Florida Institute of Technology is the top university in the state and among the top 100 nationwide in preparing graduates for high-paying careers, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.
According to Brookings, the report is the first to measure “value-added,” such as the difference between the mid-career salaries of a university’s alumni and the estimated earnings of other students with similar characteristics. Value-added factors can include graduation rates, exceptional teaching and the market value of skills taught at a university.
“Value-added is meant to capture the degree to which the college itself affects student economic success post-graduation,” noted the authors of Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools, which was published in April 2015.
In addition to its inclusion in the influential think tank’s report, the regionally accredited Florida Tech has been ranked a Tier 1 Best National University by U.S. News & World Report and one of the world’s Top 200 Universities by Times Higher Education.
The Brookings report used data from government and private sources, including LinkedIn and PayScale, to create a database for comparing more than 7,000 two- and four-year schools.
The authors found that several factors relating to college quality play key roles in the economic success of alumni, including: the percentage of graduates prepared for careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM); the financial aid offered by a university; and the length of time it takes students to complete their degrees.
“A college’s curriculum, its mix of majors, and its provision of specific skills all strongly predict alumni earnings potential,” the report noted.
Other research has shown that a college degree can boost an individual’s employability and earning potential. A 2014 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for example, found that employees with a bachelor’s degree will earn at least $1 million more during their working lives compared with individuals who have only a high school diploma.