Students and parents no longer need to guess whether a college education is worth the cost; they now have proof thanks to an award-winning website that tracked employment data for 15 years for more than 680,000 students from six Los Angeles area California State University campuses: Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, Channel Islands and Pomona.

“The whole idea behind the development of this website was to dispel any kind of myth that college is a waste of money,” said Richard Moore, Professor of Management at Cal State Northridge and co-founder of CalStatePays. “What we see from the data is that nothing could be further from the truth. It clearly shows that if you’re going to invest, invest in yourself.”

For example, someone interested in business administration could see that a student who dropped out would earn an average salary of $56,000 a year. If that student had earned a bachelor’s degree, he or she could earn an average salary of $87,000 or $113,000 a year if that student had earned an MBA.

CalStatePays launched in 2017 with funding from the Strada Foundation and data input from schools in the CSU5 along with Cal State Fullerton and Channel Islands. The website won the Innovations that Inspire award from AACSB, the premier national business school accrediting body.

The new site features:

  • The public facing site now includes records for 680,000 students from six CSUs (CSULB, CSUDH, CSUF, CSUN, CSUCI, and Cal Poly Pomona) including data on your entering students from 1995 to 2019 who have exited.
  • Earnings data from 1995 until 2020, earnings now go out to 15 years after exit.
  • An improved Personal Financial Rate of Return calculation.
  • Easily accessible explanations of key variables like earnings and industry.
  • Additional videos on how to use the site and improved FAQs.

The power user site has been updated as well and provides data for more advanced analysis. These dashboards consist of interactive visualizations of a database containing anonymized earnings data of 680,000 students. The earnings data is displayed for 15 years (adjusted to 2018 dollars) and can be viewed by:

  • Major
  • Men and women
  • Pell and non-Pell students.
  • Underrepresented and better represented groups.
  • Age groups.

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