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Average Salary for University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC) Alumni

The University of California is a public research university based in Santa Cruz, Calif. that is home to around 16,000 undergraduates. Deemed a "research school", this public university offers students a wide range of resources at a relatively low cost. This summary is derived from information given by UCSC grads who completed the PayScale salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1223
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ROI Rank for Public (In-State) Universities

out of 408

Mid-Career Salary Rank for State School

out of 445

Typical Early Career Salary

University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC) 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
10 salaries
Executive Assistant
5 salaries
Marketing Director
4 salaries
Marketing Manager
4 salaries
Senior Accountant
4 salaries
Staff Accountant
4 salaries
Operations Manager
4 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 24 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 348

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About This School

1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1011

University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)



State School, Research University

73 %

20 %

89 %

51 %

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


The UCSC alumni can most commonly be found in the education industry, software as a service (SAAS) development, and IT services, though they are employed throughout a wide range of sectors. The software development industry registers as the most common industry among alumni. The average starting salary for a graduate of UCSC is approximately $58K.


Male graduates of UCSC out-earn their female counterparts significantly, earning an average of around $68K versus $57K for women.


The biggest paychecks among UCSC alumni are earned by Senior Software Engineers — these former students make $137K per year. The next biggest paychecks go to Senior Accountants (about $84K) and Software Engineers ($80K). Sitting at the bottom of the pay scale are Staff Accountants, making an average of $49K.


Those with a degree from UCSC often relocate to San Francisco after college. UCSC alumni seeking the highest salaries end up in Mountain View, which offers median salaries of $90K. For comparison, the lowest-paying city popular with UCSC alumni is Los Angeles, which offers median salaries of $56K. Close-by San Jose and Santa Cruz are also desirable cities among UCSC alumni.

Degree Major

A Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Jurisprudence, or Master of Law (LLM) leads to the highest pay for UCSC grads (approximately $147K per year). Annual salaries for those with a B.A. in Political Science (PolySci) are the lowest of the pack, earning $42K.


One-eighth of UCSC grads wind up using Project Management at their job, which is one of the most common skills among alumni. Former Banana Slugs with Java experience garner salaries that are 77 percent more than other grads' salaries. Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Customer Service are among other dominant skills.

Benefits and Perks

When it comes to benefits, there is room for improvement — only one in three grads are paid for vacation and just one in three grads for sick time. The greater part of former students receive health insurance, and most graduates get dental coverage. A strong majority of former students participate in a 401(k) program. University of California graduates also take advantage of a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and free drinks.

Related Schools

Among alumni of similar schools, University of California grads (who make an average of around $57K) earn salaries most similar to UCSC alumni. The University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Davis, and the University of California-Santa Barbara are also similar to UCSC.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1430 1840
ACT Scores 20 26

Key Stats for University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC)


49 %
51 %
$36,852 - $78,424
$39,672 - $96,551
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 164 votes.
$39,739 - $89,428
$44,353 - $114,143
$35,627 - $73,971
$42,000 - $70,617
$34,521 - $70,500

More Salary Charts for University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC)

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