These Colleges and Majors Lead to the Highest Salaries

Which school tops the list of universities that turn out the highest-earning graduates? Find out.

Harvey Mudd College is no longer the best school from which to earn a bachelor’s degree that yields the highest salary.

The private school in Claremont, California — which had held the top position for two years — has been unseated by State University of New York Maritime College (SUNY Maritime College) on Payscale’s list of undergraduate schools with the highest-paid alumni.

Maritime College’s alumni earn an average midcareer salary of $134,000, according to Payscale’s 2015-2016 College Salary Report.

Alumni of Harvey Mudd College, which came in at No. 2 this year among four-year schools, are not far behind with an average midcareer salary of $133,000.

Maritime College’s degree programs include engineering, naval architecture and marine studies. Harvey Mudd College is a liberal arts school focused on engineering, science and math.

Are you sensing a theme?

Payscale’s vice president of data analytics, Katie Bardaro, explains in a news release:

“As with many of the schools that end up at the top of our list in terms of earning potential, SUNY Maritime offers a strong engineering program. College graduates who major in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — are in demand in today’s labor market, and this increased demand drives up wages.”

Four out of the five highest-paying majors are engineering programs this year, according to Payscale’s analysis:

  • Petroleum engineering
  • Nuclear engineering
  • Actuarial mathematics
  • Chemical engineering
  • Electronics and communications engineering

The schools with the highest-paid alumni are:


  • CUNY (City University of New York) New York City College of Technology
  • Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
  • De Anza College, Cupertino, California
  • Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, California
  • Alvin Community College, Alvin, Texas


  • SUNY Maritime College
  • Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California


  • Emory University School of Law, Atlanta
  • UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles
  • Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Are you surprised by these rankings? Let us know what you think below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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