The salaries of Westmont graduates fared well in two 2014 rankings that used data collected from the website PayScale. The Washington Post listed Westmont as No. 15 in the nation for colleges and universities with the greatest salary growth between average starting and average mid-career salaries. A Forbes magazine story identified Westmont as No. 23 among the national liberal arts colleges whose graduates earn the highest salaries.
According to the Post article “Where to go to college if you want the highest starting salary,” Westmont graduates have an early career salary of $40,300 and a mid-career salary of $98,000 for a difference in salary growth is $57,700.
In the first five years of finishing college, graduates from the U.S. Naval Academy, Harvey Mudd College and West Point earned the highest starting salaries. The data suggests that graduating from the nation’s more traditional top colleges appears to pay off in the longer run.
The author, Roberto A. Ferdman, explains the reason for the disparities between early and mid-year career pay for U.S. graduates. “For one, it appears that 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,” he says. “It also seems that 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.”
Other liberal arts colleges that saw the greatest salary growth include Haverford (No. 1) Carleton (No. 2), Washington and Lee (No. 3), Colgate (No. 4), Williams (No. 8), Harvey Mudd (No. 13), Whitman (No. 17), Kenyon (No. 19), Occidental (No. 20) and Rhodes Colleges (No. 23).
The article in Forbes magazine by Susan Adams, “The Liberal Arts Colleges Whose Graduates Earn The Most,” ranks Westmont at No. 23 in the country. “The message for liberal arts grads, still, is that they can enjoy successful, well-paying careers relying on the skills that are the bedrock of an education in the humanities,” Adams says. “But most important, know that the skills you get while studying English, history or philosophy, of critical thinking, of communicating clearly, of the world’s great literature and art, and of America’s place in the trajectory of world civilization, will make your life richer and your appreciation of anything you do deeper and fuller.”