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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. This Ivy institution goes beyond academic prestige. Nestled in the heart of a busy urban area, students can take advantage of diverse big-city offerings. The data for this synopsis comes from former Columbia students who took the PayScale salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1223
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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
19 salaries
Executive Director
17 salaries
Design Architect
16 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: 23 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,197

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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)


The financial services industry, the consulting industry, and the health care industry are just a few of the areas in which Columbia grads find work. Among Columbia grads, the education industry is a commonly chosen career field. Pulling in paychecks on the larger end are Columbia grads, which is not shocking considering the high SAT scores reported by this demographic. Following graduation, Columbia students earn an average of around $79K.


After graduation, disparities in salary rise to the surface — males tend to earn $90K per year compared to females' $68K.


The most generous salaries among Columbia alumni are reportedly earned by Software Engineers, whose earnings come to approximately $94K, followed by Executive Directors (about $86K) and Research Analysts ($73K). Social Workers face rather mediocre compensation — average salaries are actually the lowest at $46K.


Columbia alumni typically remain in New York, the city they've grown to love, after graduation, and more than two-fifths of grads find permanent positions in the workforce here. Columbia grads also flock to Dallas, which is home to salaries significantly above average (typical pay is $93K). 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 $73K. Graduates also relocate to Washington, DC and San Francisco.


The highest paychecks can be found at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMCC), where some Columbia grads go to work for pay averaging $169K. Bringing in the least amount of money are Accenture employees; they earn an average of $65K.

Degree Major

A medical degree leads to the highest pay for Columbia grads (about $186K per year). Graduates holding a Master of Social Work (MSW), Clinical Social Work (CSW) fare the worst in terms of compensation with yearly salaries of approximately $47K.


Former Lions with Financial Analysis abilities can expect to make 24 percent more than their former classmates (around $98K). Nearly one in six Columbia grads wind up using Project Management at their job, which is one of the most common skills among alumni. In addition, those who are savvy in Data Analysis, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Office are also considered highly skilled.

Benefits and Perks

Just two-fifths of alumni enjoy paid vacation and merely one in three grads get paid sick time. Health insurance benefits extend to a strong majority of alums, and most graduates sign up for dental plans. In an effort to save up for the years ahead, a solid majority of respondents contribute to a 401(k). Columbia University in the City of New York graduates also take advantage of life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Alumni of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute pick up average paychecks of about $80K, which is closest to the amount made by Columbia grads among similar schools. 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 %
$41,137 - $95,485
$49,188 - $125,429
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 350 votes.
$46,055 - $105,748
$74,000 - $135,000
$98,575 - $142,431
$57,750 - $177,526
$57,500 - $119,500
$45,011 - $107,481
$41,436 - $143,962
$48,120 - $121,010
$48,534 - $128,731
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