PayScale.com ranked UCSD as the sixth best four-year university in California and the 11th best public, four-year university in the U.S. based on salary potential for alumni who only received a bachelor’s degree. The rankings were released on Sept. 10, 2014 by the company’s headquarters in Seattle.
The data collected on UCSD for the rankings and featured on the site includes an average early-career salary, with five years or less of experience in their field, of $50,600 and an average mid-career salary, with at least 10 years of experience in their field, of $102,100. The site also records a high percent meaning — a percentage of people who answer “yes” or “very much so” to the question of whether or not their job “makes the world a better place” — of 52 percent and for science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees 38 percent for UCSD.
Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla made a recent statement on the ranking of the university and the potential career opportunities offered to UCSD.
“UC San Diego provides an academic experience that helps graduates prepare for successful careers and be engaged citizens of the 21st-century,” Khosla said in a UCSD press release on Jan. 14. “A UC San Diego education enables social mobility and enhances the lives of thousands of students and families.”
PayScale.com is awebsite that provides immediate data to employers and employees on current market salaries. According to its site, PayScale.com is the largest database of individual compensation information in the world and contains more than 40 million salary profiles.
The data collected is based on a survey provided by the site, which includes questions about the specifics of the survey-taker’s job, focusing on the compensable factors that PayScale determines to affect salary. The survey can be found on the site and is available for anyone to participate in.
After the data is collected through the survey, PayScale verifies the information using a data-cleaning algorithm — a procedure used to solve a mathematical or computer process — of their creation. They then take this data and run it through another algorithm, the MarketMatch algorithm, to isolate which factors have the greatest influence on pay for specific jobs.
Their methods also make unique compensation predictions that each individual can be likely to receive at a job.
This year, PayScale has expanded the breadth of data available in their 2014–15 College Salary Report in order to help students better understand their future earning potential.
“The relationship between college tuition, what a student chooses to study while in school and becoming a wage earner after graduation has become clear,” Lead Economist and Analytics Manager at PayScale
Katie Bardaro said in a press release on Sept. 10, 2014. “The PayScale College Salary Report focuses on salary because, simply, it’s PayScale’s expertise, and data on post-graduate earnings is hard to come by elsewhere.”
UC Berkeley, which ranks as fourth in California and sixth in the nation, was the only University of California campus to surpass UCSD on both lists. On the list of schools within California, UC Irvine ranks as ninth, UC Davis as 13th, UC Santa Barbara as 14th and UCLA as 16th.
The number one school in California on the list is Harvey Mudd College, with an average early career salary of $75,600. Students can also compare the earnings of all alumni, including those who went on to obtain higher education degrees after receiving their bachelor’s degrees. The data collected for this list varies slightly, with UCSD dropping to seventh on the list of schools in California but maintaining its position nationally.
“We want to empower students with information and set them up for success in regards to their future careers and financial health,” Bardaro said.