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B.S. in CS - Starting Salaries. Why the huge gap between colleges?

garggauravgarggaurav Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
Here are some of the average starting salaries I could find on the Internet for CS majors.

MIT - ~$90,000
Stanford - $93,850
Cornell - $91,641
CMU - $90,120
UCLA - $88,384 (CS)
Berkeley - $83,139
UMich - $77,500
GTech - $71,250
UT Austin - 70,000
UIUC - 68,650
UCLA - $66,871 (CSE)
Purdue - 59,090
Drexel - $58,584

It's interesting to see the pattern here. MIT, Stanford, Cornell, CMU and UCLA make about 90k. I couldn't find the data for Caltech but I have a feeling even they will be around this much.

Next come Berkeley and UMich with about a 10k drop from the above. At about 80k.

Then after more than a 10k drop are GT, UT, UIUC and UCLA (CSE). At about 65k - 70k

And at the bottom are Purdue and Drexel - About 60K


Now, most of these schools are in the top 15 when it comes to CS. I am wondering how come there is a difference of 30k between them.

They all are ABET accredited programs (I think), and I assume that someone at MIT will learn the same stuff as someone at Purdue. I do know that MIT is far tougher to get in, so the students will generally be smarter.

Here's my question: Do MIT grads earn more (a LOT more) because they are smarter, or because they are students of MIT? What will happen if I take the resume of an MIT graduate, with all his national awards, projects and everything else, and just change the College name from MIT to Purdue. Keeping everything else the same, will he still be worth 90k?

Also, I was honestly quite surprised to see Cornell and UCLA making it to the 90k club. I was sure that Berkeley, and even UMich were better than both for CS. Any explanation? You think Berkeley's large EECS enrollment might have something to do with this?



*Note that some universities don't have a separate CS. So for them, the data is for the closest major I could find (CSE, EECS).
Post edited by garggaurav on

Replies to: B.S. in CS - Starting Salaries. Why the huge gap between colleges?

  • UrAverageAznUrAverageAzn Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    It's a lot to do with what jobs the majors go into. I know that for Berkeley, EECS majors go into both EE and CS jobs, where EE jobs generally have a lower starting salary. I know that you noted that the EECS starting salary was $83,000 which is actually noted as the average salary of graduates which may or may not be the same thing (https://career.berkeley.edu/Major/EECS.stm). However, if you look at the CS major (https://career.berkeley.edu/Major/CompSci.stm) the average salary is ~$95,000. So to answer your question (at least for Berkeley and other EECS major schools), its the jobs that the CS majors go into. Not all of them go into programming. Doesn't have to do with intelligence. Name brand probably does help at the very top schools though.

    And lol for future refernce the AP thread section may not be the best place to find answers haha.
  • garggauravgarggaurav Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    ^^ Oops! Didn't realize it's AP. I just googled Computer Science CC and this came up. Anyway, I did repost this on the Engineering section.
  • DarthpwnerDarthpwner Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    Why is the UCLA CSE starting salary so low?
This discussion has been closed.