The very best salaries come to graduates of institutions back east. One exception: Computer-science majors at UW.

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The Seattle-based salary research outfit Payscale surveyed 2.3 million graduates of 2,700 universities and colleges to get a look at what graduates can expect to make. Washington schools didn’t blow the top off the list.

The University of Washington led institutions located here, but came in tied (with Stony Brook University in New York) at No. 122. The median UW grad made $57,300 early career and $108,800 mid-career. Not bad, but not elite.

This was well below the leaders: Harvey Mudd College ($81,000; $155,800), followed by Princeton, MIT, SUNY Maritime College and the U.S. Military Academy.

For our region, the leaders continue with:

  •  Whitman College in Walla Walla, ranked 136;
  • Gonzaga University, 153;
  • UW-Bothell, 198;
  • University of Puget Sound, 213;
  • Willamette University in Salem, 229:
  • Oregon State University, 233;
  • Seattle Pacific University, 248;
  • Washington State University, 250;
  • Seattle University, 255;
  • University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 272;
  • Oregon Institute of Technology, 280;
  • Western Washington University, 309;
  • Pacific Lutheran University, 317;
  • Portland’s Lewis and Clark College, 322;
  • University of Oregon, 345.

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You can check out the entire list here.

It also filters by majors. Here the main campus of UW comes in No. 13 for computer science, with early pay of $79,600 and mid-career of $146,200. Stanford University is No. 1.

One caution: The study is based on self-reporting from individuals completing a salary survey. Although the company states that “this data (are) rigorously tested and verified before (they are) considered for reporting,” individuals do sometimes fudge. Also, I suspect the high showing of West Point comes from graduates entering the Military-Industrial Complex. (A West Point grad is required to serve five years on active duty).

For comparison, the executive search firm Korn Ferry said the average starting salary nationally for a 2017 bachelor’s-degree grad was $49,785.


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