What can lawyers learn from reading the list of undergraduate colleges whose students earn the highest salaries after graduation?
For one thing, reputation matters. Many of the names – Harvard, MIT, Princeton and the service academies – are universally recognized as among the nation’s elite.
But prestige doesn’t tell the whole story. Only two Ivy League schools made the list, after all. And some schools that did make it are relatively unknown: Albany College of Pharmacy, for example, or the Colorado School of Mines. What these institutions may lack in glamour, they make up for by providing a specialized course of study that gives graduates a rare and valuable skillset.
Another lesson: size matters, but only to an extent. Some of the schools have 20,000 or more students. Others have only hundreds.
In fact, there’s only one thing all of the colleges on the 2018 Payscale rankings have in common: they are true to themselves. They know who they are and what they do. They don’t try to be all things to all people. They don’t try to attract every applicant in the world, but they take excellent care of those they do accept.
That’s the big takeaway.
Why not adopt the same philosophy in your practice? Instead of focusing on growth and market share, emphasize quality and service. Instead of casting a wide net to catch as many clients as possible, identify your Ideal Client and fish where they’re likely to be found.
Top 20 Colleges Based on Graduate Earnings
Here are the 20 colleges where graduates with bachelor’s degrees earn the highest salaries at five years (early) and 10 years (midpoint) in their careers, according to PayScale:
- Harvey Mudd College (California). Early career salary $85,600; Mid-career salary $157,400
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts). Early career $83,600; Mid-career $150,400
- United States Naval Academy (Maryland). Early career $78,600; Mid-career $149,800
- California Institute of Technology (California). Early career $83,400; Mid-career $143,100
- Stanford University (California). Early career $76,500; Mid-career $143,100
- Harvard University (Massachusetts). Early career $72,600; Mid-career $142,600
- Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (New York). Early career $80,200; Mid-career $142,600
- United States Military Academy (New York). Early career $79,300; Mid-career $141,900
- Princeton University (New Jersey). Early career $72,700; Mid-career $141,300
- SUNY Maritime College (New York). Early career $73,300; Mid-career $140,100
- Colorado School of Mines (Colorado). Early career $74,100; Mid-career $139,300
- Babson College (Massachusetts). Early career $69,300; Mid-career $139,200
- Santa Clara University (California). Early career $66,800; Mid-career $139,100
- Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey). Early career $73,600; Mid-career $138,900
- Dartmouth College (New Hampshire). Early career $68,900; Mid-career $137,500
- Colgate University (New York). Early career $65,000; Mid-career $137,300
- United States Air Force Academy (Colorado). Early career $74,000; Mid-career $137,300
- United States Merchant Marine Academy (New York). Early career $80,800; Mid-career $136,600
- University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania). Early career $70,100; Mid-career $135,800
- Lehigh University (Pennsylvania). Early career $67,200; Mid-career $135,700
- MSN https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersandeducation/grads-at-this-college-earn-the-most—and-its-not-mit-harvard-or-stanford/ar-BBNMHPe?ocid=spartanntp
- PayScale https://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/bachelors
Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. During the course of his 35- year career, he has been a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms succeed through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations (www.yourlawlife.com). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-619-2441 to learn how Jay can help your practice.