Around 9,000 people attend Columbia University in the City of New York, a institution based in New York, N.Y. Most often cast as a die-hard sports school first, Columbia University in the City of New York students study hard as they cheer on the Lions. English is one of the most popular majors at Columbia University in the City of New York, and the student ranks boast SAT and ACT test scores that sit well above the national average. This overview is based on graduates' answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

College ROI Report


20 Year Net ROI 


Annual ROI 

6.3 %

Total 4 Year Cost 


Compare to Other Schools

College Salary Report


Early Career Salary 


Mid-Career Salary 


% High Meaning 

47 %

Compare to Other 4-Year Schools

Columbia University Median Salary by Job


Software Engineer
121 profiles

Data Scientist
89 profiles

Data Analyst
73 profiles

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See all degrees for Columbia University »
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 22 Jun 2019
  • Individuals Reporting: 4,989
  • View Table

About This School

West 116 St and Broadway
New York, NY 10027


Private School, Research University, For Sports Fans

95 %

29 %

53 %

18 %


Former Columbia students are professionally suited for a wide range of fields including the health care industry, the consulting industry, and the financial services industry. The most highly represented industry among alumni is the education industry. It is typical for Columbia grads — a group that usually scores high on the SATs — to earn above-average incomes as well. Columbia graduates see an average starting salary of $79K.


After graduation, women go on to earn an average of $70K per year compared to men, who earn about $87K.


The most lucrative professionals among Columbia alumni are Software Engineers and Data Scientists; they earn a median annual salary of around $100K. Executive Directors aren't slouches either, bringing in $86K. Salaries are anything but generous for Non-Profit Organization Program Coordinators, whose earnings rank lowest on the pay scale at $46K.


More often than not, Columbia grads continue living in New York, N.Y. (roughly one-half of former students to be exact) even though the average salary here takes last place on the pay scale (approximately $76K). Alternatively, San Francisco, Calif. is home to some of the highest salaries — median pay is about $87K — which is an (obvious) draw for many Columbia grads. Alumni express interest in Los Angeles, Calif. and Boston, Mass. as well.

Degree Major

With a median annual earnings of $134K per year, former Lions who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance are the best paid among the alumni population. Average annual salaries for those with a master's in social work are the lowest of the pack, earning $50K.


Knowledge of Strategic Planning seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 14 percent more than their former classmates' salaries ($90K). Slightly less than a fifth of Columbia grads wind up using Project Management at their job, which is one of the most common skills among alumni. Proficiency in Data Analysis, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Office command top-of-the-line rewards as well.

Benefits and Perks

Though vacation and sick days are paid for some, these benefits are reported by the minority of graduates (one-third of alumni and one-fifth of alumni, respectively). Health benefits extend to most alums, and a strong majority of respondents also receive dental coverage. Most survey participants take advantage of a 401(k) plan. Alumni of Columbia University in the City of New York also take in a casual working environment, life insurance, a company-subsidized cell phone, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Among alumni of similar schools, Yale University grads (who make an average of $79K) earn salaries most similar to Columbia alumni. Other schools similar to Columbia include Yeshiva University, New York University, and Princeton University.

Columbia University Job Listings

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 2070 2360
ACT Scores 31 35

Key Stats for Columbia University


58 %
42 %
$46,868 - $100,197
$53,466 - $125,880

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 1288 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
$46,095 - $103,573
$52,926 - $111,923
$54,302 - $120,022
$43,416 - $99,861
$53,012 - $88,399
$47,132 - $85,811
$69,043 - $120,459
$50,684 - $114,042
$68,840 - $199,979
$49,962 - $108,408
$55,405 - $134,573
$51,347 - $117,849
$55,343 - $105,331
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