Excelsior College Ranked Top School for Liberal Arts Majors in Terms of Earnings

Excelsior College graduation

A new report released this week from PayScale, a provider of compensation data and software, lists the top schools for each college major (Slide 6 of 7), based upon earnings. Among college graduates nationwide, Excelsior College earned the top overall ranking when it comes to the highest median salary for those with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts – $79,000 by mid-career (an increase from a median starting pay of $47,000). The University of California, Berkeley is listed as the top school for computer science majors and the University of Notre Dame is the top school for business majors, according to PayScale.

The “midcareer pay for Excelsior liberal arts grads is 30 percent more than the midcareer earnings reported by liberal arts majors overall,” noted a Wall Street Journal piece on PayScale’s findings published on September 16.

“People are always asking me, ‘What can I do with a Liberal Arts degree?’ My answer? Anything,” said Dr. Scott Dalrymple, dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Excelsior and founding dean of the School of Public Service.

Excelsior College graduationPayScale’s findings are comparable to Excelsior College’s own internal research, in which 61 percent of all students reported earning a promotion following graduation.

[Read “Is an Education in the Liberal Arts Important?”]

“Payscale’s report underscores the value of a liberal arts degree,” said William Stewart, assistant vice president for Institutional Advancement at Excelsior College. “The fact that a distance learning institution like Excelsior College came out on top illustrates that employers find a quality distance model comparable to a classroom-based education at a traditional school.”

In fact, a 2009 Excelsior College/Zogby International Distance Learning Survey of more than 1,500 CEOs and business owners confirmed that 83% of them strongly believe a degree from an online college is as credible and valid as one from a traditional campus-based school.

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