Silicon Valley is ripe with Stanford alumni and dropouts. There’s a good reason why it’s such a popular school: its graduates get paid.
A new study from PayScale details how much graduates earn from top schools, and which degrees pay best. With regard to tech, Stanford alums who majored in Computer Science (CS) outpace those at other schools: early-career pay (0-5 years experience) is $101,000, while mid-career pay (more than 10 years experience) is $173,500.
That’s far better than second-place University of Pennsylvania, with CS graduates who earn $90,500 (early) and $158,100 (mid-career). While the list wobbles a bit between the two categories, it seems PayScale is putting more emphasis on the average spread between the two. For example, Yale CS graduates are technically second place for early-career earnings, but don’t fare as well later on:
The ultimate conclusion here? Computer Science majors have great salary potential. The study takes into account early and mid-career earnings by degree, and notes: “Some degrees pay you back, but others don’t do much to increase your earning potential.” A CS Bachelor’s degree ranks 14th on the list, which is fairly high, but it’s nonetheless beaten out by a long list of traditional engineering and mathematics degrees.
“Our report provides a good data point for students and families as they select a school and major. Increasingly, students want to understand the career and income opportunities associated with their college education,” says PayScale Vice President Lydia Frank. “While earning potential should not be the only consideration, it’s an important one, especially when considering the cost of each student’s education.”
Education is the first mile; a job is the rest of your journey. We’ve already noted Silicon Valley may not be the best place to stretch your salary, but it also might keep you job-hopping. A recent survey from Paysa says tech jobs at big companies such as Google and Apple tend to last less than two years. Those companies also hire a lot of fresh-faced graduates.
But if you have a choice between, say, Stanford and Iowa State University when deciding where to go for your tech degree, PayScale’s study should help make the choice very clear.