OSU grads on average get highest salaries
OSU graduates make more than other Oregon schools, often chosen over Ivy grads
Published: Sunday, October 16, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 21:07
A survey conducted this year by Seattle-based PayScale Inc., found that Oregon State University graduates receive the highest median, mid-career salary of $86,900 per year. This is more than any other Oregon college. According to the survey, our graduates' starting salaries are on par with most other schools, but even after one year, OSU alumni are being paid more than the leading competitors.
As one of the first things that comes to mind when faced with any survey is how credible the information is, a major complaint some people had with this survey was whether certain degree choices were favored over others in selecting graduates to poll. The idea behind tis that only graduates with certain degrees would be polled, leaving out a large portion of graduates from certain schools.
After looking over the methodology for surveying on the PayScale Inc. website, it can be seen there is no bias toward one degree as opposed to another. Over 120 degrees were accepted in polling for the survey.
If the results aren't skewed in anyone's favor, why is OSU churning out so many money-makers? The largest contributing factor appears to be how well the administration prepares students for today's job market.
According to Adry Clark, assistant director of Career Services Center, employers are not hiring people for the specific degrees they have, but for the potential they have to work well in a multitude of positions. They want students with a wide variety of skills that can be applied to any branch within their companies.
OSU helps students learn just that, Clark said. "Our programs are developed so that the students learn a core set of abilities to use in their careers, while still focusing on their individual fields of study. Students who work for companies will jump from one job to the next within a company and will be expected to do each one well. OSU is very good at preparing students for that."
And it shows. OSU has more companies turn out for career day than any other school in the state. Clark also said company after company selects OSU grads over any other school. "Our students seem to have a better work ethic. Something to do with their largely rural background and the mentality toward working that comes with it. They have a humbleness and humility which employers can't get enough of."
The depth of our administrations support for career level education is most prevalent in the engineering department.
Ron Adams, the executive dean from the division of business and engineering, said "The educational philosophy [at OSU] is not only to work on the essentials, but also to create opportunities for exponential learning with projects, internships and student competitions. If you look at the results, OSU students consistently come in first place in international and national competitions."
He stressed just how often companies choose OSU grads over "elite" schools, even most Ivies and Stanford. There are five vice presidents at Intel who are OSU graduates. A survey done in 2007 found that OSU ranks number three among the undergraduate schools that Silicon Valley CEOs attended.
However, it is not just the engineering department that is so successful.
According to Todd Simmons, associate vice president for University Relations and Marketing, OSU's medical, dental and veterinary undergraduates have a 30 percent higher acceptance rate to medical schools than any other university.
The success OSU students have in the job market does not only derive from the programs they had access to, but also from the standards they hold themselves to in terms of work, commitment and ability.
For more information about PayScale Inc., visit their website at www.payscale.com.
James Shrieve, staff reporter