Many factors go into choosing a college. In these economic times, one measure that is getting a lot of attention is level of post grad pay. According to New York Times writer Catherine Rampell’s article published July 20, 2009, the release of PayScale’s latest, updated data can shed some light on your tuition’s return on investment. Ms. Rampell states:
“Forget U.S. News’s academic rankings and Playboy’s party-school list. For some prospective college freshmen, here’s the important question: Will I make more money if I go to Harvard, or if I go to Harvey Mudd?
PayScale, a site that collects data on salaries for different professions, argues that it can help students answer that question. Today the company is releasing an updated, gigantic data set on the salaries of graduates from hundreds of universities and colleges, as well as salaries and career choices broken down by department/major. READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE
To be honest, part of me wants to agree with this measure. After all, college is a serious investment of time and money. However, part of me also wants to argue that there is more to life than getting the biggest salary. I’ve known too many people who had great paying jobs but only lived after 5:00 pm and on weekends. I’ve also know people who have graduated from colleges that are not even “on the map” and have risen to lucrative salaries at the top of Fortune 100 Corporate America.
Bottom line: Averages are only useful if you want to be average. Proceed with caution and take into consideration all the tools available to you. Then build a life that is above average.