Columbia University Alumni Average Salary

Columbia University in the City of New York is a university based in New York, N.Y. that is home to around 8,000 undergraduates. With its big-city location and academic exclusivity, this Ivy provides students with the best of both worlds. This overview is derived from alumni replies to PayScale's salary survey.

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53 %

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Columbia University Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Software Engineer
60 salaries
Data Analyst
30 salaries
Executive Director
26 salaries
Program Manager, Non-Profit Organization
24 salaries
Program Coordinator, Non-Profit Organization
20 salaries
Social Worker
20 salaries
Research Associate (Unspecified Type)
20 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 2,541

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About This School

West 116 St and Broadway
New York, NY 10027


Private School, Research University, Ivy League, For Sports Fans

93 %

29 %

53 %

15 %

Freebase CC-BY Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY; IPEDS (As of January, 2015)


Professionally, the management consulting industry, software as a service (SAAS) development, and the financial services industry are popular business areas among Columbia alumni. The most popular career sector among alumni is the education industry. Consistent with the high SAT scores and graduation rates reported by Columbia alumni, former students go on to earn high salaries. Following graduation, Columbia students earn an average of $85K.


Male graduates on average earn more than female graduates; the first group banks about $99K per year, but the second group takes home only around $70K.


Presidents win the contest for best-paid Columbia alumni, making $220K on average every year, though Executive Directors (approximately $170K), and Software Engineers ($93K) are not far behind. Research Associates get the short end of the stick when it comes to salary; grads report making an average of $40K in this job.


Rather than relocating after graduation, many Columbia alumni (around half of) end up finding permanent jobs in New York. Stamford, Conn. is another hot spot for Columbia grads, where salaries rank at the top of the pay scale (compensation averages out to approximately $141K). Los Angeles, Calif. 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 $58K. In addition, grads flock to Seattle, Wash. as well as San Francisco, Calif.

Degree Major

Among the highest-paid Columbia alumni are those with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business & Marketing — they earn close to $220K on average per year. Ranking last in the compensation department are those holding a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) — their annual income amounts to $56K on average.


For former Lions, proficiency in Strategic Planning warrants a paycheck that is 30 percent more than other alumni salaries. Many Columbia grads have knowledge of Project Management, with just under one in five alumni using this program on the clock. Data Analysis, Microsoft Excel, and Operations Management are desirable skills as well.

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. It is no small feat that most graduates are given health coverage, and a fair number of alumni accept dental insurance. Most alums participate in a 401(k) retirement savings plan. Other benefits awarded to Columbia University in the City of New York alumni include a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Yeshiva University grads report the most similar salaries to Columbia alums, earning $85K on average. Other schools similar to Columbia include New York University, Princeton University, and Yale University.

Columbia University Job Listings

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Key Stats for Columbia University


47 %
53 %
$44,306 - $88,279
$52,654 - $126,637
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 5 votes.
$40,950 - $99,159
$45,302 - $121,856
$76,302 - $196,527
$40,000 - $98,264
$44,359 - $117,981
$45,000 - $122,449
$61,000 - $120,000
Years in Fields/Career:
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