Wittenberg top area college in PayScale survey

Wittenberg University was the only area school to crack the top 100 in a national report that ranks the salaries of graduates, coming in at No. 91.

Students who graduated from Wittenberg with a bachelor’s degree could expect to make $44,000 early in their careers and $94,900 by the middle of their careers, according to PayScale, a website that highlights salaries, benefits and compensation.

Wittenberg also ranked among the top 10 business schools in the earnings category.

“We aren’t surprised that our graduates thrive in so many ways, including financially,” said Tom Kaplan, dean of the School of Communication Education. “We prepare students for a whole life, and it so happens that the combination of a Wittenberg liberal arts foundation and a strong business curriculum delivered by dedicated and accessible faculty, really does prepare our students for a great life.”

Miami University was ranked No. 109 and the University of Dayton was ranked No. 135, according to the report released this week.

Miami grads can expect to make $50,500 early in their careers and around $93,200 toward the middle of their careers (10 years-plus experience). UD grads make around $52,700 within five years of graduating and $90,200 by the middle of their careers.

The report ranked 963 colleges and universities based on the median salaries of their alumni.

Other Ohio colleges ranked included Ohio State, which was No. 283. Others: Xavier, No. 471; Central State, No. 538; Wright State, No. 616; and Cedarville University, No. 765.

Oberlin College was Ohio’s highest-ranked school at No. 47. The median mid-career pay for Oberlin graduates surveyed was $103,000.

Among 381 two-year colleges, Clark State ranked No. 108 and Sinclair came in at No. 111.

UD’s ranking came as no surprise to Jason Eckert, director of the university’s career center.

“I think our grads do well in compensation and salary,” Ekert said.

Of the UD students surveyed by PayScale, 21 percent had degrees in either science, technology, engineering or math-related fields.

While Eckert said he likes to see the university do well in such rankings, he takes them “with a grain of salt.”

Where a university ranks on lists such as PayScale’s depends on how many students and alumni are surveyed or log their information on PayScale’s website, Eckert said. PayScale said it surveyed millions of students for its salary report.

Rankings also don’t always take into account regional differences, Eckert said.

If a student gets a job in Chicago, for example, their housing and cost of living will be much higher as opposed to someone working in a smaller town whose salary might go much further.

“Reports like this are one data point but not necessarily the end-all of the value of a college education,” Eckert said.

While Wright State ranked lowe, Trey Brown, a freshman from Dayton, said he was happy to hear his college made the list.

Brown, who is studying motion pictures, said he is already thinking about getting a job after college even though his graduation day may be almost four years away.

Wright State students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree make around $45,300 at the start of their careers and $70,400 by the middle of their careers, according to the survey. Of Wright State students surveyed, 20 percent had degrees in either science, technology, engineering or math-related fields.

“It gives me a lot of hope for after I’m done with college and everything that I’ll be able to find a good job,” Brown said.

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