Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

WSJ Article, Payscale, 100K Club - Consolidated


Replies to: WSJ Article, Payscale, 100K Club - Consolidated

  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    Using the averages in general is terribly misleading because income isn't distributed in a normal distribution (e.g., everyone clustering around the middle, the traditional bell-shaped curve). Just one super-rich kid from a rich background filling in Dartmouth data could pull the average family background up, for example.
  • johnwesleyjohnwesley - Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    good point, post #150.
  • gellinogellino Registered User Posts: 3,017 Senior Member
    ^ a higher % of science/engineering majors, perhaps? Especially since Duke and Cal/Berkeley are tied at the 25%ile and Duke does better at the 10%ile.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,623 Senior Member
    ^^ According to payscale.com's own cost-of-living calculator, it costs 72% more to live in San Francisco than in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. That includes 36% more for groceries, 188% more for housing, 1% less for utilities, 25% more for transportation, and 17% more for health care. (Actually, the difference varies depending on where you are in the Research Triangle. These figures are for Raleigh; Chapel Hill is slightly costlier, Durham a bit cheaper, but Raleigh represents a rough midpoint for the region).

    Consequently, the Duke grad making $106,000 and staying in North Carolina is , by a wide margin,financially better off than the Berkeley grad making $112,000 and staying in the Bay Area. Notice that most of the schools ranking highest in salary are in expensive markets in the Northeast and California, where salaries for the same job are typically higher because the cost of living is significantly higher than elsewhere in the country.

    Do your own market-by-market comparisons, courtesy of payscale.com:

    PayScale - Cost of Living Calculator
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Registered User Posts: 10,277 Senior Member
    1% less for utilities
    I find that very hard to believe. The Bay Area is temperate year round...no need for heating and air conditioning... North Carolina on the other hand suffers from hot, humid summers and cold, wet winters.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,623 Senior Member
    ^ I can't vouch for payscale.com's figures, but I do know that in general terms electricity tends to be pretty cheap in the southeast where they burn a lot of cheap coal, and pretty expensive in California where in addition to higher generation costs they also tend to have pretty steeply progressive rates to encourage conservation. so I wouldn't be surprised if this figure is in the ballpark---I'd expect that Californians use a lot less energy but pay significantly more for what they do use, so it's pretty much a wash.
  • Professor101Professor101 Registered User Posts: 640 Member
    SF Bay area housing price is probably close to 3 times that of the NC Research Triangle.
  • gellinogellino Registered User Posts: 3,017 Senior Member
    I would think less than 15% of Duke grads stay in NC.
  • BacchanaliaBacchanalia - Posts: 39 Junior Member
    ^Probably less than that. Teach for America is one of Duke's top employers, so one possible explanation is that a higher percentage of Duke grads are opting for non-profit or service careers which would pay a lot less. Berkeley seems a lot more pre-professional at the undergrad level with its engineering and business programs. Payscale doesn't track alumni that go on to grad schools(law, med, masters program, etc.) and keep tabs on their eventual salary does it? If not, then it would certainly explain Berkeley's $112,000 mid-career earnings because if you have an engineering degree or a BBA, you can enter the workforce immediately with pretty solid pay.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,623 Senior Member
    ^^^ I wonder how many of the 54% of Berkeley grads who leave the Bay Area end up in LA, where many of them came from?

    As for where Duke grads end up, I have no idea. It once was a distinctly Southern school, but it's increasingly a Northeastern school in the middle of a growing metropolitan region, the Research Triangle, that in some ways can be seen as the southernmost extension of the Northeast (apart from south Florida, I guess). But my guess would be that considerably more than 15% of Duke grads stay in NC. It's a fast-growing region with lots of high-end, information-economy job opportunities, and many Duke grads seem to like it there.
  • Professor101Professor101 Registered User Posts: 640 Member
    ^^ I don't have the statistics, but I don't think that a lot of Berkeley students leave the Bay Area for LA.
  • hawkettehawkette Registered User Posts: 4,863 Senior Member
    Duke's students come from a wide variety of states:

    15% North Carolina
    10% Florida
    8% New York
    7% Texas
    6% California
    5% Virginia
    5% Maryland
    4% New Jersey
    4% Illinois
    3% Connecticut
    3% Massachusetts
    3% Georgia
    3% Ohio
    3% Pennsylvania

    Given this distribution, I'd be very surprised to learn that large numbers stay in the Research Triangle or even in NC. More likely, there are as many who go to NYC as stay in North Carolina. As for the pay of Duke graduates vs UC Berkeley, I'd guess that, after averaging for cost of living, the Duke grads would earn at a higher average rate. However, I would guess that the top 25% of each would be fairly similar to one another.
  • stanford2012!!stanford2012!! Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    how come the data doesn't include stanford?
  • IPBearIPBear Registered User Posts: 312 Member
    "Maybe, but it shows how meaningless it is for your future to choose the #8 ranked school over the #14 ranked school (this year, no less) in comparison to other differentiating factors between the two."

    congratz to gellino for a great post.
  • houwitzerhouwitzer Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Another explanation to Duke's lower median salary would be in the methods used by WSG.
    The survey excluded respondents who reported having advanced degrees, including M.B.A.s, M.D.s and J.D.s. Self-employed, project-based, and contract employees were also not included.

    Duke is very much a pre-professional focused university. A very significant amount of graduates are thus not included in the survey data, including all the doctors, lawyers, and businessmen and women who are probably making quite a lot today. Because of this, the median salary is not a very great prediction for the success of Duke grads, as most of them go in to one of the fields excluded in the calculations.
This discussion has been closed.