Top 25 computer science colleges, ranked by alumni earnings

Payscale uses alumni post-grad pay to rank 187 colleges and universities with computer science programs

computer science degree
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University of California, Santa Barbara, is the top computer science school in the U.S., according to a new salary-centric report from compensation specialist PayScale.

The research company ranked 187 colleges and universities with computer science programs based on the median pay of the schools' compsci alumni. By that measure, University of California, Santa Barbara, led the pack, with its graduates reporting a median mid-career salary of $147,000, PayScale said. (PayScale also ranked the highest-paying college majors.)

Close behind UC Santa Barbara are University of California, Berkeley, which topped last year’s PayScale ranking, and Columbia University.

Here's the list of Payscale's top 25 computer science colleges (which includes 27 schools due to ties) based on data from its 2015-2016 College Salary Report.

Best Schools for Computer Science Majors

1. University of California, Santa Barbara
Early career median pay: $71,700
Mid-career median pay: $147,000

2. University of California, Berkeley (tie)
Early career median pay: $96,400
Mid-career median pay: $145,000

2. Columbia University (tie)
Early career median pay: $98,900
Mid-career median pay: $145,000

4. University of Delaware
Early career median pay: $66,700
Mid-career median pay: $143,000

5. Stanford University (tie)
Early career median pay: $96,200
Mid-career median pay: $137,000

5. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (tie)
Early career median pay: $74,100
Mid-career median pay: $137,000

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)
Early career median pay: $95,100
Mid-career median pay: $135,000

7. Northwestern University (tie)
Early career median pay: $76,000
Mid-career median pay: $135,000

9. California State University, East Bay
Early career median pay: $65,000
Mid-career median pay: $131,000

10. University of Southern California
Early career median pay: $69,900
Mid-career median pay: $130,000

11. San Jose State University (tie)
Early career median pay: $71,100
Mid-career median pay: $128,000

11. CUNY - Brooklyn College (tie)
Early career median pay: $58,100
Mid-career median pay: $128,000

13. University of California, Los Angeles
Early career median pay: $84,300
Mid-career median pay: $126,000

14. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (tie)
Early career median pay: $76,800
Mid-career median pay: $125,000

14. Lehigh University (tie)
Early career median pay: $78,100
Mid-career median pay: $125,000

14. Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus (tie)
Early career median pay: $67,000
Mid-career median pay: $125,000

14. University of California, Davis (tie)
Early career median pay: $85,300
Mid-career median pay: $125,000

14. San Francisco State University (tie)
Early career median pay: $64,900
Mid-career median pay: $125,000

19. California State University, Chico
Early career median pay: $58,500
Mid-career median pay: $124,000

20. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (tie)
Early career median pay: $77,600
Mid-career median pay: $123,000

20. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (tie)
Early career median pay: $64,700
Mid-career median pay: $123,000

22. University of California, Irvine
Early career median pay: $69,000
Mid-career median pay: $122,000

23. Carnegie Mellon University (tie)
Early career median pay: $89,400
Mid-career median pay: $121,000

23. University of Louisiana (UL) at Lafayette (tie)
Early career median pay: $50,600
Mid-career median pay: $121,000

25. NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering (tie)
Early career median pay: $75,500
Mid-career median pay: $120,000

25. University of California, San Diego (tie)
Early career median pay: $78,100
Mid-career median pay: $120,000

25. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (tie)
Early career median pay: $68,700
Mid-career median pay: $120,000

The data used in PayScale's College Salary Report is from the company’s ongoing, online compensation survey, which collects user-provided data about jobs, compensation, employer, demographics and educational background. The sample considered for the 2015-2016 College Salary report was 1.4 million college graduates.

Not every college and university in the U.S. is included in the study. According to PayScale, there are approximately 3,163 bachelor's degree-granting schools in the U.S, and this year’s College Salary Report includes 1,063 of them.

PayScale defines early-career employees as those with five years of experience or less in their career or field, and mid-career employees as those with at least 10 years of experience.

This story, "Top 25 computer science colleges, ranked by alumni earnings" was originally published by Network World.

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