These Are The Colleges With The Highest Earning Graduates In Each State

David Luther
by David Luther
College Grad Jobs, Get The Job, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State

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One of the most important things to today’s college freshmen is that the college they choose will help them get a good job — but the most important thing is that the college experience will leave them financially well off in the long run.

That trend seems to be increasingly over time, as a 2015 UCLA study shows that 60 percent of incoming freshmen indicated it as “very important” that a college’s alumni get good jobs after graduation, up from 2013’s 53 percent.

But 82 percent of freshmen indicated that being “very well off financially” is essential or very important to their college choice.

We at Zippia have put together a list of the top schools by state in terms of what graduates typically earn — but our study is slightly different, in that we look at recent graduates as well as alumni well into their careers.

Below is a list of the top fifty, but first, here’s the best of the best:

  1. Harvard — Massachusetts
  2. Stanford — California
  3. University of Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania
  4. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences — New York
  5. Duke— North Carolina
  6. Princeton — New Jersey
  7. Yale — Connecticut
  8. Dartmouth— New Hampshire
  9. University of Chicago — Illinois
  10. Maine Maritime Academy — Maine

How We Determined the Top Paid Graduates

Using information found on the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) database, we searched for the college in each state with the highest incomes for graduated students.

We looked at median earnings six and ten year after they graduated, because promises of fat paychecks down the road don’t mean as much when you’re drowning in student loan debt two years out.

So, we averaged median incomes six- and ten-years out and ranked each state’s top school. Some of the list isn’t too surprising — Harvard leads the pack not just in Massachusetts, but first overall — but there are a few notables that make our list, demanding some more attention from prospective college students.

And as a reminder, each college on our list has to take the top place in its state to make the rankings. For example, MIT was actually second in the country, but since it’s also second in MA it doesn’t make the map.

Now, onto the list.

1. Massachusetts

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: Harvard
City: Cambridge
Average Earnings: $118,400
Not only does Harvard bump MIT off of the list entirely as the location for the highest-paid graduates in Massachusetts, Harvard also takes its place as the location most people think Good Will Hunting was located.

2. California

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: Stanford
City: Stanford
Average Earnings: $112,850
Only beaten by #1 Harvard for having the most millionaire alumni, its campus — The Farm — is one of the largest in the world and also sports the largest annual outbreak of mononucleosis in the world: Full Moon on the Quad

3. Pennsylvania

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: University of Pennsylvania
City: Philadelphia
Average Earnings: $102,850
Also known as “the only Ivy League that doesn’t sound like an Ivy League” by many — or at least myself — Penn is not to be confused with Penn State.

Because it is not Penn State.

4. New York

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
City: Albany
Average Earnings: $101,150
This school is a bit of a standout on our list, since it’s got a limited selection of majors that are almost entirely pre-health profession — but there you have it. This high value-added school is clearly successful at producing successful people, and offers a complete 6-year pharmacy program.

5. North Carolina

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: Duke
City: Durham
Average Earnings: $97,600
It’s not the most cost-effective way to get them, but if you’re a basketball fan it’s almost worth attending for the free tickets. If you’re a student and willing to camp out in the vile hovels that comprise K-ville, you’ll have a chance of saving yourself the $2,000 that UNC-Duke basketball tickets can run in the secondary market each year.

6. New Jersey

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: Princeton
City: Princeton
Average Earnings: $92,300
If you have a friend who goes to Princeton, you don’t need to worry about them not talking to you anymore, because they’ll thoroughly enjoy talking down to you. With a Princeton education one can afford to be magnanimous.

7. Connecticut

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: Yale
City: New Haven
Average Earnings: $85,850
People say that the students who go to Princeton and Harvard don’t have much in common, but that’s not true: they all got acceptance Yale, too.

8. New Hampshire

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: Dartmouth
City: Hanover
Average Earnings: $85,100
It’s the drunk uncle of the Ivy League: it’s mascot is Keggy the Keg, Animal House was written by an alum’s experiences at Dartmouth, and the school color was picked because no one else was using forest green at the time.

9. Illinois

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: University of Chicago
City: Chicago
Average Earnings: $82,800
It employs a House system, so instead of being placed into a dorm you’re guaranteed a place in your House for a full four years.

Unfortunately, the selection process does doesn’t employ a sentient sorting hat.

10. Maine

Best Colleges for Economics Majors to Get Jobs in Each State
College: Maine Maritime Academy
City: Castine
Average Earnings: $79,550
One of the service academies, it doesn’t require a military or maritime service period afterwards and or a congressional recommendation — though knowledge of how to swim is recommended. It’s primarily an engineering and marine sciences school, with underwater basket weaving being a presumably popular minor.

A Quick Rundown on Pay Rates and Job Placement Ratings

No college can guarantee you a job — much less being “very well off financially” — but many still stake reputations on their alumni’s career success and employment rates.

Because of the importance of these numbers to prospective students, it can often be tough to tell who to trust with these numbers. While some institutions go to great length to ensure their numbers are as accurate as possible, not all are as diligent — or (let’s just say it) as honest.

As this Hechinger Report article by Jon Marcus details, many universities are either misleading or outright lying about their placement rates, and there’s not always a ton of oversight when it comes to ensuring the rates they report to prospective students reflect the reality.

Independently-obtained pay information and career info from resumes serves as a system of checks and balances for the universities themselves. And of course, we’re always here to steer you in the right direction — watch doggy-style — as well as the IES, or the Institute of Education Sciences, a bipartisan government organization dedicated to finding scientific data related to education.

They try to keep this information as impartial as possible so that it can be used across the aisle as a solid base on which to build effective educational policies, and they keep this information in the IPEDS database mentioned at the beginning of the article.

College Location Average Earnings 10 Year Median Earnings 6 Year Median Earnings
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 118,400 130,500 106,300
Stanford University Stanford, CA 112,850 123,400 102,300
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 102,850 113,400 92,300
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Albany, NY 101,150 101,200 101,100
Duke University Durham, NC 97,600 107,600 87,600
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 92,300 113,000 71,600
Yale University New Haven, CT 85,850 95,300 76,400
Dartmouth College Hanover, NH 85,100 99,700 70,500
University of Chicago Chicago, IL 82,800 95,800 69,800
Maine Maritime Academy Castine, ME 79,550 81,300 77,800
University of Notre Dame South Bend, IN 78,300 88,000 68,600
Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA 75,950 89,600 62,300
Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO 74,250 82,300 66,200
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 74,000 84,700 63,300
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 71,600 77,400 65,800
Rice University Houston, TX 70,700 81,300 60,100
Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO 70,200 80,700 59,700
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus Atlanta, GA 69,250 78,800 59,700
Kettering University Flint, MI 68,250 73,900 62,600
Brown University Providence, RI 67,900 81,400 54,400
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 67,800 77,000 58,600
Middlebury College Middlebury, VT 65,850 81,100 50,600
Tulane University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA 60,150 67,300 53,000
Drake University Des Moines, IA 58,600 68,200 49,000
Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI 58,500 65,100 51,900
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott Prescott, AZ 57,800 65,500 50,100
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach Daytona Beach, FL 57,800 65,500 50,100
Creighton University Omaha, NE 57,800 67,500 48,100
University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA 54,700 61,300 48,100
Saint Johns University Collegeville, MN 54,400 66,200 42,600
Brigham Young University-Provo Provo, UT 54,400 66,700 42,100
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rapid City, SD 52,900 57,000 48,800
University of Portland Portland, OR 51,700 54,900 48,500
University of Delaware Newark, DE 51,550 59,000 44,100
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus Norman, OK 51,550 58,000 45,100
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Socorro, NM 50,150 58,100 42,200
Thomas More College Crestview Hills, KY 49,650 53,500 45,800
Samford University Birmingham, AL 49,450 57,900 41,000
John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR 49,450 56,400 42,500
Baker University Baldwin City, KS 49,250 53,300 45,200
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 49,100 56,500 41,700
Clemson University Clemson, SC 48,950 55,400 42,500
University of Mississippi Oxford, MS 47,150 52,700 41,600
Hawaii Pacific University Honolulu, HI 47,000 50,100 43,900
Montana Tech of the University of Montana Butte, MT 46,800 51,600 42,000
University of Nevada-Reno Reno, NV 46,000 52,200 39,800
University of Wyoming Laramie, WY 45,500 50,800 40,200
Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, AK 44,600 49,300 39,900
West Virginia University Institute of Technology Montgomery, WV 43,750 50,400 37,100
University of Idaho Moscow, ID 39,750 45,600 33,900