Life After Caltech
With a Caltech education, you can go anywhere and achieve anything.
Whether you're interested in academia, aerospace, business, government, science, tech, or something else entirely, we're here to guide and support your journey. Career Advising & Experiential Learning offers a variety of career services and holds career fairs twice a year with over 150 recruiters from various fields. As soon as your first year, you'll have access to career counselors to help you work toward your goals.
Many Techers go straight to graduate school or professional school and they have their pick of opportunities. Quite a few of our undergraduate majors require students to take graduate-level science, so our students are exceptionally well-prepared for grad school. In 2020, the top graduate school destinations were Harvard, Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, Princeton, and UCLA.
Applying to grad school is stressful. But it's also important to keep in mind that Caltech prepares its students well. I'm incredibly excited to just turn my applications in, and then never think about them again until the results start coming in.
Class of 2020 by the numbers
- 45% went on to attend graduate or professional school
- 98% were accepted to one of their top-choice schools
- 47% accepted a full-time job
- 5% accepted a fellowship, internship, or similar position
- 3% took time to explore other professional opportunities
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the mean starting salary in the U.S. for college graduates in 2020 was $56,576. Projections for the class of 2022 are similar, but the numbers look different when you break them down by field. The average projected starting salaries are highest in STEM, at $66,760 for math and science, $73,922 for engineering, and $75,900 for computer science.
By contrast, Caltech graduates have a median starting salary of $110,000. Far above the national average for all graduates and well above other STEM graduates. Our graduates are in high demand.
Our alumni community
As a graduate of Caltech, you'll join an active alumni community of more than 24,000 around the world. Some of our newest alumni are headed to Meta, SpaceX, a wide variety of prestigious research labs and grad schools, and one will even work as an EMT before medical school. You'll have the opportunity to connect with the Caltech Alumni Association for networking opportunities, career guidance, and social activities. You'll get the latest news about your fellow alumni.
Our alumni have contributed to virtually every field. We honor a few of them every year with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of our numerous alumni accomplishments separated by different fields from chemical engineering to government and politics. Here is a small sampling of the variety of fields our alumni have changed:
- Frank Borman commanded the 1968 Apollo 8 Mission, the first team of astronauts to circle the moon.
- Ozires Silva, founded Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace conglomerate that produces commercial military, and executive aircraft. It's now the world's 3rd largest commercial aircraft company.
- Laurie Leshin is JPL's first female director.
- Ronald W. Davis is Director of the Genome Technology Center at Stanford University.
- Chester F. Carlson invented Xerography, photocopying.
- Regina Dugan was the first female appointed as Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- France Córdova is Director of the National Science Foundation.
- Sandra Tsing Loh is writer/performer known for Depth Takes a Holiday, Aliens in America, and If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home by Now.
- Harold J. McGee is a food science author, recognized as the man who "brought science to the art of cooking." Selected as one of "The 2008 Time 100." Writes a monthly column about the science of food for the New York Times, titled "The Curious Cook."