There are many different things to base a College decision on. For some, location is key. It might be important to stay close to home or to gain independence by venturing out.
For the lucky few who actually know what they want to be when they grow up, the decision may be based on the need to find a school that offers a certain program.
And then there are those who make a decision based on the likelihood of success they’ll have after attending a school.
But success means different things to different people. So we set out to determine where the most successful new college grads are coming from based on three different areas:
- Schools where new grads earn the highest starting salaries
- Schools that offer the best career placement programs
- Cities with the happiest young professionals
Schools with the Highest Starting Salary
To determine where the most successful college grads came from, we started by taking a look at starting salaries. Whether we want to admit it or not, a high salary is a definite indicator of success, especially when you’re just starting out. We found the top 50 schools where graduates earn the most right after graduation using rankings from Business Insider.
Not surprising, schools that specialized in programs like engineering, science, and math ranked at the top. What was surprising to us? None of the eight ivy league universities made it into the top five! More than that, two out of the top three schools are military institutions.
Check the full list out here:
|Rank||University||Median Starting Salary|
|1||US Naval Academy||$80,700|
|2||Harvey Mudd College||$75,600|
|3||US Military Academy||$75,100|
|4||California Institute of Technology||$74,800|
|5||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||$70,300|
|7 (TIE)||Carnegie Mellon||$62,300|
|7 (TIE)||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||$62,300|
|9||Georgia Institute of Technology||$61,700|
|13 (TIE)||Princeton University||$60,000|
|13 (TIE)||Rice University||$60,000|
|15 (TIE)||Duke University||$59,500|
|15 (TIE)||University of California at Berkeley||$59,500|
|17||University of Pennsylvania||$59,300|
|19||Johns Hopkins University||$58,700|
|22||Case Western Reserve University||$58,000|
|26 (TIE)||University of Michigan at Ann Arbor||$56,800|
|26 (TIE)||Bucknell University||$56,800|
|31||University of Notre Dame||$55,200|
|33 (TIE)||Washington University at STL||$55,000|
|33 (TIE)||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||$55,000|
|36 (TIE)||University of Virginia||$54,100|
|36 (TIE)||Northeastern University||$54,100|
|39 (TIE)||Wake Forest University||$53,300|
|39 (TIE)||Villanova University||$53,300|
|41||University of Washington||$52,400|
|42||University of Texas Austin||$52,200|
|43 (TIE)||Middlebury College||$51,900|
|43 (TIE)||Tufts College||$51,900|
|43 (TIE)||Boston College||$51,900|
|46||Brigham Young University||$51,800|
|47 (TIE)||University of Southern California||$51,700|
|47 (TIE)||University of Connecticut||$51,700|
Schools with the Best Career Placement
Next, we took a look at which U.S. schools had the best career placement records. Because to earn that high starting salary and to be considered successful, you definitely need a job after graduating– and pronto.
We took a look at rankings from the Princeton Review showing the schools with the best career placement. These colleges and universities are exceptional when it comes to helping their grads find jobs! They turn lost college students who have no clue what they want to do with their lives and turn them into focused, goal-oriented, and successful professionals.
Schools with top career placement programs include:
|1||Harvey Mudd College|
|2||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|3||California Institute of Technology|
|5||Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology|
|6||Stevens Institute of Technology|
|7||State University of New York- Maritime College|
|9||Carnegie Mellon University|
|10||Worcester Polytechnic Institute|
|11||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute|
|19||University of Pennsylvania|
|20||Georgia Institute of Technology|
|21||Santa Clara University|
|24||University of California Berkeley|
Cities with Happiest Young Professionals
And last but not least, in order to find where the most successful college grads were, we decided to get out of the campuses and look at which cities they were happiest in.
Because happiness = success too!
We took at look at the list of cities with the happiest young professionals by CareerBliss. According to their data, these cities rocked it when it came to important job satisfaction factors like high pay, career advancement opportunities, and a work-life balance.
Cities like New York and San Francisco are generally known as cities for the young and hip. But this list was actually mostly comprised of mid-sized cities like Orlando and Charlotte!
Here’s their full list:
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Success is determined by way more than just salaries, career service offices, and the city you live in. We couldn’t agree more! But setting yourself up by attending one of these schools or living in one of these cities can’t hurt either.
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