The calculation we used is simple:
- Identify the employees in our database who attended each university in the NCAA Men's bracket
- Select those who are 5 to 15 years into their careers: this is about 30 to 40 years old
- Calculate the median annual total cash compensation for the selected employees
Annual total cash compensation includes the base salary/wage, bonus, profit sharing, commission, and tips that an employee earns in a year at one job. It does not include equity compensation (e.g., stock options) or non-cash benefits (e.g., health insurance).
Obviously, we are not counting the salaries (or lack thereof) of alumni who are not employed. We also do not include self-employed graduates, like consultants, small business owners, and freelance writers.
We also did not draw a distinction between undergraduate and graduate and professional school graduates. This can cause the median to be a bit higher for universities with medical, business and law schools, and somewhat lower for schools with graduate teaching and Ph.D. programs :-)