Average Salary for Northwestern University Alumni

Ranked in the top 10 percent of universities by return on investment, Northwestern University is a university based in Evanston, Ill., and it's home to around 9,000 undergraduates. Sports have a dominant presence on campus, but study habits are taken seriously as well, and students report above-average test scores. This report is based on the answers of NU graduates who responded 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

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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. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Mechanical Engineer
10 salaries
Software Engineer
9 salaries
Project Engineer
9 salaries
Senior Marketing Manager
8 salaries
Marketing Director
7 salaries
Project Manager, Software Development
6 salaries
Senior Mechanical Engineer
6 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 744

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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 go into the software development industry, the health care industry, and the consulting industry, not to mention a variety of other lines of work. A large chunk of former NU students are employed in the education industry; in fact, this is the most popular job sector for this population. Those with a degree from NU make an average of $74K.


After graduation, women go on to earn an average of $65K per year compared to men, who earn $83K.


Among NU alumni, those working as Marketing Directors report the highest median pay of $106K, followed by Senior Marketing Managers (around $105K), and Senior Mechanical Engineers (about $87K). Directors of Communications get the short end of the stick when it comes to salary; grads report making an average of approximately $57K in this job.


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 $96K). Washington, DC is a popular spot for former NU students at the opposite end of the pay scale; in fact, average salaries there are the lowest at approximately $62K. Alumni express interest in New York, N.Y. and San Francisco, Calif. as well.

Degree Major

A graduate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance from NU can rake in a whopping average about $181K per year, more than any other degree from this school. Those with a B.A. in Communication face salaries on the lower end, coming in at an average $49K per year.


Many former NU students are familiar with Project Management, and slightly less than a fifth of grads move on to positions where this experience is utilized. Strategic Marketing commands a pay premium of 33 percent for former Wildcats. Other prime know-hows include Data Analysis, Editing, and Microsoft Office.

Benefits and Perks

When it comes to benefits, there is room for improvement — only two-fifths of alumni are paid for vacation and just one in four survey participants for sick time. A large number of alumni participate in a 401(k) retirement savings plan. Health insurance benefits extend to most grads, and a fair number of respondents sign up for dental plans. Other benefits awarded to Northwestern University alumni include life insurance, a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Compensation averages $73K for Case Western Reserve University alumni, making their earnings most comparable to NU grads. The University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, and Carnegie Mellon University are also similar to NU.

Test Scores

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

Key Stats for Northwestern University


46 %
54 %
$38,013 - $86,415
$45,090 - $116,884
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 162 votes.
$38,236 - $91,618
$49,637 - $124,107
$41,476 - $97,669
$36,037 - $111,675
$40,674 - $106,716
$40,526 - $141,624
United States (change)

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