Thursday, April 30, 2009

Best Ivy League Schools By Salary Potential

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Annual pay for Bachelors graduates without higher degrees. Typical starting graduates have 3 years of experience; mid-career have 15.5 years. See full methodology for more.

While surfing around the internet, I found the above chart which describes which of the Ivy League Schools are the best if you take future potential salary into consideration.  It seems to be that the best school in terms of median salary straight out of college is my alma mater, Princeton.  The median starting salary for a Princeton Graduate is $66,500.  In terms of salary in Mid Career, Princeton is second with a median salary of $131,000.

What I find odd though is this is one of those things that really can't tell you very much about what it is worth to attend an Ivy League school.  While it may sound great to end up with a salary of $130,000, getting into a school like Princeton or any other Ivy League school definitely cannot guarantee you that.  In fact there may in fact not be a causal effect here at all.  You have to remember, that many of the people who attend Ivy League schools got in there because they are smart and motivated.  It is not the university itself that made these people who they are.  So many of these people would have been successful no matter what.

But even more interesting is the methodology.  One of the pre-requisites to be included in this survey is that the individual not have an advanced degree.  Seriously, how big can this data set even be?  I had a lot of friends at Princeton.  I am seriously, and this is no joke, the only one of my friends that does not have an advanced degree.  Everyone has either an MBA, Law Degree, Medical Degree, or some sort of Masters or PHD.  I am unique in that I neither have an advanced degree nor do I plan to get one.

So do I think having a degree from an Ivy League school means a chance at a better future salary?  Only marginally.  Like I said, there are a lot of factors at play here that determine what someone will eventually make.  While the data is probably valid, Princeton graduates do earn a good living, there is very little that would convince me that attending Princeton was the cause of this.


  1. Huh I thought Yale's number would be higher.

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