving proactive students more opportunities to secure internships and job opportunities in competitive and high paying job sectors.

14. Williams College

Williams College has consistently topped the liberal arts colleges rankings lists over the past few years and their reputation definitely precedes them when it comes to the job market. Liberal arts colleges’ more holistic style of education helps foster students with a variety of soft skills like communication and the ability to see various sides of the same problem. These soft skills are in increasingly high demand from major companies as managers are looking for employees who can think outside the box and can think quickly on their feet when faced with issues and problematic clients. Furthermore, William’s tutorials, adapted from the Oxford University teaching style, helps develop their student’s critical thinking skills as well as their ability to develop unique ideas and defend their position. These skills translate into a huge variety of professional settings and helps set Williams students apart from their contemporaries in an increasingly competitive job market.

13. Stevens Institute of Technology

It might be a surprise to see Stevens Institute of Technology on this list of schools with high paying undergraduate degrees but Stevens has some of the best STEM programs in the USA. Over 75% of students from Stevens graduate with a STEM degree and these quantitative skills are in very high demand in high paying sectors like banking. This becomes especially relevant given Steven’s location in Hoboken, just across the river from downtown Manhattan. Stevens’ proximity to Manhattan gives students the opportunity to get many job opportunities upon graduation and Stevens’ focus on quantitative skills is particularly attractive to many banks along Wall Street who greatly appreciate the ability to hire new employees from nearby institutions.

12. Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College is the most career-oriented college of the Claremont Consortium and this is reflected in their strongest programs. Claremont McKenna’s top government, economics, and international relations programs ensure graduates with ambition in business leadership or public affairs are thoroughly prepared to face any challenges in the course of their careers. Furthermore, Claremont McKenna’s more grounded approach to liberal arts education ensures that all graduates are well equipped for a wider variety of job opportunities and fields. The Athenaeum also provides students with unparalleled access to top professionals and researchers over the course of their lecture series and students can apply to sit at head table to personally interact with these lecturers in an effort to gain professional advice or even job opportunities.

11. Yale University

Yale University’s inclusion on this list should not come as a surprise as it is one of the most prestigious and rigorous academic institutions in the world. Yale’s reputation as one of the Ivies will always give graduate students a leg up in the job market. Furthermore, Yale’s focus on the humanities as opposed to the harder sciences opens doors to a wider variety of occupations such as Law. Yale’s residential colleges system also helps foster a sense of community and trust that can help graduating students break into higher paying job sectors.

10. Colgate University

Colgate University’s location in upstate New York helps foster a close knit community of current students as well as alumni. This extensive and supportive alumni network combined with Colgate’s interdisciplinary approach to education ensures graduates have all the skills and connections to excel in their careers. The Colgate’s Career Services office does such a good job connecting current students to supportive alumni looking to expand their businesses that students have even complained about how often they receive job related emails in the midst of their senior year. 

9. California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology stands as the western counterpart to MIT and Caltech’s reputation among more quantitative job fields cannot be understated. Caltech’s emphasis on STEM is reflected in its student population with over 98% of their graduating class in STEM related degrees. Students have access to top of the line scientific equipment and there is a saying that an undergraduate degree from Caltech is closer to a PhD from other universities. Caltech’s reputation definitely precedes them in the job market and Caltech graduates who don’t go into further education often find lucrative job opportunities in STEM once they finish their 4 years in Pasadena.

8. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is another member of the Ivy League with fantastic standing in many high paying job sectors. University of Pennsylvania standing within the Ivy League ensures job security for most graduates. One of the factors that helps set them apart from their peers is their business school. Wharton has been at the pinnacle of business education for years and their reputation in many high paying industries such as finance or consulting cannot be understated. Furthermore, an often overlooked factor into their high alumni salary is their fantastic nursing school. Maybe people overlook nursing as a potential career but nursing is a very stable and high paying job path especially in the USA.

7. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is highly regarded for their Finance and Economics programs especially in their business school, which often gives Santa Clara graduates an advantage over their peers. More STEM minded students can also apply for Santa Clara’s engineering school which also offers pre professional programs, students can even apply for the 3-2 engineering program which allows students to graduate with an undergraduate and masters degree over the span of five years. Furthermore, Santa Clara University’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley provides unparalleled access to internships and recruitment opportunities in both STEM and business related fields with many interesting and promising startups as well as bigger firms in the USA. 

6. Babson College

Babson College is unique in that they are solely devoted to business. Babson’s emphasis on entrepreneurship encourages students to think outside the box and gives them more concrete skills that other business schools don’t. Furthermore, students at Babson are given real life experience running their own businesses as part of the curriculum. Students get up to $3,000 from the college as starting funds and by the end of the year the projects are liquidated and the profits are given to charity. This invaluable experience combined with Babson’s location in the Boston area ensures graduates are given many advantages upon completing their education.

5. Harvard University

No school epitomizes prestige and reputation quite like Harvard University. Harvard has an excellent faculty and while students are given a world class education what really gives graduates an edge at the job market is the unparalleled access granted to Harvard alumni. Harvard’s tight knit alumni network ensures graduates get priority during recruitment periods and the trust placed on Harvard’s reputation ensures that most companies are more than willing to accept Harvard graduates into their fold.

4. Stanford University

Stanford University stands apart on the West Coast as a more practically minded peer to the Ivy League. The alumni network is incredibly far reaching and often goes above and beyond to help out fellow graduates secure job opportunities. The faculty and education are fantastic and its reputation as the most prestigious school on the West Coast helps secure jobs and opportunities in startups and major companies in Silicon Valley and the West Coast as a whole. 

3. Princeton University

Princeton University’s relatively smaller size among the Ivy League helps build an incredibly close knit community. This camaraderie is emphasized by their residential college system and helps graduates connect with the alumni network when looking for jobs. Furthermore, Princeton’s focus on undergraduate education has led to them consistently topping the rankings for undergraduate schools which further bolsters Princeton graduates’ reputations upon entering the workforce.

2. Harvey Mudd College

Despite Harvey Mudd College’s smaller size, it has some of the best STEM programs in the entirety of the United States of America. The student body is incredibly self-selecting and Harvey Mudd has the highest percentage of future PhDs in its undergraduate population in the whole of the USA. The computer science, math and engineering programs in Harvey Mudd are particularly noteworthy but Harvey Mudd are equally famous for their more holistic view of education compared to the other STEM-oriented schools. Another factor that sets Harvey Mudd apart is their Clinic Program where major companies like NASA, Microsoft and Google will outsource some problems to Harvey Mudd students to solve as part of their curriculum. These factors all combine to ensure Harvey Mudd graduates are incredibly sought after in any STEM related job sectors. 

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

While Massachusetts Institute of Technology has outstanding STEM programs like engineering and computer science they also have great emphasis on social sciences particularly economics. This ensures that graduates from MIT have the technical knowledge to work in any quantitative field but also a sufficient understanding of markets and societal needs to properly maximize their STEM background over the course of their careers. Furthermore, over 92% of MIT students also conduct their own independent research programs often through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program which further bolsters their CV helping graduates secure employment in many high paying STEM related careers.

Quantum Prep is an education consultancy that focuses on placing their students at the best colleges or universities. We boast of diverse results. In addition to the traditional rap sheet of prestigious university acceptances, our consultants like to highlight the different paths they have sent students on. All of our students are different; we are proud of our one-on-one tailored approach towards university counselling. Contact us for a complimentary 30-minute initial meeting, where you can get tailored individualized advice on how to put your best foot forward. Read our reviews to see what our clients think of us.

By Brendan Lung, Admissions Consultant

Published 09-01-2024

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