Economic Self-Sufficiency

Take a step towards economic self-sufficiency by learning how an investment in an SJSU degree may affect your future earnings.

Initial Earnings

Each year, SJSU collects initial career outcomes data for all graduates in all degree programs.  These data include salary, job title, employer, and industry. 

Initial Earnings and Student Debt

The U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard provides data on median salaries by undergraduate degree program and typical monthly student debt payments for undergraduates who received federal aid to attend college.  

Future Earnings and Student Debt Payback

Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce provided return-on-investment analysis for 4,500 colleges and universities.  

  • SJSU ranked 3rd among the 23 Cal State campuses and 8th among all California public universities in a comparison of 10-year median earnings ($56,100 across all bachelor's degree programs).
  • SJSU ranked 3rd among the 23 Cal State campuses and 9th among all California public universities in a comparison of 7-year loan payback (81% of bachelor's degree students).

Earnings Needed for Economic Self-Sufficiency

To understand how SJSU's initial graduate salaries and typical debt loads affect graduate economic self-sufficiency, compare typical salaries for a given program with regional income eligibility for federal food and housing assistance.  

Living Wage Calculator:

The living wage model generates a cost of living estimate that exceeds the federal poverty thresholds. As calculated, the living wage estimate accounts for the basic needs of a family. The living wage model does not include funds that cover what many may consider as necessities enjoyed by many Americans. The tool does not include funds for pre-prepared meals or those eaten in restaurants. We do not add funds for entertainment, nor do we incorporate leisure time for unpaid vacations or holidays. Lastly, the calculated living wage does not provide a financial means to enable savings and investment or for the purchase of capital assets (e.g., provisions for retirement or home purchases). The living wage is the minimum income standard that, if met, draws a very fine line between the financial independence of the working poor and the need to seek out public assistance or suffer consistent and severe housing and food insecurity. In light of this fact, the living wage is perhaps better defined as a minimum subsistence wage for persons living in the United States.

Living Wage Calculator: Santa Clara County
Current Minimum Wage City of San Jose: $16.20 per hour