High-Paying Career Paths: $200K Median Salary for UC Berkeley Engineering Majors

The much-anticipated US News World University Rankings have finally been released, and the results are thrilling for many parents and prospective students. This year, the University of California, Berkeley has achieved impressive milestones.

After a four-year gap, UC Berkeley has re-entered the top 15 in the US comprehensive rankings. Even more notably, it has secured the third spot among the best engineering schools, trailing only behind MIT and Stanford. Given that MIT and Stanford's engineering schools have acceptance rates of around 4%, while UC Berkeley's is approximately 7.1%, this is a remarkable accomplishment. The release of these rankings is likely to attract even more talented students to UC Berkeley's School of Engineering, intensifying the competition each year.

With UC Berkeley's College of Engineering earning such high accolades, you might wonder about the career prospects and salaries of its graduates. In this blog post, we'll delve into the employment rates and earning potential of UC Berkeley's engineering alumni.

Career Paths and Salaries for College Applications: Impressive $200K Median Salary for UC Berkeley Engineering Majors

UC Salary comparison chart

The above chart shows that engineering graduates command significantly higher salaries. Remarkably, after just two years in the workforce, the lowest salary range for Berkeley engineering grads is $85,804—double that of their peers from other disciplines.

This impressive earning potential can be attributed, in part, to the inclusion of computer science within Berkeley's School of Engineering. The tech boom and high demand for computer science skills have undoubtedly boosted the average salary figures for the entire engineering school. However, it's important to note that many other engineering majors at Berkeley may not achieve such high salary levels within two years of graduation.

College Application Insights for UC Berkeley:
Career and Salary Analysis from College Admission Counselor

1. Computer Science

Computer science boasts the highest salary levels among all majors in the School of Engineering. A decade into their careers, the median salary for computer science graduates from the University of California, Berkeley is an impressive $200,000 per year, with some alumni reaching up to $300,000 annually. This exceptional earning potential highlights the significant value of a computer science degree from UC Berkeley.

2. Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering graduates salary chart

While the lower-end salaries of electrical engineering graduates are comparable to those of their computer science counterparts, the notable difference lies in the high-end salaries. The chart shows that electrical engineering graduates enjoy substantial salaries, making this field a lucrative career choice. Five years post-graduation, the high-end salary for computer science graduates reaches approximately $292,224, whereas for electrical engineering graduates, it is about $209,384. This $80,000 difference illustrates the distinct earning potential between these two disciplines.

3. Operation Research and Management Science

The last major we want to highlight is Operations Research and Management Science. Despite its small number of graduates—just 63 compared to 3,837 in Computer Science—the median salary for undergraduates in this field exceeds $200,000 per year.

According to the data, ten years post-graduation, the high-end salary for Operations Research and Management Science graduates reaches approximately $315,292. This surpasses the high-end salary of Electrical Engineering graduates, which is about $313,451. This major uniquely equips students with the skills to use mathematics and logic to tackle complex real-world problems, driving its graduates' exceptional earning potential.

Operations Research and Management Science graduate annual salary chart

UC Berkeley School of Engineering Employment Analysis

A significant number of graduates from UC Berkeley's engineering schools enter the Internet and computer industries after graduation. Others pursue opportunities in manufacturing and engineering services. However, only a minority opt for roles in social organizations or the real estate sector. Similarly, very few pursue paths in healthcare or K-12 education.

While the impressive rankings and earning potentials of UC Berkeley's engineering graduates are undeniably attractive, it's crucial to align your academic and major choices with your long-term career goals. Thorough research into potential career paths and industries can help you make informed decisions that align with your interests, strengths, and desired lifestyle. Understanding where graduates from your desired field typically end up and the kind of salaries they command can provide valuable insights into what you can expect post-graduation. By taking the time to explore these factors, you can ensure that your educational journey is not only prestigious but also personally and professionally fulfilling. 


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