5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
> Mid-career median salary: $115,000
> Starting median salary: $69,700
> Location: Cambridge, MA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates are the fifth highest earners among all colleges and the third highest among engineering school. According to the school, 76 “present and former members of the MIT community have won the Nobel Prize,” 36 have received the National Medal of Science, and three have been awarded the Kyoto Prize. Additionally, “there are 73 Guggenheim Fellows, six Fulbright Scholars, and 21 MacArthur Fellows among current MIT faculty and staff.” According to The Guardian, if MIT was a country, it would have the 11th highest GDP in the world as a result of its exceptionally active alumni community. Graduates enjoy the highest starting median salary among U.S. colleges.
4. Harvard University
> Mid-career median salary: $116,000
> Starting median salary: $54,100
> Location: Cambridge, MA
Harvard is well known for producing successful, influential graduates. As a result, it is not only the education students receive that benefits them later on, but the connections they make. The school, again, is one that many CEOs attended. In addition to an exceptional number of U.S. presidents and other world leaders, the school has produced many billionaires, including Michael Bloomberg, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Citadel founder Kenneth Griffin and David Rockefeller Sr.
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3. Harvey Mudd College
> Mid-career median salary: $121,000
> Starting median salary: $64,400
> Location: Claremont, CA
Harvey Mudd College edges out Harvard University in producing students who earn both a higher median starting and mid-career salary. It is considered the top liberal arts college for high earners, as well as the second best engineering school. Additionally, Harvey Mudd College is one of the most popular schools for software developers. Notable alumni include Jonathan Gay, creator of Flash software, and Nabeel Gareeb, CEO of MEMC Electronic Materials.
2. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
> Mid-career median salary: $123,000
> Starting median salary: $69,600
> Location: Pasadena, CA
California Institute of Technology is the top engineering school and the second school overall when it comes to salary potential of its graduates. The school has less than 1,000 undergraduate students, yet there is an exceptionally high rate of success among alumni. Undergraduate alumni have won a number of prominent awards, and have founded or cofounded countless tech-based companies, including Hotmail, Compaq and MathWorks.
1. Princeton University
> Mid-career median salary: $130,000
> Starting median salary: $56,900
> Location: Princeton, NJ
Graduates of Princeton University have the highest median career salary in the country. It is the only school listed as having a mid-career median salary of over $125,000. Among the school’s graduates are Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn. Lucky for Princeton, its alumni give back. On a per-student basis, Princeton has the highest endowment of all U.S. schools.
Charles B. Stockdale