Attending school in California and becoming an engineering major can really pay off for college graduates — by thousands of dollars a year.

According to a report released Thursday from salary-tracker PayScale.com, petroleum engineering majors and graduates of Harvey Mudd College are taking home the biggest paychecks.

While mid-career salaries fell 1.5% overall between 2009 and 2010, engineers, scientists and mathematicians continued to rake in the big bucks, as well as students who graduated from Ivy League schools.

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