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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. Alumni participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

Overall College ROI Rank
out of 1312
See full list
ROI Rank for Public (In-State) Universities
out of 420
Mid-Career Salary Rank for State School
out of 445
See full list
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
19 salaries
Staff Accountant
7 salaries
Executive Assistant
7 salaries
Senior Accountant
6 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
6 salaries
Operations Manager
6 salaries
Director of Operations
5 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 22 Nov 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 480
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University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC) Details


1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1011


Also Known As:

University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)

Admissions Website:

Students Enrolled:



State Schools, Research Universities

Graduation Rate:

74 %


20 %

% Stay In State:

87 %

% Receiving Pell Grants:

41 %
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Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY


Graduates of the UCSC go into the education industry, IT services, and software as a service (SAAS) development, not to mention a variety of other lines of work. The software development industry is the sector most highly represented among alumni. The average salary for a grad from UCSC is $58K.


It's worth noting that female graduates earn a median salary of $56K whereas the men's median is approximately $68K.


Among UCSC graduates, the biggest earners are Senior Software Engineers, who haul in around $135K on average. Next on the list are Senior Accountants and Software Engineers, bringing in about $84K and $77K, respectively. Sitting at the bottom of the pay scale are Staff Accountants, making an average of $48K.


Those with a degree from UCSC often relocate to San Francisco after college. Another city that attracts a wealth of UCSC grads is Mountain View; given its high compensation (approximately $85K is the average salary), the city's popularity should come as no surprise. Home to the lowest median salary for UCSC alumni is San Diego, a popular place for former students despite its $58K average paycheck. Nearby Los Angeles and San Jose also rank high on the list of cities for UCSC grads.

Degree Major

Financial compensation is highest for UCSC grads with a Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Jurisprudence, or Master of Law (LLM) (earnings climb to about $147K per year). Those with a Bachelor of Science in Earth Science face salaries on the lower end, coming in close to $45K per year.


Competency in Java translates into above-average pay for former Banana Slugs — they earn 74 percent more than their fellow graduates. Project Management is a popular skill among UCSC alumni, with roughly one in eight grads reporting using it on the job. Also considered top-notch skills are Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Customer Service.

Benefits and Perks

Lacking in the benefits department, just one in three grads report compensation for sick days and only one in three grads get vacation time. For this school, the greater part of survey participants are the recipients of health benefits, and most former students pick up dental plans, too. A strong majority of former students save for retirement through a 401(k) plan. University of California graduates also take advantage of a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and free drinks.

Related Schools

Median pay for University of California grads is $57K, making their salaries most similar to those of UCSC grads. The University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Davis, and the University of California-Santa Barbara are also similar to UCSC.

University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC) Job Listings

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Test Scores
Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1520 1880
ACT Scores 21 27

Key Stats



48 %

female alumni


52 %

male alumni
$36,882 - $78,052
$39,818 - $97,498

Years of Experience

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 181 votes.

Top Degrees

Popular Cities

$39,965 - $89,428
$45,009 - $110,000
$35,870 - $77,457
$42,000 - $70,617
$34,765 - $66,129

More Charts: University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC) Alumni

Most Popular Years Experience for University of California - Santa Cruz (UCSC) Alumni
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