Digital technology panelists

Michael Sippey ’90, a consultant to Twitter; Bharat Mediratta ’92, distinguished software engineer at Google; and Julian Farrior ’93, founder and chief executive officer of Backflip Studios (left to right) speak at the launch of the Colgate Digital Media and Technology Professional Network.

The value of a Colgate education is evident through the alumni success stories that ripple through multiple career fields. One more indicator of the power of a Colgate degree is a survey released today that examines the return on investment at 911 colleges and universities.

Colgate was ranked sixth among 139 liberal arts institutions in the PayScale study that examined the total cost of attending each school and alumni earnings.

Colgate’s 6.5 percent return on investment and its 90 percent graduation rate were among the factors that ranked it higher than schools such as Union College, Amherst, Bowdoin, and Middlebury.

Only employees with a bachelor’s degree were included in the survey, meaning that highly selective schools like Colgate that have a large number of alumni with advanced degrees are not fully represented.

PayScale also examined salaries, and in that area Colgate was ranked 12th among all universities and colleges included in the study, tied with Yale University.

Colgate alumni had a $51,800 average starting salary, and an average mid-career salary of $117,000, according to the survey.

“We measure success in a lot of ways at Colgate,” said Michael Sciola, associate vice president for advancement and director of career services. “Our alumni make a difference in the world and contribute in so many ways. Of course, being at the top of the rankings of ROI shows that others value what Colgate alumni bring to the world, as well.”

Colgate and its Center for Career Services work hard to help seniors transition to post-Colgate life by teaching them about the realities of the workplace through programming  such as Real World, a year-long series for seniors that facilitates alumni networking, class unity, and discussions about life-after-Colgate-skills.

Real World, and career services in general, offers internships, courses, mock-interviews, and counseling for current students.

“Colgate is doing a great job of adjusting the way they prepare their students with changes in the economy,” said Kelly Henderson ’09, who participates in Real World. “I couldn’t praise career services more for all they do for current students and alumni – who are really just students for life. Colgate truly teaches students to be lifelong learners and masters of adaptation.”

Working together, career services and the Office of Alumni Relations have created seven professional networks that support undergraduate professional development, promote alumni engagement with Colgate, and cultivate new professional opportunities for members.

The networks are the Real Estate Council, Colgate Entertainment Group, Finance and Banking Network, Digital Media and Technology Network, Entrepreneur Network, Health and Wellness Network and the Common Good Network. An eighth network, the Colgate Lawyers Association, is under development.