04/19/2013 08:09 am ET

The Highest-Paying College Degrees: Forbes


Students who recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science are making an average salary of $84,400. Engineering grads from Stanford are earning a bit less, $74,700. The third-highest salary for grads is for nursing school alumni from New York University, at $70,200.
These numbers come from a new survey released by NerdWallet, a four-year-old personal finance website based in San Francisco. NerdWallet offers price comparisons for everything from credit cards to airport parking.

To put together its salary list, it started with the US News & World Report list of top colleges and cross-referenced it with data it culled from university career services that polled students about their starting salaries from the years 2010-2012. The numbers on the list are average salaries from those combined years. The list is not comprehensive because many schools don’t release salary info. But NerdWallet was able to get data for 100 schools on the US News list and from those 100, it pulled out the 25 highest-paying. Our slide show highlights the top 10.

Check through to see the entire list at Forbes.

Some schools, like Stanford, provide salary information only for schools within the school, like engineering, No. 2 on the list. Other schools, like Carnegie Mellon, do a breakdown of salaries for various departments including computer science and technology. Not surprisingly, most of the top salary-getters have diplomas in those disciplines. But other schools like Harvey Mudd College (No. 4, at $69,000) and Princeton (No. 14, at $63,000), give salaries for the graduating class as a whole.

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Some schools didn’t provide any salary information: Harvard, Yale and Brown among them. But there is other useful information about those schools on the site. Click here, enter a school’s name, and you can see what percentage of the undergraduate class is employed, what percent are in graduate school and the breakdown of which careers students are choosing. For instance, at Harvard, 64% of students are employed upon graduating and 24% are heading to grad school. The top three professions for Harvard grads are financing/investing at 24%, consulting at 14%, and education, also at 14%. NerdWallet’s tool also lets you compare statistics at up to four schools at once.

The salary list is far from complete but it offers some hard numbers that show how much new grads from some of the nation’s top programs earn. If you graduate from one of the top 25, you’re making more than $57,000.

Here are the top 10 highest-paying degrees:

Highest-Paying College Diplomas: Forbes
Highest-Paying College Diplomas: Forbes