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Payscale’s 2023 College Salary Report Reveals Top U.S. Colleges and Highest-Paying Majors

/EIN News/ -- SEATTLE, Sept. 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Payscale Inc., the leading provider of compensation data, software and services, revealed its 2023 College Salary Report. The report highlights the top schools and degrees with the highest earning potential just in time for students making important decisions about the upcoming academic year.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton University are tied for best four-year university, both offering a substantial mid-career median pay of $189,400. The Helene Fuld College of Nursing is the top two-year college, offering a mid-career median pay of $106,200. Engineering majors dominate both bachelor’s and associate rankings for degrees that pay you back.

“While the perceived value of a college degree may be up for debate, this year’s College Salary Report shows that higher education continues to offer practical advantages when it comes to employment opportunities and salary offers,” said Payscale’s associate director of content, Amy Stewart. “We hope the report can serve as a valuable resource for students preparing to make one of the most pivotal choices of their life.”

Highlights from the 2023 report include:

Top Bachelor’s Degree Schools

  • MIT and Princeton are tied for the top spot this year offering a mid-career median pay of $189,400, followed by the United States Naval Academy with $181,500. Harvey Mudd College and Stanford University round out the top five, offering $179,600 and $177,500, respectively.
  • The best four-year universities list continues to be dominated by the Ivy League, elite technical universities, and private academies.

Best Associate Degree Schools

  • Helene Fuld College of Nursing tops the list of schools with the most financially rewarding associate degrees with a mid-career median pay of $106,200. Laboure College is next offering $101,200, followed by Pacific Union College at $97,900, and both Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and Belanger School of Nursing at $95,400.
  • The majority of the highest earning two-year schools train graduates for nursing and healthcare professions.

Best Schools by Major

  • From a salary perspective, the best institutions per majors are the following:
    • Art: Stanford University
    • Business: University of California-Berkeley
    • Communications: University of California-Berkeley
    • Computer Science: Harvey Mudd College
    • Education: Providence College
    • Engineering: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Health Science: Harvard University
    • Humanities: Princeton University
    • Math: Harvard University
    • Physical and Life Science: Harvey Mudd College
    • Social Science: Colgate University

Highest Paying Majors

  • The highest paying two-year major is radiation therapy, followed by software engineering, instrumentation technology, and instrumentation and control engineering. Project management is the first non-technical major in the list, ranking fifth.
  • Petroleum engineering holds the top spot for highest-paying bachelor’s degrees, bringing in over $20,000 more than any other majors. Operations research and industrial engineering is next, followed by interaction design, applied economics and management, and building science.

“This report makes clear that higher education is a key driver of earning potential, but it’s important to remember that not all students have the same resources to attend college, or get the same ROI from a degree,” said Ruth Thomas, pay equity strategist at Payscale. “Striking down affirmative action has put equitable access to higher education at risk, and we must continue to support DEIB initiatives in schools and the workplace in order to give everyone equal employment and salary opportunities.”

Payscale’s College Salary Report is based on alumni salary data of 3.47 million respondents, representing 2,475 associate and bachelor’s degree-granting institutions throughout the U.S. To access the 2023 College Salary Report’s full rankings and methodology, visit

About Payscale
As the industry leader in compensation management, Payscale is on a mission to help job seekers, employees, and businesses get pay right and to make sustainable fair pay a reality. Empowering more than 50% of the Fortune 500 in 198 countries, Payscale provides a combination of diverse and dynamic data sources, experienced compensation services, and scalable software to enable organizations such as Angel City Football Club, Target, Gainsight, and eBay to make fair and appropriate pay decisions.

Pay is powerful. To learn more, visit


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