10 Highest Paying Computer Science Programs - InformationWeek

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8/27/2015
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David Wagner
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10 Highest Paying Computer Science Programs

Computer science majors from these 10 schools can expect to earn the most by the time they reach the middle of their careers, according to data from Payscale.com. See how your salary stacks up.
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(Image: 401k 2012 via Flickr)

(Image: 401k 2012 via Flickr)

 

Payscale.com released its 2015-16 College Salary Report on Aug. 26, and among the highlights of the report is the list of colleges with the highest paid alumni. This year, the list shows that the shipping industry is a good career choice, with alumni salaries for graduates of SUNY Maritime College outpacing top schools, such as Harvey Mudd and Harvard.

If you're more interested in working in tech than you are in sailing the high seas, we've extracted details on the colleges that offer the best earnings potential for computer science majors.

To compile its report, Payscale.com pulled median salary data from graduates of more than 1,500 US schools, including more than 1,000 institutions offering Bachelor degrees and more than 400 graduate schools. The average number of responses from each school was 325, and only schools deemed to have a statistically significant number of responses were considered in the report.

Payscale broke the median salary data down into "early career" (less than five years of experience) and "mid-career" (at least 10 years of experience). The salary results are not compiled according to specific jobs, but rather based on college majors.

Our list, based on the Payscale data, ranks the top 10 schools whose computer science alumni have the highest median mid-career salaries. While our list also shows the early-career salaries for each school, we opted not to use that information as our ranking criteria because recent graduates' earnings are often affected by geography and other outside influences. By mid-career, most of the noise has been filtered out.

Reporting on the median salaries of those who majored in computer science doesn't give us the full picture of what IT pros are earning, since many of you are not computer science majors.  Still, it's a useful guide to what graduates from the top-earning schools are being paid now, and offers CIOs and other hiring managers insight into what they can expect to pay for IT talent.

[ Finding the right job involves more than playing with keywords. Read 10 IT Job Search Habits To Nail A New Gig. ]

Check out the list. You'll find at least two surprises, in my opinion, including the schools coming in at No. 4 and No. 1.

See how your salary stacks up against your fellow alumni, and against the computer science majors at rival schools. Use it for bragging rights around the watercooler. Share it with your HR department. Use it for hiring decisions. Or, if you're just starting out in IT, consult the list to help you find the best path to success.

If you don't see your school on our top 10 rankings, check out the complete Payscale list here. Show your school spirit in the comments section below.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2015 | 3:49:44 PM
Re: Never wanted to be a scientist
@impactnow- Given the low IT unemployment rate, I suspect placement rates are inflated even at schools that produce bad graduates. I'd like ot think that the salary rates are the best long term indicator of quality we have though I know those numbers are skewed by a lot of outside factors.
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Author
8/28/2015 | 2:58:13 PM
Re: Never wanted to be a scientist
Very interesting results . I am surprised some other top programs did not make it to the list. I think it would also be very interesting to see the placement stats for graduates from the schools,since people are investing small fortunes in their college education . If graduation placement is not high , then salaries are somewhat skewed in light of lifetime earnings.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2015 | 2:27:50 PM
Re: Never wanted to be a scientist
@ddurbin1- Oh the old west coast-east coast battle. Next we'll be talking about Biggie vs Tupac. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2015 | 2:26:07 PM
Re: Biased by cost of living
@erlrodd1- It is true, but that data is hard to factor in. You are right that the reason California dominates the list is the cost of living. That's why I found University of Delaware such a big surprise on the last. 

At the same time, California not only has a high cost of living it also has silicon valley which means I demand for jobs. Obviously, high paying jobs are going to be where the tech centers are which is why it isn't  asuprise that there are east cost schools, too.

The factors are hard to pin down easily. But the fact that a school like U of Delaware clearly has kids that go all around the country to earn more money but top schools like Wisconsin or North Carolina or Michigan don't says somehting about the program, doesn't it?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
8/28/2015 | 2:22:05 PM
Re: Never wanted to be a scientist
@DDurbin1- Right, I agree that business teaching is pretty lacking in computer science programs. I'm currently working on an article about innovative IT programs and one of the areas I'm focusing on is how to combine business and IT knowledge.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/28/2015 | 2:21:23 PM
Re: Never wanted to be a scientist
@yalanand, I'm a bit bias here but I think the east coast and mid-west MBA programs do the best job of education on business information application.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/28/2015 | 9:58:48 AM
Never wanted to be a scientist

I didn't want to learn how to engineer a computer or understand the electronics that made them function.  That's what most computer science programs offered for the most part particularly early on.  I had a hard time finding a school that would teach me computing abilities then teach me how to apply them to various types of businesses.   I still think that's the norm until you find a graduate degree in business focused on information management not mathematics or electrical engineering where most CS programs have previously been found.

 

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