SCHOOLS WITH HIGHEST SALARIES EARLY & MID CAREER: Technical abilities are highly valued among recent graduates, which explains why a student who graduates from an engineering program at California Institute of Technology will likely be better compensated, at least up front, than a Harvard graduate with an English degree. Those specialized skills offer a comparative salary edge for only a handful of years before that advantage begins to dissipate–and the salary benefits of a holistic, liberal arts education begin to catch up.
Colleges with the highest starting salaries (WAPO)
Leadership & Management: Do the MBA programs I’m considering provide practical leadership and management training?
Credential & Brand: How are MBAs perceived in the markets I am in or would like to enter? What signals does an MBA send in these markets? What stereotypes (both positive and negative) might I face as an MBA? What is the specific reputation of the MBA programs I’m considering? How are these schools and their alumni viewed within my desired markets?
Community & Network: What do I know about the students at the MBA programs I’m considering? Are they like-minded peers? Do I see myself learning alongside them? What do I know about the alumni networks of these programs? How active are they? Are they concentrated in geographic areas and professional fields of interest to me?
MODERN MAN: Because men take longer to finish college and marry later than women, they are more likely to stick around their parents’ house. In 2012, 40% of millennial men (ages 18-31) lived at home. American men earn about 19% more than women.
Adults Age 25-34 Living At Home 1983-2013 (Alyson Hurt/NPR)
COLLEGE GRAD GENTRIFICATION: The more college grads, the more expensive the city, the more gentrification – less crime, better school, better restaurants, bars, museums, and art galleries. College graduates also live in the nicest cities in the country. They’re getting more benefits, even net of fact that they’re paying higher housing costs.
In 1980, a college graduate earned about 38% more than a worker with only a high-school diploma. By 2000, 57%. By 2011, 73%.
Nationwide education gentrification is at the scale of entire cities. Picture low-skilled workers increasingly excluded from Washington and San Francisco and segregated into cities like Toledo or Baton Rouge.
In the past, higher-wage cities attracted more workers, driving up the supply of labor and driving down the high wages that drew them to those cities in the first place, counteracting some of the inequality we see today.
A higher share of college graduates also yielded higher wages for workers without college degrees, likely because employers have to pay them more to keep them in higher-cost cities.
BEST FAST BURGER: The Habit Burger Grill, In-N-Out, and Five Guys top the list with 8.1, 80. McDonald’s scores a paltry 5.8.
Best American Fast Burger (Consumer Reports)
AMERICAN BEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD? 18 of the world’s top 25 universities are American. “We have the best universities” does not mean “our universities are, on average, the best” — even though that’s what many people hear. It means, “Of the best universities, most are ours.”
Only 18% of American adults with bachelor’s degrees score at the top two levels of numeracy, compared with the international average of 24%.
Americans with associate’s and graduate degrees also lag behind their international peers.