Average Salary for Northwestern University Alumni

It's hard to find a better value for your tuition dollar than at Northwestern University, a university based in Evanston, Ill.. The school is ranked in the top 10 percent of universities by return on investment. Athletics form the core of Northwestern University social activity, but these students are also known for their studious nature and excellent test scores. The figures in this rundown were provided by NU alumni who took the PayScale salary questionnaire.

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Overall College ROI Rank

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ROI Rank for Private not-for-profit Universities

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Mid-Career Salary Rank for Research Universities

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Typical Early Career Salary

Northwestern 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.
Project Engineer
9 salaries
Software Engineer
9 salaries
Senior Marketing Manager
8 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
7 salaries
Marketing Director
7 salaries
Director of Communications
6 salaries
Project Manager, Software Development
6 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 27 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 682
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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)


Graduates of NU head into a range of vocations when it comes to work; the health care industry, the software development industry, and the consulting industry are just a few professional areas popular among alumni. The most popular professional field seems to be the education industry. Those with a degree from NU make an average of about $74K.


It's worth noting that female graduates earn a median salary of around $65K whereas the men's median is $82K.


NU grads who become Senior Software Engineers are compensated well above average — these folks are top-earners among their graduating class, making an average $125K yearly. Also notably well-paid are Marketing Directors and Senior Marketing Managers; their salaries approach $106K and approximately $105K, respectively. Directors of Communications face rather mediocre compensation — average salaries are actually the lowest at $57K.


Chicago, Ill. is filled with NU grads. In addition, former NU students often head to Los Angeles, Calif. after graduating, where the median salary comes to $98K in this top-paying city. Though Washington, DC takes the cake for lowest pay among NU grads (the median salary is about $61K there), it remains a common destination for former students. Other cities of interest include New York, N.Y. and San Francisco, Calif.

Degree Major

A medical degree leads to the highest pay for NU grads ($187K on average per year). Those with a B.A. in Communication face salaries on the lower end, coming in at an average approximately $49K per year.


Project Management is a popular skill among NU alumni, with a little less than a fifth of grads reporting using it on the job. Former Wildcats with Strategic Marketing experience garner salaries that are 31 percent more than other grads' salaries. Data Analysis, Editing, and Microsoft Office are among other dominant skills.

Benefits and Perks

Only one in three grads earn paid vacation and just one in four survey participants get paid sick time. Most former students participate in a 401(k) retirement savings plan. Health coverage is awarded to a large number of alumni, and dental insurance is issued to a strong majority of former students as well. Alumni of Northwestern University also take in life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Case Western Reserve University graduates, who earn around $73K on average, make a similar amount to NU grads. The University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, and Carnegie Mellon University are also similar to NU.

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


46 %
54 %
$38,052 - $86,080
$44,765 - $115,742
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 138 votes.
$38,131 - $92,348
$49,033 - $124,107
$40,997 - $95,493
$36,973 - $111,033
$40,551 - $108,091
$40,242 - $142,456

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