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Average Salary for Columbia University Alumni

Around 8,000 people attend Columbia University in the City of New York, a private research institution based in New York, N.Y. Truly the best of both worlds, students are lucky enough to live in a bustling urban area while learning in an Ivy League environment. The figures in this overview come from the responses of Columbia grads who took the PayScale salary survey.

Overall College ROI Rank
out of 1312
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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities
out of 476
Mid-Career Salary Rank for Ivy League
out of 8
See full list
Typical Early Career Salary
Columbia University Alumni
Median Salary by Job
National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are the gross, national median (50th percentile). Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Executive Director
25 salaries
Design Architect
23 salaries
Software Engineer
23 salaries
Research Analyst
17 salaries
Social Worker
17 salaries
Program Coordinator, Non-Profit Organization
15 salaries
Operations Manager
14 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 22 Nov 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,614
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Columbia University Details


West 116 St and Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Students Enrolled:



Private Schools, Research Universities, Ivy League, For Sports Fans

Graduation Rate:

95 %


29 %

% Stay In State:

52 %

% Receiving Pell Grants:

21 %
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Freebase CC-BY
Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY


Graduates of Columbia head into a range of vocations when it comes to work; the financial services industry, the health care industry, and the consulting industry are just a few professional areas popular among alumni. A large chunk of former Columbia students are employed in the education industry; in fact, this is the most popular job sector for this population. True to type, Columbia alumni go from seeing above-average SAT scores and excellent graduation rates to landing well-paid positions in the workforce. Those with a degree from Columbia tend to make $79K.


Male graduates do tend to earn more than female graduates; the first group banks $89K per year, but the second group takes home only approximately $68K.


The biggest paychecks among Columbia alumni are earned by Software Engineers — these former students make about $94K per year. The next biggest paychecks go to Executive Directors (around $85K) and Research Analysts ($73K). Sliding in near the bottom are Social Workers, who report earnings of $46K.


Upon earning their degree, many Columbia grads prefer to remain in New York; in fact, just over two-fifths of grads enjoy the area so much that they find permanent jobs in the city. With a median salary of about $95K, Dallas represents the highest-paid city popular among Columbia grads. Los Angeles is a popular spot for former Columbia students at the opposite end of the pay scale; in fact, average salaries there are the lowest at around $73K. Other common destinations include Washington, DC and San Francisco.


Graduates of Columbia can earn the biggest bucks at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC) ($169K). Accenture hands out the smallest paychecks, where median earnings come out to $73K.

Degree Major

Former Lions who fare the best in terms of salary hold a medical degree and earn approximately $190K per year. Ranking last in the compensation department are those holding a master's in social work — their annual income amounts to $47K on average.


About one in six Columbia grads wind up using Project Management at their job, which is one of the most common skills among alumni. Former Lions with Strategic Planning abilities can expect to make 24 percent more than their former classmates ($98K). Data Analysis, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Office are among other dominant skills.

Benefits and Perks

Only two-fifths of alumni for this school enjoy paid vacation days and about one-third of alumni get paid sick time. Health coverage is awarded to a strong majority of survey participants, and dental insurance is issued to most former students as well. The greater part of survey participants set aside retirement funds in an employer-sponsored 401(k). Columbia University in the City of New York grads also enjoy benefits like life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Alumni of University of Pennsylvania pick up average paychecks of $77K, which is closest to the amount made by Columbia grads among similar schools. Other schools similar to Columbia include Yeshiva University, New York University, and Princeton University.

Columbia University Job Listings

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Test Scores
Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 2100 2360
ACT Scores 32 35

Key Stats



53 %

female alumni


47 %

male alumni
$41,249 - $95,945
$49,197 - $124,994

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 388 votes.

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