PayScale’s 2012-13 College Salary Report Preps Students for Realities of the Job Market

Share Article

With college tuition on the rise, PayScale’s Fifth Annual College Salary Report reveals which schools and majors will best prepare students to pay off their education debts; PayScale also announces College Selector Tool

PayScale, Inc. today announced its 2012-13 College Salary Report. The report, which analyzes the company's database of more than 35 million unique compensation profiles, provides a critical perspective on the relationship between college selection and both starting and mid-career salaries. PayScale also announced the availability of its new College Selector tool to help college-bound students make more informed decisions about university selection.

The PayScale College Salary Report includes 1,058 schools this year (up from 1,003 last year), which is representative of more than 80 percent of all enrolled bachelor’s degree candidates in the U.S., and 130 majors (up from 120 last year). The full report can be found at:

“Given that the economy isn't roaring back and student debt continues to spiral out of control, it is imperative that future college students educate themselves on the earnings they can expect after graduation,” said Katie Bardaro, lead economist, PayScale.

Highlights from the 2012-13 PayScale College Salary Report include:

1.    Princeton University once again claims the top spot on the list for highest mid-career salaries for its alumni at $137,000. It also comes out on top for salary in our new “Schools for Sports Fans” list.
2.    This year, we also looked at schools by percentage of alumni reporting high job meaning post-graduation. The top school by job meaning is Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences with 97 percent of graduates reporting high job meaning, followed by Thomas Jefferson University and North Central University tied for second place at 86 percent.
3.    Petroleum Engineering comes out on top for majors by salary potential with a mid-career salary of $163,000, followed by Aerospace Engineering at $118,000 and Actuarial Mathematics at $112,000.
4.    The top 10 highest earning schools’ graduates earn an average of $122,500 at mid-career (up nearly 5 percent over last year’s top 10) while the bottom 10 schools’ graduates earn an average of $44,490 at mid-career (almost the same as last year).
5.    The top mid-career salary for Division 1 Football is held by the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with an average mid-career salary of $90,200. In a close second the PAC 12 comes in with a mid-career salary of $88,925.
6.    The top mid-career salary for Division 1 Basketball is held by the Ivy League with an average mid-career salary of $110,250. In a close second the Patriot League comes in with a mid-career salary of $107,888.

Adds Bardaro: “New this year, we added in military schools. It turns out they are gangbuster when it comes to salary. One caveat is the dataset included are primarily those in the civilian labor force and not active service members, but it is obvious that military service provides these graduates with skillsets highly valued outside of the military as well.”

In conjunction with the release of the 2012-13 PayScale College Salary Report, PayScale is introducing the new College Selector tool to help prospective students find the colleges that best fit their needs. The tool allows users to filter by cost, financial aid availability, entrance requirements, areas of study, location, and more. Furthermore, results can be sorted by salary potential or by potential for a meaningful job after graduation. The College Selector tool can be found at:

“School choice impacts lifelong friendships, career opportunities and overall earning potential,” said Barnaby Dorfman, GM of consumer business, PayScale. “This new tool makes it easier than ever to navigate over 1,000 institutions, so young people and their families can make informed decisions.”

A note on methodology for the PayScale College Salary Report: All data used to produce the 2012-13 PayScale College Salary Report were collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale's salary survey. Self-employed, project-based, and contract employees are not included. For example, project-based graphic designers and architects, and nearly all small business owners and novelists, are not included. For more detailed methodology visit:

About PayScale
Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale’s products are powered by innovative search and query algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index TM, PayScale's subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate TM and PayScale Insight TM. Among PayScale's 2,200 corporate customers are organizations small and large across industries including Zappos, Volunteers of America and Manpower.

Follow PayScale on Twitter: @payscale
Find PayScale on Facebook:

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Steven Gottlieb
Email >
Visit website