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Schools to Choose for the Highest Starter Salaries

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As college graduates trade their sheepskin for a briefcase and enter the business world this summer, there are those from certain schools that will likely do better on the salary front right out of the gate than those from other schools.

That's great news for graduates of Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, Stanford University and New York University's School of Nursing, which rank at the top of the heap in a survey of starting salaries for college graduates from U.S. schools and universities.

The survey, released last week from San Francisco-based NerdWallet, an online price comparison website, uses data from U.S. News & World Report and recent surveys of college grads entering the workforce in 2010-12 to rank the top 25 "highest salary" schools in the U.S.

Topping that list is Carnegie Mellon, where computer science grads earn an average starting salary of $84,400, followed by Stanford school of engineering grads who earn about $74,700. NYU nursing grads follow in third place with an average starting salary of $70,200.

Ever hear of Harvey Mudd College?

You should check it out if you're linking dollars to degrees; the Claremont Calif.-based private college (which usually attracts science, engineering and mathematics majors) ranked fourth in the NerdWallet rankings, at $69,100 for an average starting salary for its graduates.

Rounding out the top 10:
  • The University of Pennsylvania's school of engineering and applied science, at $66,500.
  • Carnegie Mellon's College of Science, at $65,697.
  • Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, at $65,673.
  • University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, at $65,600
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at $65,300.
  • Cornell University's College of Engineering, at $64,285.

The entire list is stacked with schools that specialize in business, science and technology, with the nursing schools at NYU and Penn sliding in as well. Notable in their lack are law and medical school graduates, which aren't represented specifically in the NerdWallet rankings.

Eleven of those top 25 colleges including engineering schools, while six represent business schools, hinting that if it's money on your mind in a professional career, an academic workload emphasizing math and science is the way to go.

The NerdWallet survey also suggests that high college tuition is a good investment, as long as students focus on the academic disciplines that actually pay out in great salaries.

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