Grads with the highest salaries.

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Memphis9489, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I ran across this article on CNN Money website this morning.

    http://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/college/2012/09/27/colleges-highest-paid-graduates/index.html

    Graduates from these colleges earn the highest salaries in the country, according to data from PayScale.com.

    1. Princeton University
    2. Harvey Mudd College
    3. California Institute of Technology
    4. U.S. Naval Academy
    5. U.S. Military Academy
    6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    7. Lehigh University
    8. Polytechnic Institute of NYU (tied)
    8. Babson College (tied)
    9. Standford University
    10. Williams College
    11. Stevens Institute of Technology
    12. University of Notre Dame
    13. Harvard University (tied)
    13. Dartmouth College (tied)
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Yeah, I don't believe this. One look at the newly minted butter bar.... $72,000? Are they averaging in BAH here?
     
  3. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    One more shaky example of trying to portray the unknowable as known.

    Simply way too much "it depends" in the many, mushy variables in such a survey.

    Like the silly college ratings ... sells lots of magazines, manuals, and bragging rights to individuals and institutions simple enough to put 2 cents of credibility in any of this.

    And all that said, it's interesting to ponder, sorta like a Playboy centerfold, airbrushing be BLEEPED! :cool:
    And especially when that tome of titillating research is featuring the "Babes of Bancroft", "Honies on the Hudson", or "A Peek at the Cadettes of the Colorado Peaks"? :confused:

    The point? All this is pure fantasy beyond the obvious. Princetonians make it biggest because they come from biggest. Harvey Muddpies make it big because they are all engineers, NO social workers or ministers. Navy makes it big because they're the best.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  4. ProudSwimDad

    ProudSwimDad Member

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    I saw the following notation added to USNA and USMA: "*Data represent those in the civilian labor force, not active service members." I wonder if that means the starting salary is the individuals salary for their first position after leaving the service.
     
  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If so makes sense and doesn't skew the end result too muhc.

    Not really fair to compare starting salary right after college vs 5 years in the work force, but the mid-career salary evens it out. What's important is not where you start, but where you end up.

    Also, immediate employment after graduation for 5 years should tip the scale a little bit
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I want to buy it, but I can't. Mysteriously USMA and USNA are the only folks who don't rate how important they think they're jobs are?

    And yes, I agree rating me, LITS, on the same scale as someone who is fresh out of college isn't fair.

    Why? Because, when I left the Coast Guard I had a salary to reference for my future employer. "I made this much in the Coast Guard.... and I am well on my way to a master's here's what I'm looking for."

    You have various employers, including government contractors, who view those experiences, clearances and access as beneficial. They also understand you've had five years to "settle down".

    Not to mention, is it fair to rule out all of the members of USMA and USNA who didn't get out? Making nice $100+K paychecks after 10-15 years?
     
  7. time2

    time2 Member

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    Article is vague as to whether these are STARTING salaries or some sort of life of career average..........BIG difference. Payscale seems to be a website where you self-report information, so not sure who much validation they do to see if you what you input is accurate.

    Need to know more before any meaningful conclusions can be drawn from this.
     
  8. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I don't think this data is too far off:

    - A Captain (O3) with 4 years of service at Ft Benning Georgia and 0 dependants makes $6552/ month in Base Pay; BAS, and BAH (that's $78,624 /year). Add to that, there is virtually 100% employment of USMA alumni at the 5 year mark-and oversea's, combat, aviation pays etc... I'm surprised it's not higher than $76 k and that doesn't count the tax advantages you get with allowances being exempt from Income tax.

    Midcareer salaries as explained in the article also seem pretty accurate to me-
    . If you have been working as a professional in the metropolitan NY, or Boston areas, that's certainly not unbelievable.
    I think of more import to most of the young people looking at college though is the observation in the two paragraphs below. People want to believe that you can have it all- major in anything and get compensated equally. Cold reality- you are going to have a fairly difficult time finding a job with a lot of less technical majors and when you do - it won't pay all that well. The world doesn't need, and subsequently won't pay alot for the ability to recite Chaucer, Kirouac or Shakespeare, or discourse on Kant and Nietsche. If you are going to major in those majors, then you really, really need the benefit of a well placed (and well heeled) alumni network because otherwise you are starting with a significant disadvantage.

     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Yeah....noooo.... if people are reporting their ALLOWANCE as salary, we might as well tax it.

    I don't believe the numbers because we're talking first year out, not 4 year captains. The shock of losing BAH is not unfamiliar when you separate.

    Do what you are passionate about and enjoy it, with the understanding that it may limit your pay. I'm happy with my pay. I've been out for about year and it's comfortably higher than the average. I'm guessing they don't included bonuses either/ I'm not an engineer. My undergrad degree was in government. My masters will be in public relations. Each has its challenges.

    It's hard to make it through life doing something you hate. I'm not saying don't consider the money, but understand that your job is where you will spend a good chunk of your day. It will become part of you. Enjoy the way you make money.
     
  10. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    In about 20 nano-seconds and 4 or 5 posts, you've all illustrated key points.

    1. We're fascinated by such beauty contests.

    2. We are constantly trying to make art science.

    3. We really know nothing beyond what every person on the planet knew BEFORE the article ...

    a. Princetonians come from wealth and remain so, or at least make good incomes (which is not wealth, btw). The old computer model.

    b. VERY BRIGHT engineers make good money when there is work as positions 1 - 5 illuminate.

    c. The SAs attract many of the best and brightest and equip them either overtly or implicitly via the experiences for big-time jobs.

    Now, tell me who could not have written a far more interesting and informative expose than this puff piece? I see no hands, thankfully. I knew ours is a Lake Wobegonish bunch ... where ALL the posters are above average, all the women are strong, and all the men are notably handsome. :cool: :thumb:

    btw, these self-reporting so-called studies are always essentially useless. The ONLY people reporting are "successful" alumni and happily unemployed mothers who've suddenly discovered spending time with 3 rug-ratters in Pittsburgh is way more important and rewarding than checking spread-sheets for a Coopers PW client in Storm Lake, Iowa.
     
  11. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Absolutely the allowances are salary and are reported. The Statement of RMC certainly counts it and also counts what your tax benefit is. In the accompanying article what they call a new grad is someone 5 years out or less. since ALL Academy grads are employed at that point I'm sure that average for an Academy grad is real. Midcareer as at least 10 years working in a steady career- that leaves some leeway.

    As far as an undergrad degree and hiring- it's not really even arguable about the relative merits of a technical degree compared to a Lib Arts degree when it comes to relative employability and pay. You are far more likely to be unemployed, and for far longer as a newly graduated Liberal arts major than you are as an engineer and you will get paid a lot less on average as well. Does that mean you shouldn't be an English major or a history major or philosphy major etc...? Well no if that's what you really want to do. But it does mean that if you then are stuck in the "paid a lot for college and can't get a job that pays your student debts and allows you to live comfortably as well" - you did it to yourself. That is an unfortunate and probably not changing fact of economic life.
    As far as enjoying work- yeah well within reason you should like your job but that's relative to other jobs you could be doing and getting paid, not compared to anything that you would like to spend a day doing. Keep in mind you are paid for it so if every day was a jump in thepool- it would be called vacation and you would be paying them.
     
  12. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    While we are in agreement about ready employment, engineers, accounting majors, and ITers have it made in the shade next to the liberal artists. And ESPECIALLY when those humanities and social science degrees have been nothing more than a mish-mash of courses in "groups" or "divisions" with little or no real challenge in nurturing THE essential tool to success ... CRITICAL THINKING skills. But for those places that do? The English major can and will make more than any but the real hot-shot engineers. And in an economic downturn? Great thinkers who can contribute in any way needed will trump any major... including engineering. Especially engineering in bad times.

    Here is a link worth looking at if one takes the time to view it. http://thefire.org/article/14881.html

    Sorry, I don't buy the "engineers" being at the top of the food chain. Too many are too narrow. They get good jobs quicker, and end up working for others.

    So who does win? No-brainer and no contest! Those who LEARN to THINK CRITICALLY and COMMUNICATE CLEARLY. And if they happen to be engineers? Then they've really got it made.:thumb:

    btw, that link and very interesting video focus on ... of all things ... a humanities major from Princeton. I really thinks he nails the issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    As I've always said, no matter where you go to college:
    * if you major in engineering you will ask 'how does that work?' and be paid commensurately
    * if you major in accounting you will ask 'how much did that cost?' and be paid commensurately
    * if you major in English lit you will ask 'do you want fries with that?' and be paid commensurately.
     
  14. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    kinnem:

    English Lit Majors can at least proof read and write a clear and concise explanation of the garbage that comes from Engineering, Accounting, Medical and anyone else up the food chain. Believe me being able to write and be understood is becoming a lost art. You can't believe some of the stuff that went out of my office.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  15. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Not mine for approval but I was on the mailing list.:biggrin: COMMUNICATE CLEARLY is always the key.
     
  16. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    And if that engineer and accountant could read a text book, write a coherent sentence, and analyze and synthesize a 500 word technical essay ... she learned it all from her English teachers.

    But in truth ... all 3 majors are essentially hi-end gophers unless they learned to think critically and creatively.

    The greatest "engineer" of our time, now controlling nearly 20% of the stock market ... Steve Jobs. A liberal artsy fartsy from radical Reed College. Then drop out. So how'd he do it? He got a whole bunch of bright and goofy gullible engineers, including Woz who had THE product and was literally giving it away absent one clue how to make it of any value, to make HIM a gazillionaire. Brilliant.

    Warren Buffett and Mr. Trump? Business and econ guys from Penn.

    Let's face it ... engineers need to be able to answer that question of "how's it work" and thankfully it is left to the truly bright boys to figure out what it all means and how to make it work ... for society. Almost always, the brilliant Wozniaks end up working for the more brilliant Jobs. And Woz admits it. We could go on and on but no need.

    Suffice it to summarize that engineers, when they are employable, are often paid well. They are rarely wealthy ... unless they managed to invent AND market something worthwhile. They are few.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I believe that's PricewaterhouseCoopers or PwC...
     
  18. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Oh my God, I actually agree with WP...

    The way I see it is:

    Let's take two completely average students, one is an engineer, one is not (let's say Political Science). Like 2.8-3.0 GPA. They do no special internships, make few to none meaningful connections, and don't stand out really from their peers in any significant way.

    It's safe to say the engineer probably stands a greater chance of being employed in his field.

    But...if the PoliSci major (political scientist?) ends up with a slightly higher GPA, like 3.4+ from a good school, takes advantages of the opportunities out there like internships, and is memorable to his/her professors or otherwise "makes connections," I'd say they're probably going to be okay, especially if they developed the critical thinking and analysis skills WP is referring to.

    I was a history major in college. Frankly, I think I got more out of my academic experience at USNA than many (obviously not all, but definitely some) of my peers in the STEM departments. The history department challenged me intellectually, taught me how to express myself well in writing, boosted my intellectual curiosity, and practically changed how I analyze situations and think.
    I know engineering majors who graduated in my class who slept all the time and probably didn't say a word in class for four years unless they were forced to give a presentation. My experience, in the long run, will likely prove more valuable. Or maybe I just tell myself that at night to avoid facing my future living in a refrigerator box beneath an underpass.
     
  19. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Note to self: Self, put a smiley at the end of your jokes in the future, lest everyone on the internet think you're serious. :smile:

    Regardless of major, I agree with WP, Hurricane, and others. Creative and critical thinking are the key along with the ability to initiate and direct ACTION based on those conclusions. Gee, this sounds like being a leader! No wonder those Academy folks in the civvie world are making the big bucks!
     
  20. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Are you really taught to think critically in a discipline like history? Critical thinking was actually taught? Probably not. It's better to say that you are given opportunities to think critically. Some people are simply wired for critical thinking. And it's not limited to pursuits in the humanities. Some of the biggest scientific discoveries arose through critical thinking. Einstein's Theory of Relativity didn't not start with an equation. It was first conceptualized.

    An individual's ability to express themselves in writing and, especially, orally - is often a reflection of their personality. It's very rare for a person to write very well yet speak very poorly, and vise versa. Often it comes down to whether a person is comfortable communicating. That's mostly a reflection of their personality, whether they majored in Art History or Mechanical Engineering.

    The difference is this - history (and many other humanity-type subjects) is something just about anybody could functionally teach themselves without any formal education whatsoever.

    This reminds me of the bar scene in the movie "Good Will Hunting" when Matt Damon comes to Ben Affleck's rescure while being demeaned by an arrogant Harvard grad student.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymsHLkB8u3s&t=2m02s

    "... you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f*ckin' education you could've got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library."

    Try teaching yourself Organic Chemistry by checking a book out of the library sometime. Good luck with that. But, you can become an expert on the Civil War be devouring book after book on the subject - with no formal education really required. Hell - you could pass yourself off as an expert on the topic! That's because many humanity-type subjects do not require any background to move forward and learn new topics.

    My advice to any student is this: Learn something that most people do not learn (or can't learn) -or- be proficient at a task at which most people are not proficient (or can't become proficient).

    Whether one is a good communicator or an inherently likable person is usually independent of any formal education. The notion that humanity majors have somehow cornered this market and that it will propel them into lucrative employment is a myth.

    As Dennis Miller would say: "That's just my opinion - I could be wrong." :)
     

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