What makes a college turn out higher earners? Is it reputation and prestige? Academic rigor? Networking opportunities? And which colleges in New Jersey graduate the highest earners? It probably takes a combination of all of the above and more to turn out high-earning grads.
Stacker.com compiled a list of the colleges whose graduates earn the most, using 2021 data — released in 2023 — from PayScale.
They listed them in order of mid-career earnings (median salaries for alumni with 10+ years of experience,) and early-career earnings (alumni with 0-5 years of experience.)
And on a list of the top 100 in the country, two of the top 20 are right here in NJ.
Number one in the country was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
MIT, with median mid-career pay listed as $167,200 and early career pay, as $93,700.
No surprises there.
But the number 3 on the list for high-earning grads in the entire country was Princeton University, with a median mid-career salary of $161,500 and early career pay of $81,800.
Incidentally, nearly half of Princeton’s grads majored in business and Princeton’s grads make an average of more than $90,000 per year
At number 15 was Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken which the study reports has grads whose median mid-career salary is $150,900 and median early career pay is $80,400.
Obviously, most of Stevens students major in science and technology and become very successful quickly.
Not only does Stevens have grads with a high early salary but according to the study, Stevens graduates historically find jobs within six months after graduation.
Only one other NJ school made the top 100 and that was way down on the list at number 71 and that was New Jersey Institute of Technology. Still, with a not-too-shabby mid-career pay at $129,600 and early career median pay at $69,200, they’re evidently doing a good job.
Colleges with a strong reputation and brand name tend to attract more high-performing students who are likely to secure high-paying jobs after graduation.
And both Princeton and Stevens Institute of Technology fall into that category. Employers also tend to view graduates from prestigious colleges like these as more valuable and attractive candidates, which can lead to higher starting salaries.
The study also says that these colleges offer robust networking opportunities, such as career fairs, alumni networks, and internships, which can help students make valuable connections that can lead to job opportunities and higher salaries after graduation. That’s something to consider also, when choosing a college if you’re hoping for that eventual big payday.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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