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Miami alumni earn high salaries in first year after graduating

Miami University ranks second-best among Ohio universities for the salaries of alumni with bachelor’s degrees in the first year after graduation, according to a recent list released by GradReports, which analyzes data collected by the U.S. Department of Education.

The University of Dayton landed in the top spot overall, but Miami ranked better than any other Ohio schools in nationwide comparisons for first-year earnings of graduates with bachelor’s degrees in marketing, business, public relations and journalism.

“This past year has created an atmosphere of enormous financial strain and uncertainty,” Sung Rhee, CEO of GradReports’ parent organization Optimal, said in a press release. “And now more than ever, students and their families are in need of data that demonstrates earnings outcomes, giving them the ability to plan for the future and also feel confident in their decisions.”

GradReports calculated the rankings with data collected from the class of 2016-2017. It compared the median – rather than the mean, to avoid influence by outliers – first-year salaries of alumni from each program to the same programs at other schools.

“While other well-known college ranking services tend to have the same few colleges sit at the top of their rankings year after year, our rankings made space for a few fresh faces,” Sarah Glass, communications and outreach specialist for GradReports, wrote in an email to The Miami Student. 

“Where other rankings rely on subjective data points such as ‘prestige,’ our Salary Score offers a more objective look at the data so that some smaller, lesser-known colleges who produce extremely successful alumni can get the recognition they deserve,” she added.

In addition to placing second for a general bachelor’s degree, GradReports ranked Miami seventh best in the nation for first-year earnings of public relations majors, tenth best for marketing and business majors, and twenty-fifth for journalism majors. 

The median salaries for recent alumni in these areas are, respectively, about $48,000, $53,500, $67,000 and $37,000.

Allie Pearson, a 2015 graduate who triple majored in marketing, interdisciplinary business management and interactive media studies (IMS) during her time at Miami, is a prime example of a successful first-year earner. When she graduated, she took a job at Procter & Gamble (P&G) where she got a salary that she was happy with and that increased as she continued to work at the company.

Pearson attributed her success in the job search to the experiences and connections she gathered at Miami, especially at Career Fair, a workshop with P&G her sophomore year and a semester in San Francisco through the IMS program.

“I always felt empowered, because there was a plethora of opportunity to work on projects with companies and clients,” Pearson said. “I felt like the top of the funnel was really big at Farmer — I was being exposed to a lot of things, and then as I funneled down I was able to determine what cultures, roles, projects, and work I enjoyed and excelled at.”

Pearson said most of her friends and peers also did not have much trouble finding jobs they wanted with good pay, and that her relationships with her professors and peers helped her to build the network that jump-started her career.

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“I directly attribute my ability to get a job after school to the work that I had done at Miami and the experiences and opportunities that I was able to engage in while I was there,” Pearson said.

GradReports’ information on Miami also includes the Salary Scores of every field of study for bachelor’s, master’s and associate degrees, so they can be easily compared to the same programs at other schools.

“While salary information might not be the only data a prospective student cares about in choosing their college, we believe it's a big factor to consider in the middle of a student debt crisis,” Glass wrote. “A degree that leads to higher salary potential will likely be appealing for many students.”