Cal Poly Bachelor’s Degree Grads’ Median Salaries Rank 10th in Nation Among Public Universities on Survey

Students working with faculty at the Orfalea College of Business

Cal Poly Bachelor’s Degree Grads’ Median Salaries Rank 10th in Nation Among Public Universities on Survey

Cal Poly bachelor’s degree graduates rank 10th in the nation among public universities for median salaries, according to’s 2016-17 College Salary Report.

Early career graduates with a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly earn an average of $59,300, up from last year’s $57,800, while graduates in mid-career earn $102,000, an increase from 2015’s $99,500, according to the report released Sept. 20.

Cal Poly also ranked third in the state among public universities behinds UC Berkeley (26th) and UC San Diego (36th).

On the list for bachelor’s-only graduates, Cal Poly moved up 19 places from last year on the full list of 963 public and private universities. It tied for 49th place with three private schools — Loyola University, Northwestern University and Yale University — and two public universities — Michigan Technological University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“This new ranking recognizes that a Cal Poly education continues to be among the best in the nation,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “Our graduates hit the ground running from the first day of their careers.

“Employers value the hands-on learning and critical thinking skills inherent in the Learn by Doing ethos. They know our graduates will continue to make a difference as they mature into careers that this study shows are both financially rewarding and satisfying.”

In addition, the report said 52 percent of Cal Poly alumni say their jobs “make the world a better place.”

The study also broke out nine different majors/careers. Cal Poly was ranked in five, improving from the three it was singled out for in last year’s report.

Among business schools, Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business grads were the second-best paid among California public schools (and 18th in the nation among public and private universities), earning starting salaries of $59,200 and $111,000 by mid-career.

Cal Poly was second best in nation in physical and life sciences (out of 60 ranked public and private schools) behind UC Berkeley. Salaries ranged from $54,500 as entry-level employees to $115,000 after 10 years on the job.

Cal Poly grads were eighth in the nation (and fourth in the state among public universities) in computer science. Their salaries ranged from $81,200 as entry-level workers to $134,000 after 10 years, the report said.

The College of Engineering graduates continue to do well financially. Cal Poly was the seventh best public school in the Golden State and 46th overall among the nation’s top 207 public and private engineering schools. Entry-level engineering grads earned $68,000 and saw their salaries increase to $114, 000 after 10 years.

And Cal Poly art grads were also singled out. The university ranked as the seventh-best California public school in the arts (and 26th overall of 112 public and private ranked schools across the U.S.). Alumni reported starting salaries of $43,100, which increased to $73,100 by mid-career.

Early-career starting salary data for each university in the PayScale report was derived from surveys of full-time employees with five or fewer years of experience in their career who hold a bachelor’s degree and no higher degrees. Mid-career salary data was derived from surveys of full-time employees with at least 10 years of experience in their career or field. The study separately ranked universities based on all graduate and undergraduate alumni. Cal Poly offers some master’s degrees but no doctorate-level programs.

The full report can be found at: