Professors and executive staff at top colleges get paid lots of $$$ for their services. Add to that über generous retirement and benefits packages, the high cost of administering a plethora of social programs and politically correct courses, guest lecturers, and '<insert worthless topic> Studies' degrees, and expected donations to various popular causes. Throw in a prestigious brand name and maybe a sports team and the cost of actually getting an education can be really, really expensive. Many studies have shown that for the vast majority of people, the college that issues your diploma has almost no bearing on earnings after a few years of experience is gained. It does often matter, however, when you are seeking your first 'real' job after graduation. That is partly because high-paying companies recruit most aggressively at the well-known schools and partly because of loyalty to the alma matter by hiring managers who snobbishly prefer duly christened brethren (and sistren).
The good folks at PayScale.com recently published the results of a study done to determine what the typical return on investment (ROI) is for various colleges (1,312 sampled). The full report is available on the PayScale.com website, but here I cull data that applies to engineering schools. Harvey Mudd College consistently ranks at or near the top every year. Have you ever met an engineer that graduated from Harvey Mudd College? I haven't, that I know of.
Starting salary numbers are averaged across all disciplines, but of course truly useful degrees like engineering, science, business, and medicine are typically considerably higher. Data on specific degrees is available. The dismal 20-year ROI for degrees in Frisbee, <insert worthless topic> Studies, and 2nd Century Gothic Art must factor in eventual careers as burger flippers McDonalds or greeters at Walmart. Colorado School of Mines must have a particularly tough curriculum based on its graduation a rate of only 67%. It will be interesting to see how that number changes in 2018 with a full graduating class of stoners. NYU-Poly only has a 62% graduation rate; what's up with them?
|1||Harvey Mudd College||230||73.3||8.8||88|
|2||California Institute of Technology (CalTech)||220||68.4||8.3||92|
|3||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||223||68.6||8.4||93|
|5||Colorado School of Mines||114||66.7||11||67|
|6||Georgia Institute of Technology||92.3||60.7||12||79|
|7||Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology||217||65.1||7.8||76|
|8||Polytechnic Institute of New York (NYU-Poly)||224||60.7||7.7||62|
|13||Princeton University (U. of Einstein)||217||56.1||7.6||96|
|22||University of California - Berkely||134||54.7||9.4||91|
|34||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)||234||61.0||6.7||84|
|47||Cornell University (U. of Sagan)||228||57.0||6.6||93|
|339||University of Vermont (U. of Blattenberger)||111||44.0||7.0||76|
Posted May 28, 2014