Average Salary for Northwestern University Alumni

Around 9,000 undergrads attend Northwestern University, a school in Evanston, Ill.. The school sits in the top 10 percent of universities by return on investment. Sports have a dominant presence on campus, but study habits are taken seriously as well, and students report above-average test scores. This overview is based on graduates' answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

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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 Research Universities

out of 267

Typical Early Career Salary

Northwestern University Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data 
Project Engineer
8 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
7 salaries
Software Engineer
7 salaries
Senior Marketing Manager
7 salaries
Marketing Director
6 salaries
Project Manager, Software Development
6 salaries
Director of Communications
6 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Aug 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 609
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About This School

633 Clark St
Evanston, IL 60208


Private School, Research University, For Sports Fans

94 %

23 %

39 %

14 %

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


The software development industry, the health care industry, and the consulting industry are just a few of the areas in which NU grads find work. The most highly represented industry among alumni is the education industry. NU graduates see an average starting salary of $74K.


After college, a notable gender gap appears: the average female graduate makes approximately $65K where the average male graduate hauls home about $82K.


Marketing Directors win the contest for best-paid NU alumni, making $106K on average every year, though Senior Marketing Managers (around $105K), and Software Development Project Managers ($88K) are not far behind. Collecting the smallest paychecks are Directors of Communications — they bring in $57K.


Many NU students are Chicago, Ill.-bound following college. NU grads also flock to Los Angeles, Calif., which is home to salaries significantly above average (median pay is about $98K). Home to the lowest median salary for NU alumni is Washington, DC, a popular place for former students despite its around $61K average paycheck. In addition, grads flock to New York, N.Y. as well as San Francisco, Calif.

Degree Major

With a median annual earnings of $187K per year, former Wildcats who have a medical degree are the best paid among the alumni population. A B.A. in Communication is less advantageous in terms of earnings; alums with this degree are the lowest earners with a median annual pay of approximately $49K.


Project Management is a popular skill among NU alumni, with a little less than one-fifth of grads reporting using it on the job. Competency in Strategic Marketing translates into above-average pay for former Wildcats — they earn 31 percent more than their fellow graduates. Also considered top-notch skills are Data Analysis, Editing, and Microsoft Office.

Benefits and Perks

Though vacation and sick days are paid for some, these benefits are reported by the minority of graduates (one-third of alumni and one-fourth of alumni, respectively). Most alums report contributing to a 401(k). Dental insurance applies to a strong majority of survey participants, and a large number of former students report health coverage. Northwestern University alumni are also on the receiving end of life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Alumni of Case Western Reserve University pick up average paychecks of $74K, which is closest to the amount made by NU grads among similar schools. Other schools similar to NU include the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Northwestern University Job Listings

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Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 2080 2320
ACT Scores 31 34

Key Stats for Northwestern University


45 %
55 %
$37,753 - $85,761
$44,672 - $115,600

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 137 votes.
$37,970 - $92,016
$49,033 - $124,107
$40,912 - $96,032
$36,799 - $109,500
$40,551 - $108,091
$40,242 - $142,456

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