America’s best-paying and most employable degree for a career in artificial intelligence (AI) is at California Polytechnic State University, on their San Luis Obispo campus. New research has found that another three bachelor’s degrees are 100% employable and can earn graduates a salary in AI above $100,000. They are available at Wake Forest University (NC), Trinity University (TX), and Clarkson University (NY).

This is according to a new study from software development company Vention, which analyzed the latest graduate employment data from the US Department of Education. The researchers evaluated all the Computer Science and Computer Information and Science General bachelor’s degrees in the US, which engineers at Vention believe form some of the most suitable foundations for an AI career. The study focuses on degrees whose graduates found work a year after completing their degree, as well as four years later. 

Out of all 1,790 degrees related to Computer Science, 294 produced graduates that were employed both a year and four years after completing their studies. Only 23 of them had median earnings data available for the fourth year after graduation. These were ranked from highest to lowest to reveal the best-paying degrees for an AI career with 100% employability. 

California Polytechnic State University takes the top spot for offering America’s best-paying, 100% employable bachelor’s degree for an AI career. Their Computer and Information Sciences General program in San Luis Obispo sees all of its alumni employed both immediately after graduation and four years later. At that point, Cal Poly grads earn an average of $181,838 per year.

North of Raleigh in North Carolina is Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, which offers the second highest-paying, 100% employable degree for a career in AI. Computer Science alumni from Wake Forest University have an outstanding track record of being able to secure a job after graduation. Four years after leaving their college grounds, they reach a median salary of $114,622.

Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, has the third best-paying AI-related degree in America. All of its Computer and Information Sciences General alumni can secure high-paying jobs both immediately after graduation and four years afterwards. They earn an average of $108,840 per year.

The fourth highest-paying AI-related degree in America – and the only other one that can earn graduates over $100,000 four years later – is at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. Besides employers offering all of their Computer Science alumni a job right after graduation, they are also willing to pay them a median salary of $104,005 four years on.

Compared to other fields of study with 100% employment rates, bachelor’s degrees that can kickstart an AI career lead to 56% higher salaries four years after graduation. While alumni from other 100% employable degrees across America can earn an average $54,882 per year, AI-related programs earn graduates $85,686 four years after completing their degree.

Top 10 Best-Paying, 100% Employable Bachelor’s Degrees for an AI Career in America



Median earnings of graduates four years after completion ($)


California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo




Wake Forest University




Trinity University




Clarkson University




Knox College




Lehigh University




Baylor University




Kettering University




South Dakota State University




Truman State University




Mark Karasu, CMO at Vention, commented on the findings: “We were utterly astonished to discover so many universities, whether public or private, across so many different states, that produce clearly outstanding graduates. At this rate, they probably form the future of AI, if you will. 

Our study aims to help AI enthusiasts make more informed choices when submitting their college applications. It also helps AI employers know that a candidate with these universities on their CV will be snapped up by a competitor soon enough. Not only that, but they would also be ready to pay them more than graduates from other degrees. Our advice to hiring managers is to think carefully before skipping any of these college grads.”

The study was conducted by Vention, a software development company of over 3,000 engineers, specialized in assisting tech leaders and start-ups build software products and apps.