These 16 Colleges Produce Tech Graduates With the Highest Salaries

Explore the colleges that consistently produce tech graduates with sky-high salaries.
Updated April 11, 2024
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There are many ways to land a well-paying job in tech. This includes attending a college known to churn out high earners in computer science, engineering, web development, etc.

We looked into research from Burning Glass Institute, a nonprofit that studies employment trends, to get data on the best colleges for students hoping to land high-paying tech jobs.

Here are the 16 top colleges helping their graduates get ahead financially with the highest-paying tech jobs.

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Stanford University

Sundry Photography/Adobe beautiful main quad entrance with decorative arches at stanford university during day time

Interestingly (but perhaps not surprisingly), many of the top schools on this list are in California. Chief amongst those, perhaps, is Stanford University which will prevent tech graduates from needing to crush debt with high potential salaries.

Stanford, a private university in the San Francisco Peninsula, took the top spot across both private and public schools. The average annual salary for a Stanford grad is $151,028

According to salary data analyzed by the institute, Stanford grads make an average of more than $45,000 a year above the median salary of tech workers with bachelor’s degrees ($105,169) in the decade after graduation.

Harvard University

Crin/Adobe team rowing in water at harvard university

Harvard was just a little behind Stanford regarding the average salaries of its tech grads. Harvard grads in tech fields earn an average of $149,934 annually.

However, a far smaller percentage of students at Harvard are graduating with degrees in tech fields — 5.9% of graduates as opposed to Stanford’s 14.6%.

Still, Harvard tends to churn out well-paid workers, with tech graduates from the Massachusetts Ivy earning about $44,765 more on average than the typical tech worker.

Princeton University

PhotoSpirit/Adobe princeton university with no students and staff during COVID with cherry blossom trees during day time

Another Ivy League school takes the number three spot for high-earning tech grads. Princeton, located in New Jersey, was just below Harvard regarding average salaries.

Tech graduates at the school, who make up 8.71% of all grads, earn $44,348 above the national average annually. Princeton’s tech grads make an average of $149,517 a year.

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Brown University

wolterke/Adobe van wickle gate in brown university during day time

Another Ivy in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown was next on the list for top-earning tech grads. On average, Brown graduates working in tech industries make about $39,110 more than the median.

According to the data, about 7.56% of the school’s graduates studied in tech fields, and these workers earn average salaries of around $144,279 annually.

Pro tip: Choosing a tech career can help you eliminate some money stress from your future self. Getting into a program like Brown offers could take that to the next level and help you grow long-term wealth

Yale University

jonbilous/Adobe new haven temple square building in connecticut

Yale is the last of the Ivy Leagues on this list, rounding out the top five. Tech grads from the New Haven, Connecticut, school make $38,096 above the national average annually.

The school also has the smallest percentage of tech grads on the list, with just 5.64% of its annual graduates majoring in tech-related fields.

However, these alumni still make good money; annual salaries average $143,265.

California Institute of Technology

wolterke/Adobe main entrance at caltech university with green gardens and whitewashed buildings on sunny day

California Institute of Technology has a larger percentage of tech graduates than any other school on this list, with 28.96% of students graduating with tech-related degrees.

This could be because Caltech, located in Pasadena, touts itself as a “world-renowned science and engineering institute” and offers many programs to back that up.

Graduates earn $37,666 over the average annual salary, around $142,835 a year.

Carnegie Mellon University

Christian Hinkle/Adobe beautiful view of the skyline of pittsburgh during day time

Carnegie Mellon, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is next on the list, and like Caltech, a large portion of students graduating from the college (22.88%) do so with tech degrees.

Carnegie Mellon touts its graduates’ success in the start-up world, noting that over the past decade, more than 400 startups linked to the school have raised more than $7 billion in funding.

The school’s tech grads make $36,004 more than the national average annually, earning average salaries of $141,173 annually.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Marcio/Adobe massachusetts institute of technology building with golden lights in front of garden full of grass and trees during day

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the final private school on this list.

Located in Cambridge and known for its competitive engineering and physical sciences programs, the school also has many tech graduates (22.75% of all grads).

MIT grads make an average of $35,363 more than other tech graduates and average annual salaries of around $140,532.

University of California, Berkeley

coralimages/Adobe day time shot of berkeley university with clock tower and city view

Jumping to public colleges, the University of California, Berkeley tops the list for top-earning graduates.

In fact, Berkeley tech grads — who make up 12.77% of the school’s graduates — out-earn MIT grads annually, according to the Burning Glass Institute’s data.

The school’s tech grads make $35,791 above the national average annually, earning salaries of around $140,960.

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University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

James/Adobe entrance of law building at university of michigan during day time with autumn season trees

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has a smaller percentage of tech graduates than many other schools on this list (7.69%); however, these graduates tend to make very good money.

Tech school graduates make $22,237 more than the national average, putting their salaries at $127,406 a year.

University of California, Los Angeles

trekandphoto/Adobe UCLA campus in los angeles with royce hall during day time

University of California, Los Angeles, took the number three spot for public colleges.

It has a smaller percentage of tech grads than UC Berkeley — and the other two UC schools you’ll see later on this list — at only 7.98%.

UC Los Angeles tech grads still tend to earn significantly higher than most, at $21,288 above the national average annually. The average salary for the school’s tech grads is $126,457.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Laxmikant/Adobe foellinger auditorium located at the south end of the university of Illinois

The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s tech grads (8.23% of all graduates) earn around $19,631 more than the national average annually.

Several of the school’s engineering programs have earned top rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college reports. Tech grads from the school earn $124,800 annually.

University of Washington, Seattle

Leslie C Saber/Adobe university of washington with beautiful cherry blossom trees during day time

Rounding out the top five for public schools is the University of Washington’s Seattle campus.

On one of the University of Washington’s three campuses, the school is the least expensive (taking tuition and fees into account) on this list.

The school offers many tech programs, with 11.24% of graduates getting tech-related degrees. These grads make an average of $18,570 over the national median, about $123,739 annually.

University of California, San Diego

Natalia Bratslavsky/Adobe hepner hall housing school of social work in california

The third UC school to land in the top 10, UC San Diego is also known to produce top-earning tech grads.

The school’s tech students — about 12.23% of all grads — out-earn the median by $17,637 on average, earning around $122,806 annually.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

James/Adobe william and linda front centre for research and innovation on campus of california polytechnic state university

California Polytechnic — also known as Cal Poly — is located between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California’s Central Coast in San Luis Obispo.

The school boasts a unique “Learn by Doing” approach to teaching, and about 12% of its annual graduates leave with tech-related degrees.

Grads can earn $17,465 more than the national average annually, with an annual salary of around $122,634.

University of California, Davis

Chris Allan/Adobe brick gate entrance to uc davis with dutton hall in background surrounded with lush green trees

Located in northern California, UC Davis is the fourth and final UC school on this list.

Not far behind Cal Poly when it comes to earnings, tech grads from the school tend to make $16,487 more than the national median.

On average, tech alums from the school, who make up 8.53% of grads, earn around $121,656 annually. Going here could go a long way in helping you to financially prepare for the future

Bottom line

digitalskillet1/Adobe young woman cheering up while wearing graduation gown and hat

Clearly, and not surprisingly, given the industry in the state, California is the place to study if you’re hoping to boost your bank account with a high-paying job in the tech industry.

However, it’s not the only state churning out well-paid grads. Aspiring students and their families should crunch the numbers — like tuition vs. what the average grad earns — to make the best college decisions.

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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.

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