Graduates of Columbia head into a range of vocations when it comes to work; software as a service (SAAS) development, the financial services industry, and the management consulting industry are just a few professional areas popular among alumni. The most popular career sector among alumni is the education industry. It is quite common for Columbia grads — a demographic that scores high on the SATs and boasts excellent graduation rates — to earn top-notch salaries in the workforce. The average salary for a grad from Columbia is $85K.
A gender wage gap becomes apparent after college, with female graduates earning only $68K on average compared to $99K for male graduates.
The most generous salaries among Columbia alumni are reportedly earned by VPs of Human Resources, whose median earnings come to about $143K, followed by Data Scientists (approximately $83K) and Data Analysts (around $71K). Research Associates wrap up the bottom of the pay scale, earning $40K.
Many Columbia alumni remain in New York after graduation; nearly one-half of grads find permanent positions in the workforce here. Stamford, Conn. is another hot spot for Columbia grads, where salaries rank at the top of the pay scale (compensation averages out to $141K). On the other hand, Columbia alumni who end up in Los Angeles, Calif. receive the lowest median salary of $58K. Alumni express interest in Seattle, Wash. and San Francisco, Calif. as well.
Columbia grads who hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business & Marketing can expect to fare better than most fellow alumni, earning an average $220K per year. A master's in social work is less advantageous in terms of earnings; alums with this degree are the lowest earners with a median annual pay of $53K.
Project Management is a popular skill among Columbia alumni, with roughly one in six workers reporting using it on the job. For former Lions, proficiency in Strategic Planning warrants a paycheck that is 30 percent more than other alumni salaries. Data Analysis, Microsoft Excel, and Operations Management are among other dominant skills.
Benefits and Perks
When it comes to benefits, there is room for improvement — only one-third of alumni are paid for vacation and just one-third of alumni for sick time. Health insurance benefits extend to a large number of former students, and a strong majority of alumni sign up for dental plans. Most former students save for retirement through a 401(k) plan. Columbia University in the City of New York alumni are also on the receiving end of a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.
Yeshiva University grads report the most similar salaries to Columbia alums, earning approximately $85K on average. Other schools similar to Columbia include New York University, Princeton University, and Yale University.