With college tuition skyrocketing and student loan debt higher than ever, it is becoming more vital than ever for students to land a job that can get them the most lucrative starting salary.

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A new report from SmartAsset.com ranks every college in the Garden State, according to that metric.

AJ Smith, SmartAsset.com managing editor and vice president of Content Strategy, said more students want to graduate and find employment that will offer them ways to pay off debt, live comfortably, and begin saving.

As a whole, New Jersey schools were just a tick above the national average.

"An average across the state of just over $45,000 for a starting salary," Smith said. "That compares to a national average that is right around $43,000."

Hoboken’s Stevens Institute topped the list with an average starting salary of $64,900, followed by Princeton ($56,100), NJIT ($53,900), Rutgers ($50,000), and Rutgers-Newark ($49,700).

The rankings are being used as part of a larger study to determine the colleges that provide students with the best overall value.

Centenary College had the worst starting salary for students among every New Jersey school.

"The goal of the study overall is to get people thinking and talking about these topics before you're taking on large student loan debt," Smith said. "The more informed and educated you are, the more confident you can feel in that decision."