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WSJ Article, Payscale, 100K Club - Consolidated

aquamarineeaquamarinee Registered User Posts: 3,028 Senior Member
edited August 2008 in College Search & Selection
Post edited by aquamarinee on

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

  • gellinogellino Registered User Posts: 3,017 Senior Member
    However, not too many Ivy League aspirants would guess that median mid-career salaries are higher for Bucknell, Colgate, RPI than for Columbia; even though initial salaries for Columbia grads were higher than at least Bucknell and Colgate. I feel there's a lot of contrasting underlying themes at play such as % that go onto to grad school and types of industries that alums tend to gravitate towards. I also wonder how they do the data colection. I don't know how my alma mater, nevermind the WSJ, would have any idea of my compensation.

    It's interesting how low UMichigan comes out in comparison to what many supporters would make you believe in comparison to 'peer' schools; especially at the 25% and 10%ile levels.
  • CervantesCervantes - Posts: 758 Member
    This has confirmed by belief all along. You'd be delusional if you believe going to higher ranked schools doesn't increase your earning potential in and of itself. However, remember that we can agree that kids going to a higher ranked school are probably the same ones seeking out and getting higher paid jobs, i.e., the students are more capable. I think the real question is, how much does going to a higher ranked college increase one's earning potential? I'd say not a lot given the fact that Ivy and Ivyesque colleges turn out more talented graduates who are likely to get higher paid jobs than their state school counterparts even if they went to a state school. What was surprising were the bashes on the engineering degree. Frankly, I think if one wishes to down the path of a traditional engineer, yes, there is a bit of a "cap" as to how much you can make. But, remember, an engineering degree does not preclude you from the paths a liberal arts major can take-i.e., business administration. Lastly, for anyone wondering whether it is worth it to go to college, it is quite clear that attending any college gives one earning potential that could not be easily received with just a high school degree. Education is an investment that pays off in many dividends.
  • slipper1234slipper1234 Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    Interesting study.


    Ivy Leaguers' Big Edge

    Where people go to college can make a big difference in starting pay, and that difference is largely sustained into midcareer, according to a large study of global compensation.

    In the yearlong effort, PayScale Inc., an online provider of global compensation data, surveyed 1.2 million bachelor's degree graduates with a minimum of 10 years of work experience (with a median of 15.5 years). The subjects hailed from more than 300 U.S. schools ranging from state institutions to the Ivy League, and their incomes show that the subject you major in can have little to do with your long-term earning power. PayScale excluded survey respondents who reported having advanced degrees, including M.B.A.s, M.D.s and J.D.s.

    Even though graduates from all types of schools increase their earnings throughout their careers, their incomes grow at almost the same rate, according to the survey. For instance, the median starting salary for Ivy Leaguers is 32% higher than that of liberal-arts college graduates -- and at 10 or more years into graduates' working lives, the spread is 34%, according to the survey.

    One reason why Ivy Leaguers outpace their peers may be that they tend to choose roles where they're either managing or providing advice, says David Wise, a senior consultant at Hay Group Inc., a global management-consulting firm based in Philadelphia. By contrast, state-school graduates gravitate toward individual contributor and support roles. "Ivy Leaguers probably position themselves better for job opportunities that provide them with significant upside," says Mr. Wise , adding that this is the first survey he's seen that correlates school choice to a point later in a career.

    Also, more Ivy League graduates go into finance roles than graduates of other schools, and employers pay a premium for them, says Peter Cappelli, a professor of management and director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. "Dartmouth kids get paid more for the same job than kids from Rutgers are [doing]," he says.

    Which school pays off the most? According to the survey, graduates of Dartmouth College, an Ivy League college, earn the highest median salary -- $134,000.

    Of all Ivy League graduates surveyed, those from Columbia earn the lowest midcareer median salary -- $107,000. Meanwhile, the highest-paid liberal-arts-school graduates, from Bucknell University, earn slightly more -- $110,000.

    Mr. Wise called the data thought-provoking. "These results, to some extent, confirm suspicions that many people have about the importance of a person's college choice in giving them better pay opportunities down the line," says Mr. Wise. "What we still don't know is whether or not it's the training or education the school provides that drives these pay differences, or if the people from those schools are just wired to self-select into jobs that are likely to be paid more."

    The survey also looked at how much salaries increased over time. Liberal-arts-school graduates see their median total compensation grow by 95% after about 10 years, to $89,379 from $45,747. Meanwhile, graduates of "party schools" (as defined by the 2008 Princeton Review College Guide) aren't that far behind, with their incomes increasing 85% during that time to $84,685 from $45,715.

    • Survey respondents included two sets of U.S. bachelor's degree graduates: Full-time workers with 5.5 years of experience or less and full-time employees with 10 or more years of experience.
    • 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.
    • Salary included annual cash compensation, including base salary or hourly wages, combined with commissions, bonuses, profit sharing and other forms of cash earnings.
    • PayScale Inc.'s Methodology Explanation

    At the bottom: Engineering-school grads, who earn the highest starting salaries, yet see their paychecks expand just 76% by their career midpoints to $103,842 from $59,058.

    Contrary to what many parents tell their children majoring in subjects like political science or philosophy, these degrees won't necessarily leave you in the poorhouse. It can depend on what career path you choose to pursue with that degree. History-majors-turned-business-consultants earn a median total compensation of $104,000, similar to their counterparts who pursued a business major like economics -- whose grads earn about $98,000 overall at midcareer, the PayScale study shows.

    English majors in all career paths who graduate from Harvard University earn a median starting salary of $44,500, compared with $35,000 for those with English degrees from Ohio State University -- a 27% difference. And that disparity widens even more after 10 years. By then, English majors from Harvard reported earning $103,000 in median pay, 111% more than their counterparts from Ohio State.

    "With a liberal art's degree, it's what you make of it," says Al Lee, director of qualitative analysis at PayScale. "If you're motivated by income, then there are certainly careers in psychology that pay as well as careers out of engineering."
  • gellinogellino Registered User Posts: 3,017 Senior 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.
  • nocousinnocousin - Posts: 841 Member
    Thats very interesting stuff out there. Also, the alumnae associations can play a HUGE role....especially on hyper competitive wallstreet jobs. Who you know can greatly affect whether you get the job. But I thought it interesting that Dartmouth grads doing the same job get paid more than Rutgers grads.....that sounds like or smells like a corporate bias.....and one wonders if its borne out in the job performance...or if they both perform about the same.

    of course, finance jobs lead to uber high incomes later, often.

    Then again, I have neighbors with B.A. degrees in nothing special from a very modest state school, who work as salesmen for pharmaceutical companies....not all that prestigiuos a job....but lucrative...pulling in 200k a year.
  • slipper1234slipper1234 Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    There's totally a bias. I've always felt with an Ivy degree an opportunity is yours to lose vs. grads of less prestigious schools who continually have to prove themselves. Of course, this isn't universal - if you're in Spokane, Washington or JAckson, Mississippi its not going to matter. But the best jobs are in the biggest cities, and Ivy grads tend to overperform greatly in these places.

    As for Dartmouth- Dartmouth's alumni network + legacy in business + career services give it a strong boost IMO. Also a little known fact is that the D-plan, which allows for fall, winter, and spring internships gives it a HUGE advantage. Dartmouth is a unique school - its often misunderstood- yet in every published study (WSJ graduate placement, placement at Harvard and Yale Law and top 5 b-schools and med schools, avg. income, vault* study on number of recruiters on campus, etc) it continually over-performs against its peers (Columbia, Penn, Brown, etc). Duke also does better than many realize. Columbia is the most overrated school among the Ivies in my opinion. It lags in every published study of alumni performance.
  • Brown man1987Brown man1987 Registered User Posts: 961 Member
    Newsweek.com: Newsweek US Edition: Nation: The Worthless Ivy League?

    ^ Here is an article about a study done by Princeton economist Alan Kruger who claims that if you're smart enough to get into an Ivy, where you go to school doesn't matter.

    I highly doubt the school you go to matters to the great extent that people make it out to be on CC- it's just that many kids who go to Ivies are already brilliant, so it is likely that they would make more money than their non-Ivy peers even if they had decided to go to a non-Ivy school. Students create their own success; this makes the schools look good.
  • bruno123bruno123 Registered User Posts: 1,390 Senior Member
    I didn't have time to go through the data in detail, but it looks more like a matter of school type than ranking/prestige properly.

    In simple terms, tech majors (e.g. engineering or CS) initially tend to make more money than liberal arts/humanities majors. Unsurprisingly, eight out of the top 10 colleges in the WSJ's starting median salary ranking are actually tech schools (Caltech, MIT, Harvey Mudd, Polytechnic University, Cooper Union, Carnegie Mellon, RPI, and WPI). Over time, i.e taking mid-career salaries as a reference, the Ivies tend however to overtake the tech schools probably because a comparatively higher percentage of their graduates move on to high-paid professions like medicine, business or law, or, alternatively, get advanced graduate degrees that also increase their earnings potential.
  • Brown man1987Brown man1987 Registered User Posts: 961 Member
    Bruno, only students with a bachelors were surveyed.
  • hawkettehawkette Registered User Posts: 4,863 Senior Member
    In the recently released Payscale survey of annual salary levels for college graduates, 40 colleges showed median annual salaries at mid-career at over $100,000. Here is the listing of those colleges:

    Rank , Mid-Career Salary , School , Location , Type

    1 , $134,000 , Dartmouth , Northeast , Private
    2 , $131,000 , Princeton , Northeast , Private
    3 , $129,000 , Stanford , West , Private
    4 , $126,000 , Yale , Northeast , Private
    5 , $126,000 , MIT , Northeast , Private
    6 , $124,000 , Harvard , Northeast , Private
    7 , $123,000 , Caltech , West , Private
    8 , $122,000 , Harvey Mudd , West , LAC
    9 , $120,000 , U Penn , Northeast , Private
    10 , $116,000 , Notre Dame , Midwest , Private
    11 , $114,000 , Worcester , Northeast , Private
    12 , $113,000 , U Chicago , Midwest , Private
    13 , $112,000 , UC Berkeley , West , Pub
    14 , $111,000 , Carnegie Mellon , Northeast , Private
    15 , $110,000 , Cornell , Northeast , Private
    15 , $110,000 , Rice , South/Southwest , Private
    15 , $110,000 , Rensselaer , Northeast , Private
    15 , $110,000 , Bucknell , Northeast , LAC
    19 , $109,000 , Brown , Northeast , Private
    20 , $108,000 , Colgate , Northeast , LAC
    21 , $107,000 , Columbia , Northeast , Private
    22 , $107,000 , Amherst , Northeast , LAC
    22 , $107,000 , Bowdoin , Northeast , LAC
    22 , $107,000 , Lafayette , Northeast , LAC
    25 , $106,000 , Georgia Tech , South/Southwest , Pub
    25 , $106,000 , Colorado Sch of Mines , West , Private
    25 , $106,000 , Holy Cross , Northeast , LAC
    28 , $105,000 , Stevens Institute , Northeast , Private
    28 , $105,000 , Occidental , West , LAC
    30 , $104,000 , Vanderbilt , South/Southwest , Private
    30 , $104,000 , Swarthmore , Northeast , LAC
    30 , $104,000 , Davidson , South/Southwest , LAC
    30 , $104,000 , W&L , South/Southwest , LAC
    34 , $103,000 , U Virginia , South/Southwest , Pub
    34 , $103,000 , Boston Coll , Northeast , Private
    34 , $103,000 , Carleton , Midwest , LAC
    37 , $102,000 , Williams , Northeast , LAC
    38 , $101,000 , UCLA , West , Pub
    38 , $101,000 , UCSD , West , Pub
    38 , $101,000 , Pomona , West , LAC
  • UCBChemEGradUCBChemEGrad Registered User Posts: 10,277 Senior Member
    What do they classify as "mid-career"? 15 years post graduation?

    I believe peak earnings are achieved in the 45-54 year-old demographic cohort. This would imply "top-career" at approximately 25 to 34 years post-graduation.
  • noobcakenoobcake Registered User Posts: 1,736 Senior Member
    Missing some schools. Note that this is a SURVERY with limited data points, which can be expected from WSJ.

    I highly doubt that Yale 90th is 326k, while Princeton's is only 261k (such a gap, and 90th percentile is quite meaningless). Poor MIT only 220k.

    Imo, starting salary is the most meaningful measure here, everything else is absolutely bs.
  • kwukwu Registered User Posts: 4,759 Senior Member
    Columbia, Bowdoin, Lafayette, and Amherst should be tied.
  • ericatbucknellericatbucknell Registered User Posts: 758 Member
    hawkette, you are missing georgetown, cooper union and polytechnic in the 110k+ club.

    regardless, i must say that this kind of a salary survey is a waste of time, not because it is not important, but because non-representative data and limited sample sizes form a pretty deadly combination when dealing with numbers as closely bundled as mid-career salaries for those possessing only bachelors degrees.
  • Titan124Titan124 Registered User Posts: 385 Member
    I love these articles, if only because it helps damage the completely false conception that simply going to an ivy league school equals successs. Sadly, many students, parents, and even grand parents think that.
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