Aug 01, 2011 - Claremont, Calif. -
HMC ranked second in the category “Best Engineering Colleges by Salary Potential,” with mid-career salaries averaging just below California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and ahead of MIT.
Compared to all colleges and universities nationwide, HMC came in third for earning potential, just behind Princeton and Caltech, and ahead of Harvard and MIT.
Last year’s PayScale report for 2010-2011 put HMC at the very top of all colleges and universities in the nation: HMC graduates earned on average $126,000 mid-career, beating out MIT, Caltech, Harvard and Princeton. Last year, HMC ranked No. 1 as well in both categories in which it fell: best engineering colleges and top liberal arts colleges. This year’s report put Princeton at the top overall with a median mid-career salary of $125,000, lower than HMC’s 2010 average.
Salaries overall were lower in 2011-12, according to PayScale researchers. "The downward effect on starting pay for college grads of the jobless recovery is clear in the data,” reported Dr. Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale. “For example, the average starting pay for graduates of the top 10 schools is $63,900. Good pay, but down 1.5 percent from a year earlier. In 2008, before the financial collapse, four schools had median starting pay above $70,000/year: Caltech, MIT, Harvey Mudd and Stanford--in the 2011 list, no school does."
PayScale, Inc. analyzes the company's database of over 29 million unique compensation profiles, with the goal to provide a critical perspective on the relationship between college selection and both starting and mid-career salaries.
Earning potential is one factor that students consider when selecting a college, but others are equally important according to HMC VP for admission and financial aid Thyra Briggs. “Ultimately, students need to choose colleges based on where they think they will thrive and be challenged while also being cognizant of the realities of their financial situation,” Briggs said. “We want students choosing to apply and enroll at Harvey Mudd because they’re excited by our innovative approach to math and science education and not only because they hope that they will get a high paying job. When the Harvey Mudd curriculum was developed, the interest was not in generating graduates who would be earning the highest salaries but in generating graduates who would be uniquely prepared to deal with the most difficult challenges in an ever-changing world."
“A Harvey Mudd education is not only one of the most rigorous available to students but also provides a top notch math and science education in a broader liberal arts context,” said Briggs. “Therefore, not only are our students able to solve even the most demanding technical problems, but they also know how to work collaboratively, present their ideas to a broad range of audiences, and write well--traits that may distinguish them from other high level math and science graduates. Our students know how to think critically across disciplines rather than being pigeonholed into only one field. This kind of adaptability makes them very attractive to both employers and to graduate programs. It’s not at all rare for a company who hires one of our graduates to come back again looking for other students who can offer the same skills and flexibility.”
Huffington Post Article: The 12 Top-Paying Liberal Arts Schools
PayScale's 2011-12 College Salary Report
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger