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The Top 10 U.S Colleges With the Best Salary Prospects in 2020

How to make the most of your college experience.

Featured image via Peakpx

It’s no secret that the process of applying to, and attending, college is going to be very different for students this year. Some have announced that they will be inviting students back for the fall semester, whilst some appear to be planning for a completely online teaching programme. In light of this new norm, we have created a rundown of the schools that pay off the most long term in terms of salaries. 

With college graduates in America earning an average of 80% more than those without a degree, it’s clear that the experience is more important than it has ever been. However, this is not helped by the rapidly rising cost of college tuition and life. 

When paired with this turbulent new situation around on-campus teaching, it’s no wonder that many families are questioning whether it is worth the financial burden. We hope that this list might help when it comes to picking the schools that are most worth it in the long run. Let’s get started! 

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $155,200

Via Wikimedia

Coming in at number one is Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Instead of the regular major selection, students at MIT have to choose a “course” to specialise in, much more similar to the UK University system. Some of the most popular are computer science and mechanical engineering. The STEM university is located inside Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

2. California Institute of Technology

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $151,600

Via Wikimedia

California Institute of Technology is located in Pasadena, California. The school, often abbreviated to CalTech offers less choice to students than most. All students must take a certain number of chemistry, physics, biology, math and scientific communications. So, you better be a science buff if you’re considering applying here! 

3. Harvard University

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $146,800 

Via Flickr

Taking third place is Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts (not far from MIT), the school was founded in 1636. This makes it the oldest college in the US. This has given it a pretty impressive alumni, as well as a noteworthy system of financial aid that has been developed over centuries. It welcomes a wider range of students than the previous two schools, with one of the most popular majors being economics. 

4. Stanford University

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience:  $145,200 

Via Wikimedia

The next renowned Ivy-league school is known for its incredible athletic and sports programmes, as well as its world class engineering, technology and science programmes. It enrols about 7,000 students a year onto its undergraduate programme, and has excellent salary prospects. 

5. Princeton University

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $139,400 

Via Flickr

Another long-standing education institution that offers good long-term gains is Princeton. Founded in 1746, it is the fourth oldest college in the country. It offers much more than STEM, with 75% of undergraduate students studying in other fields. They have almost 40 ‘concentrations’ to choose between. One unique thing about the school is the requirement to be fluent in at least one other language to attend, this unique aspect makes it even more selective. 

6. Yale University

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $138,300 

Via Needpix

Yale comes in one place below Princeton in our list, but is one place above in the ranking for oldest colleges. As the third oldest, the university is a notable Ivy League. The school’s curriculum is based around liberal arts, and students don’t have much choice to specialise in their desires subjects. All undergraduate students have to partake in classes in foreign languages, social sciences, quantitive reasoning, writing, and humanities. It’s the perfect place to apply if you consider yourself a real all-rounder. 

7. Duke University

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $132,100 

Via Flickr

Our next best value school is Duke. With a whopping 4,000 courses available each semester, you’re guaranteed to find your calling here. It is the most southern of our top ten, located in Durham, North Carolina. Although it is one of the newer prestigious US schools, and not an Ivy-league, it’s certainly one of the best in terms of salaries. 

8. Dartmouth College

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $130,900

Via Flickr

A relatively small institution in comparison to others, Dartmouth only has about 4,400 students; this makes it the smallest of the Ivy-league schools. It is located in Hanover, New Hampshire and was founded back in 1796. It has four schools, but the Tuck School of Business is the one that it is most known for.

9. Brown University

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $127,600 

Via Wikimedia

The first New York college of the list so far, Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island. The Ivy-league is renowned for it’s unique and flexible curriculum. The only requirement for students is that they complete at least 30 courses in their eight semesters there, and “demonstrate excellent skill in written English.”. This flexibility is unique, so this may be the best bet for those students who don’t cope as well with authority and high pressure situations.

10. Columbia University

Median salary for alumni with 10+ years of experience: $126,800 

Via Flickr

Topping Brown in terms of location, this final school with great salary potential is found in the heart of New York City. The school is the second largest landowner in NYC (after the Catholic Church), showing the size of its city campus. With over 80 areas of study to choose from, students are sure to find something that interests them. Although, keep in mind that there is a requirement to take on at least one foreign language. 

If you’re looking at how to make the most out of college financially, check out our top picks of jobs to take on whilst you’re there…

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