Harvey Mudd College among the greats
It should come as no surprise that graduates from Dartmouth and MIT end up in very high-paying careers. However, some people are surprised that fourth on the pay-scale list, right after Harvard, is a liberal arts university called Harvey Mudd College.
The New York Times reports that the mid-career median salary for Harvey Mudd College is about $124,000, right in the same range as MIT and Harvard. Dartmouth tops the list with a median mid-career salary of $130,000. That’s enough to allow you to pay back the personal loans that paid for your tuition in just a couple of years.
Why the surprise?
People are not the least bit surprised that MIT graduates make big money because it’s common knowledge that jobs in technology are among the highest paying in the country. But Harvey Mudd College is just another liberal arts school in California, right? Though it does label itself a liberal arts university, the Harvey Mudd College web site says:
We’re one of the premier math, science and engineering colleges in the nation. We’re also unique because we are a liberal arts college. Aren’t math, science and engineering mutually exclusive of the liberal arts? Maybe at some places, but not at HMC.
What do you mean, liberal arts?
So, if Harvey Mudd College is a math, science and engineering college, what makes it a liberal arts school? The web site says:
We educate engineers, scientists and mathematicians who become leaders in their fields and have a clear understanding of the impact their work has on society. That’s the big picture.
Now here’s how we make it work. Mudd offers nine math, science, and engineering-based majors, all grounded in a solid core curriculum that includes a healthy dose of humanities and social science courses. Why? Because we know that you don’t have to sacrifice your interest in music or art (or anything else) to be good scientists. And because an understanding of history and politics will make us more effective engineers, chemists, lawyers, doctors and human beings.
More effective human beings, eh? That certainly sounds like a liberal arts college to me. Sounds like Harvey Mudd College has a good formula figured out.
Not just in it for the money
Though Harvey Mudd College is not an Ivy League school, it does cost roughly the same, about $40,000 per year for tuition and fees. So if all you want is to maximize your earning potential, you might as well go to Dartmouth.
However, if you want to stay in the west but make as much money as an Ivy Leaguer after college, Harvey Mudd College is your best choice, as far as earning potential goes. A very close second on the list for West Coast schools is Stanford, whose graduates’ median mid-career salary about $122,000.