NJ.com has released the top 20 New Jersey colleges with the highest-paid graduates. Seton Hall ranked sixth, coming behind Stevens Institute of Technology, Princeton University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, College of New Jersey and Rutgers, in descending order from first to fifth.
Last year, the federal government released data about graduates of the nation’s colleges and universities. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce took this data and calculated average earnings for 1,400 colleges and universities.
NJ Advance Media then used the same study Georgetown did and ranked the New Jersey colleges and universities based on earnings of former students 10 years after they first enrolled at each school.
While at first Seton Hall ranking sixth might seem like an honor, relative to the number of colleges in the state, some students say it is not as good as it seems.
Jessica Thomulka, a senior chemistry and philosophy major, said that a ranking like this is not fair.
“I don’t think annual earnings is a good parameter to compare universities,” she said. “I was surprised to see Seton Hall as sixth, but it makes sense when you compare SHU to other technical institutions. The average salary of graduates can be misleading because you have to look at what types of degrees were earned.”
However, this ranking brings into perspective the importance of a salary and the balance between a passion and a paycheck when choosing a major and a career path.
Gianna Canella, a freshman secondary education major, said that while a good paycheck is a benefit, passion played more of a role for her when choosing her major.
“I’m an education major, obviously we don’t make that much money. I know I won’t be rich in my life, so passion is more important for me,” she said.
Canella said she is planning to switch to the six-year education and speech pathology program. “I was just looking up salaries now, as I’m preparing to switch majors,” she said. “As a high school teacher, which was my original plan, I would make a salary of $50,000. As a speech pathologist, I’d make $90,000, which is nice.”
Daniela Geraldo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.