Top US Universities with Highest Earning Power: Private Schools Lead Past Caltech, Stanford, Harvard in Payscale

July 30
9:00 AM 2014

Among the most expensive investments that a person makes in his entire life is his university education. With this, selecting the right college degree that has a high possible return on their investment is essential, since it is fairly obvious that majority of the college graduates are expected to have jobs after graduating.

For this year's annual college salary report by Payscale,com, the list reveals the ranking of universities in the United States with the highest percentage of students who obtain employment immediately after finishing college. The site has been used a reliable source of people who wants to know which school has the best statistics in landing a job after college, or which educational institution provides the best statistics to earn a wage for a specific profession. It has been noted that in the recent Payscale list, most of the universities are in the fields of healthcare and education.

Forbes has since questioned Payscale's methodology in coming up with the list. As such, it is to note that despite the fact that California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Stanford and Harvard Universities have all made in in the top spots, there are a few unfamiliar schools (to the rest of the world, at least), who have managed to surpassed some of the Ivy League Schools.

The magazine observed, "If an alum goes to graduate school, including business or law school, they don't get counted because it's impossible to know how the graduate school degree affected their earning power. Another note about Payscale's calculation: It is comparing the mean amount earned by alums, compared to what they would have earned had they only gotten a high school degree. Payscale also considers the numbers of students who finish their bachelor's degrees at each school in four, five and six years and weights the cost accordingly. Its main calculation assumes that the students have paid the full sticker price, without aid, though for public schools, it does two separate calculations, one for in-state tuition and the other for out-of-state." 

Below are the top 5 leading universities in the United States that has the highest percentage in job meaning. High job meaning is defined by Payscale lead economist Katie Bardaro as the percentage of the value of the worker's contribution to his society regardless of the fact that the salary does not much match the value attached to it, Business Insider said.

1. Thomas Jefferson University (Center City, Philadelphia)

High Job Meaning Percentage: 84%

Starting Salary: $64,400

Mid-Career Salary:  $79,900

With over 3,700 students currently enrolled, Thomas Jefferson University boasts a graduation rate of 90%. They have awarded over 30,000 medical degrees, who have now landed good jobs in their specific fields.

2.. University of New England (Biddeford, Maine)

High Job Meaning Percentage: 82%

Starting Salary: $45,600

Mid-Career Salary: $77,800

Within a span of 5 years, UNE saw its student enrollment trend increased to 71% with a total of 9,681 students this year. UNE has two campuses in Maine (Biddeford and Portland) and a new campus in Tangier, Morroco, which opened last January.

3. Trident University International (California)

High Job Meaning Percentage: 81%

Starting Salary: $50,000

Mid-Career Salary: $62,200

An online university accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Trident University International provideseducational experience for diverse adult learners, who are mostly former members of the US Armed Forces. This institution boasts of a word-class faculty members, with over 90%  of them have doctoral degrees in their respective fields.

4. Avila University (Kansas City, Missouri)

High Job Meaning Percentage: 80%

Starting Salary: $45,500

Mid-Career Salary: $60,500

This Catholic university (Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet) has a diverse student from around the globe with over 13,000 alumni. Established in 1836, Avila University now offers 60 college majors and 5 graduate programs and currently has 1,971 students enrolled.

5. Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, California)

High Job Meaning Percentage: 80%

Starting Salary: $64,200

Mid-Career Salary: $76,000

This is the third health care institution and the second religious faction-run university that tops the list. Run by the Seventh Day Adventist, Loma Linda University has over 4,000 enrollees this year from around 80 countries. 

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