Strong return on investment for Kennesaw State graduates

KENNESAW, Ga. | Sep 15, 2017

PayScale study ranks KSU alumni highly in earning potential

Kennesaw State University graduates earn higher salaries in their chosen career fields than those from the majority of Georgia’s colleges and universities, according to this year’s rankings by salary information company PayScale.

Kennesaw State rated fifth out of 41 public and private institutions in PayScale’s 2017-18 ranking of Best Colleges in Georgia by Salary Potential for alumni with bachelor's degrees. The study of graduates’ salaries determined that KSU alums with bachelor’s degrees earn a median early-career (five or fewer years’ experience) salary of $48,800 and a median mid-career (10 or more years’ experience) salary of $90,800.

KSU also earned high marks in the PayScale College Salary Report rankings for all degree earners. Kennesaw State placed sixth among Georgia's 41 institutions in that category, with a median early-career salary of $49,400 and median mid-career salary of $92,300.

“This ranking confirms that a degree from Kennesaw State is bringing a strong return on investment,” University President Sam Olens said. “Kennesaw State is known for its excellence in teaching, which produces graduates who are well-prepared and ready to contribute in their fields. Their earning potential reflects that.”

The KSU graduates earning the most include those with a Master of Science in Nursing, averaging a salary of $86,000, and a Master of Business Administration at a $72,000 average. Other top earners are software engineers with a median of $70,000, followed by operations managers at $65,000 and software developers at $61,000.

The most popular career sector among Kennesaw State alumni is the software development industry. The median pay for those KSU alums is $53,000.

A key factor for Kennesaw State in the study was that 21 percent of the University’s degrees were awarded in the sought-after STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) disciplines, tying KSU for sixth-best in the state. Kennesaw State is committed to continuing to increase its STEM offerings, including recently adding bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity and digital animation and a master’s degree in engineering management.

Olens credited the University’s Department of Career Planning and Development for expanding its partnerships with top employers and increasing the internship, co-op and career opportunities for Kennesaw State students. The Department hosted 562 employers on campus and approximately 2,000 students interned for academic credit in the 2016-17 academic year.

To see the complete PayScale rankings, click here.

– Paul Floeckher


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit