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Obscure Colleges That Produce Highly Paid Graduates

Conventional wisdom suggests that you have to claw your way into the nation's most prestigious schools to Engineering labearn big buck when you graduate.

That's not necessarily true, according to PayScale's annual survey of best salaries for new college graduates.

If you look at the schools producing the highest paid graduates, many of them are earning diplomas from places that you've never heard of.

Graduates of State University of New York Maritime College, for instance, make a beginning salary ($57,300), which is higher than all the Ivy Leagues schools except the University of Pennsylvania. Penn and SUNY Maritime tie.

Missouri University of Science and Technology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology enjoy higher salaries than grads of Duke, Johns Hopkins University and Amherst.

And has anybody ever heard of Molloy College and Loma Linda College? These schools, which specialize in the health sciences, produce grads with annual salary of $64,000 and $64,600 respectively, which handily beat the starting wages of grads at UCLA, Stanford and the University of Notre Dame.

When you look at the list of the schools with the highest intro salary, many of the institutions aren't prestigious, but they do produce a lot engineers and health professionals.

Bottom Line:

You don't have to attend a top university to earn a great salary. What you major in can be even more important than where you get that degree.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and she also writes her own college blog at The College Solution.

Read More on CBS MoneyWatch:

The Nation's Most Expensive Colleges and Universities
Why America's Most Expensive Colleges Could Hurt Your Wallet
Where Professors Send Their Children to College
25 Private Colleges With the Best Graduation Rates
Top paying college degrees image by EngComm. CC 2.0.
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