Want an AI career? These colleges offer degrees for the best chance

Artificial intelligence skills are in high demand these days, with some companies offering salaries in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for employees that are experts in the rapidly developing technology.

For those looking to enter what could be a highly lucrative career in AI, a new study by software development firm Vention shows which U.S. colleges are offering bachelor’s degrees with the best chance of landing a job fresh out of school – and the potential for the biggest paychecks.

instructor teaching about computer programming

Employees with AI skills are in high demand, and a new analysis shows which colleges offer the best employment and salary opportunities for computer science graduates. (iStock)

Vention analyzed the latest graduation data from the U.S. Department of Education and found that of the 1,790 degrees nationwide related to computer science, 294 produced graduates who were employed both a year and four years after finishing school. 

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The researchers discovered only 23 of those schools had median earnings data available for the fourth year after graduation, ranking them from highest to lowest to reveal the best-paying degrees for an AI career with 100% employability.

1. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly students at graduation

Students turn their tassels to the other side near the end of the graduation ceremony at Polytechnic High School, June 4, 2024, in Sun Valley, Calif. (Michael Blackshire/Los Angeles Times / Getty Images)

Cal Poly’s San Luis Obispo campus took the top spot on the list, blasting all other schools out of the water with graduates’ median salary coming in at $181,838 four years after completing their studies.

2. Wake Forest University

Coming in second was Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where the median salary four years after graduating is $114,622.

wake forest campus

Wake Forest University came in second for the highest-paid computer science grads in a new study. (iStock)

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3. Trinity University

Trinity University in San Antonio landed in third place with a median salary of $108,840 with their computer science-related degrees after four years.

4. Clarkson University

New York’s Clarkson University offers the fourth-highest paying degrees for AI careers, with grads earning a median salary of $104,005.

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5. Knox College

Rounding out the top five is Knox College in Illinois, where computer science grads make a median salary of $95,399 four years after graduating.

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