Average Salary for University of Southern California (USC) Alumni

The University of Southern California is a school located in Los Angeles, Calif. with around 18,000 undergraduates. Alumni report earning excellent value for their tuition dollars; the school ranks in the top 19 percent of universities by return on investment. Students at the University of Southern California take pride in their sports teams, but they value strong coursework as well. In fact, math majors make up a large portion of the student body, and many alumni report high standardized test scores. Figures cited in this summary are based on graduates' replies 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

University of Southern California (USC) 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
41 salaries
Senior Software Engineer
27 salaries
Senior Systems Engineer
18 salaries
Mechanical Engineer
18 salaries
Software Developer
14 salaries
Financial Analyst
13 salaries
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
13 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,562

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About This School

University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089



Private School, Research University, For Sports Fans

91 %

13 %

76 %

18 %

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


Graduates of the USC work in a variety of sectors including the education industry, the software development industry, and the health care industry. The aerospace and defense industry is the sector most highly represented among alumni. Students of USC go on to make comfortable salaries after graduation, a trend consistent with the above-average SAT scores reported by this group. Those with a degree from the USC make an average of about $81K.


Male graduates of USC out-earn their female counterparts significantly, earning an average of $90K versus $70K for women.


In the USC alumni professional community, Chief Financial Officers make the highest median pay ($133K), though Senior Systems Engineers (approximately $123K), and Senior Software Engineers (around $112K) are close competitors. Mechanical Engineers face rather mediocre compensation — average salaries are actually the lowest at $73K.


Though Los Angeles, Calif. offers the least in terms of financial rewards (median pay is the lowest at approximately $75K), slightly less than a third of USC students continue living here after college. San Jose, Calif. is on the other end of the salary spectrum, offering top-notch pay and a median salary of $109K; it's no wonder that USC grads are attracted to this city. Neighboring San Francisco, Calif. is another common pick among USC grads, along with San Diego, Calif.

Degree Major

USC students with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance can expect to make the most money ($140K on average per year) compared to their fellow graduates. The degree that warrants the lowest level of financial compensation is a B.A. in International Relations (around $45K on average annually).


Many USC grads have knowledge of Project Management, with nearly one in six alumni using this program on the clock. Former Trojans with C++ experience garner salaries that are 25 percent more than other grads' salaries. Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, and Data Analysis command top-of-the-line rewards as well.

Benefits and Perks

A lucky minority (about one in three grads) are fortunate enough to be compensated for vacation while just one in four survey participants get sick time. A large number of respondents plan for retirement by taking advantage of a company-sponsored 401(k) program. It is no small feat that most former students are given health coverage, and a fair number of former students accept dental insurance. Other benefits that University of Southern California alumni receive are a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Among alumni of similar schools, Rice University grads (who make an average of $79K) earn salaries most similar to USC alumni. The California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Tulane University of Louisiana are also similar to USC.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1920 2230
ACT Scores 29 33

Key Stats for University of Southern California (USC)


42 %
58 %
$39,612 - $95,998
$50,160 - $120,433
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 349 votes.
$71,356 - $137,455
$60,525 - $126,819
$45,302 - $126,856
$97,814 - $125,777
$40,730 - $102,967
$54,052 - $122,426
$53,327 - $129,808
$82,414 - $133,613
$51,088 - $115,589

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