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.