Top 20 colleges for computer science majors, based on earning potential

By Ann Bednarz

California is home to the top five computer science schools in the U.S., according to a new salary-centric report from PayScale.

The research company ranked 129 college majors based on the median pay for alumni from 1,016 schools (see related story, Computer science major ranks No. 8 for salary earning potential).

In addition to ranking the most lucrative majors, PayScale also analyzed which schools produce the highest-paid graduates in each field of study. Among computer science graduates, alumni from University of California, Berkeley, led the pack with a median mid-career salary of $141,400, PayScale said. The Golden State is also home to the next four universities in the computer-science rankings.

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To come up with its rankings, PayScale surveyed 1.4 million civilian employees working full-time in the U.S. Only employees who possess a bachelor's degree and no higher degrees are included in PayScale's College Salary Report. The rankings are based on the median mid-career earnings of graduates.

Best Schools for Computer Science MajorsSource: PayScale

1. University of California, BerkeleyStarting pay: $82,000Mid-career pay: $141,400

2. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (CalPoly)Starting pay: $67,000Mid-career pay: $125,000

3. University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)Starting pay: $68,000Mid-career pay: $120,200

4. Stanford University (tie)Starting pay: $90,000Mid-career pay: $120,000

4. University of California, Irvine (UCI) (tie)Starting pay: $64,200Mid-career pay: $120,000

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)Starting pay: $82,400Mid-career pay: $117,500

7. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)Starting pay: $66,700Mid-career pay: $117,000

8. Cornell UniversityStarting pay: $70,000Mid-career pay: $116,500

9. University of California, San Diego (UCSD)Starting pay: $70,000Mid-career pay: $115,000

10. Rutgers University - New BrunswickStarting pay: $63,000Mid-career pay: $114,50011. San Jose State University (SJSU)Starting pay: $65,500Mid-career pay: $114,400

12. New York University (NYU)Starting pay: $60,000Mid-career pay: $112,500

13. University of Washington (UW)Starting pay: $65,000Mid-career pay: $112,100

14. University of Maryland (UMD)Starting pay: $66,000Mid-career pay: $112,000

15. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)Starting pay: $69,500Mid-career pay: $111,500

16. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) (tie)Starting pay: $81,300Mid-career pay: $111,000

16. Georgia Institute of Technology (tie)Starting pay: $65,800Mid-career pay: $111,000

18. University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)Starting pay: $65,000Mid-career pay: $110,000

19. University of Texas (UT) - AustinStarting pay: $64,000Mid-career pay: $106,200

20. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)Starting pay: $68,000Mid-career pay: $106,000

Originally published on Click here to read the original story.
Reprinted with permission from Network World. Story copyright 2014 Network World communications. All rights reserved.