WORCESTER, Mass.– A recently released ranking compiled by Payscale.com recognizing the top colleges and universities that produce the best-paid graduates placed Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 8th in the nation among engineering schools, 9th in the nation among Ivy League and engineering schools, and 10th in the nation among all schools for highest starting median salary. This is the second year in a row that Payscale.com has placed WPI in the top 10.
WPI and other engineering schools produced the best-paid graduates in the nation. Median starting salaries among WPI graduates with up to five years of work experience averaged $61,100. For graduates with 10 to 20 years of experience, the mid-career median was $110,000; WPI ranks 11th in the nation among engineering schools, 16th among Ivy League and engineering schools, and 24th in the nation among all schools in terms of highest mid-career median salary.
In calculating the rankings, PayScale.com considered fields of study as a factor, in addition to the actual colleges and their locations; the survey results show that majors are just as important in determining how much a graduate's starting salary will be. WPI's undergraduate program offers all of the engineering, science, and technology programs listed in PayScale.com’s list of top 20 majors that lead to high salaries: aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, industrial engineering, environmental engineering, and physics. Through the university's project-based curriculum, WPI students work in teams and with professors to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems.
"A WPI education is among the most marketable in the nation, one that produced a valuable return on investment," said Jeanette Doyle, director of WPI's Career Development Center. "Industry recognizes the value of a WPI education, and businesses actively recruit highly qualified students and alumni alike."
Top recruiters of WPI students include Raytheon, United Technologies Corp., General Electric, General Dynamics, EMC2, Teradyne, Analog Devices, BAE Systems, Fidelity Investments, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Intel, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Hewlett Packard, Compaq Computer, National Grid, Mass. Electric, IBM Rational, Lucent Technologies, Accenture, Genzyme, and UMASS. The placement rate for WPI's class of 2008 was more than 90 percent. The majority of WPI students stay in New England, but graduates are employed nationwide.
The goal of the PayScale.com’s salary survey, which was completed by 1.2 million users on its website over the last year, is to help determine the undergraduate educations that are the best investment. In turn, this allows prospective students and their families to be able to figure the "return on investment" of going to college. The survey results reflect only the earnings of bachelor's degree recipients; all alumni who went on to earn graduate degrees were excluded. Salary totals include base salary, bonuses, commissions, profit sharing, and overtime, if applicable, but does not include equity (stock) compensation. The recently released rankings were featured in The New York Times' July 20, 2009 "Economix" blog, and on the online higher education news source CampusGrotto.com.