Average Salary for Columbia University Alumni

Around 8,000 people attend Columbia University in the City of New York, a institution based in New York, N.Y. Ivy League prominence and a strong sports tradition (Go Lions!) set this school apart from the pack, and students enjoy a rich education. Alumni participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

out of 402

Mid-Career Salary Rank for Ivy League

out of 8

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.
Software Engineer
17 salaries
Design Architect
16 salaries
Executive Director
14 salaries
Program Coordinator, Non-Profit Organization
14 salaries
Research Analyst
12 salaries
Operations Manager
12 salaries
Social Worker
11 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 22 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,108

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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)


Former Columbia students are professionally suited for a wide range of fields including the financial services industry, the health care industry, and the consulting industry. The education industry is the sector most highly represented among alumni. In line with impressive SAT scores, Columbia grads also report top-earning positions in the workforce. Median pay for those who graduated from Columbia amounts to $78K.


It's worth noting that female graduates earn a median salary of approximately $67K whereas the men's median is about $91K.


In the Columbia alumni professional community, Executive Directors make the highest median pay (around $117K), though Software Engineers ($96K), and Research Analysts ($77K) are close competitors. Social Workers pick up $45K in financial rewards, representing the lowest-paid position among alumni.


It is typical for many Columbia grads (more than two-fifths of former students) to remain in New York, N.Y., which may come as a shock given the city's depressed salaries (median pay is approximately $73K). On the flipside, Columbia grads seeking above-average pay can find soaring salaries in Boston, Mass. where median pay is around $90K. Los Angeles, Calif. and San Francisco, Calif. are popular choices as well.

Degree Major

A medical degree will compensate Columbia grads at a much higher rate than other degrees — these alums rake in $185K on average per year. A Master of Social Work (MSW), Clinical Social Work (CSW) commands less pay, and these degree-holders face median pay of $44K.


Former Lions with Financial Analysis experience garner salaries that are 27 percent more than other grads' salaries. Proficiency in Project Management is common among Columbia alumni, and when it comes to using it on the job, about a sixth of former students report doing so. Experience with Data Analysis, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Office is highly valued as well.

Benefits and Perks

Only one in three grads earn paid vacation and just one in three grads get paid sick time. A large number of alums enjoy benefits like health insurance, while a strong majority of graduates receive dental plans, too. A large number of respondents save up for retirement through a 401(k) plan. Columbia University in the City of New York grads are also lucky enough to receive life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Compensation averages $77K for University of Pennsylvania alumni, making their earnings most comparable to Columbia grads. Yeshiva University, New York University, and Princeton University are also similar to Columbia.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 2080 2350
ACT Scores 31 34

Key Stats for Columbia University


53 %
47 %
$40,657 - $96,168
$48,439 - $125,349
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 223 votes.
$48,325 - $104,614
$98,575 - $142,431
$59,200 - $151,350
$79,500 - $139,821
$57,750 - $177,526
$43,908 - $106,166
$47,756 - $136,628
$35,745 - $149,484
$47,847 - $108,090
United States (change)

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