UC Berkeley ranks 7th-highest statewide in postgraduate salary survey

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According to a 2017-18 College Salary Report published by PayScale, UC Berkeley has the seventh-highest postgraduate salary potential among all four-year universities in California.

PayScale, a company that collects salary information for their database, drew responses through an online survey from a total of 2.3 million college graduates.  The results showed that the median salary for campus alumni with zero to five years of experience, labeled “early career pay,” was $65,400, while the median salary for campus alumni with 10 or more years of experience, labeled “mid-career pay,” was $130,100.

In comparison, Harvey Mudd College, which came in first on both the California survey and the national survey, also conducted by PayScale, reported that Harvey Mudd’s alumni earn on average $81,000 in their early careers, and about $155,800 in their mid-careers.

The survey sampled 92 out of all of the four-year colleges in California. UC Berkeley is the highest-ranked school on the list from the UC system, but it fell behind other California colleges such as Harvey Mudd College, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University and Santa Clara University.

The median sample size was about 489 alumni at each school, with variations in the sample size that are “strongly correlated with the size of the school,” according to PayScale’s frequently asked questions.

The campus placed 30th out of 1,509 universities on PayScale’s survey of universities nationwide.

“Berkeley instills in its students skills and knowledge that any employer would find valuable, so it’s no surprise to see that our graduates are sought after and well compensated,” campus spokesperson Michael Dirda said in an email.

According to the survey, 49 percent of UC Berkeley’s alumni reported that they felt their work makes the world a better place.

“While salary is no doubt a motivator, we also encourage students to enter into careers that are personally meaningful and that contribute to the greater good,” Dirda said.

Contact Alicia Kim at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @aliciackim.

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  • flashsteve

    Although the article does not say it explicitly, it appears that all the schools above U.S. are private schools. I wonder what accounts for the difference? better screening of freshmen? better education? more specialized majors?

    • jeyhovah

      How about that private schools have access to a range of higher paying jobs because their alumni come from higher paying professions? The college experience is not just meant to give you an education, it is also meant to give you access to an alumni network for recruiting purposes. It’s pretty obvious (in my opinion) that it isn’t about the education in this instance, but rather these private schools are recruited by their alumni, giving the students access to higher paying jobs. You can make the same comparison between the UC System and the CA state schools, for example.