Combining good value and great education, the University of California is ranked in the top 13 percent of universities by return on investment. Alumni report high financial returns compared to the tuition they paid to attend this a university based in Santa Barbara, Calif. Most often cast as a die-hard sports school first, University of California students study hard as they cheer on the Gauchos. English is one of the most popular majors at the University of California, and the student ranks boast SAT and ACT test scores that sit well above the national average. Alumni participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

College ROI Report


20 Year Net ROI 


Annual ROI 

8.0 %

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

University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) Median Salary by Job




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See all degrees for University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) »
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 May 2019
  • Individuals Reporting: 3,837
  • View Table

About This School

5221 Cheadle Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)


Research University, State School, For Sports Fans, Party School

81 %

27 %

86 %

38 %


The UCSB alumni find work in an assortment of industries including the education industry, the software development industry, and the aerospace and defense industry. Software as a service (SAAS) development is the sector most highly represented among alumni. Starting salaries of $68K are the median among UCSB grads.


After college, a notable gender gap appears: the average female graduate makes $64K where the average male graduate hauls home $81K.


The most generous salaries among UCSB alumni are reportedly earned by Senior Software Engineers, whose median earnings come to $122K, followed by Software Engineers (about $89K) and Senior Financial Analysts (around $81K). Account Managers wrap up the bottom of the pay scale, earning approximately $55K.


Many UCSB students are Los Angeles, Calif.-bound following college. UCSB grads also flock to San Jose, Calif., which is home to salaries significantly above average (median pay is $81K). UCSB grads love their alma mater so much that many stick around in Santa Barbara despite the median salary there ranking lowest among popular cities ($62K). Other common destinations for UCSB grads include close-by San Francisco, Calif. and San Diego, Calif.

Degree Major

UCSB students with a Master of Engineering (MEng / ME) can expect to make the most money (around $130K on average per year) compared to their fellow graduates. Those holding a B.A. in Sociology are less fortunate in terms of earnings, bringing in approximately $52K on average per year.


Proficiency in Microsoft Excel is common among UCSB alumni, and when it comes to using it on the job, roughly one in seven former students report doing so. Former Gauchos who have experience with Engineering Design can expect to make 24 percent more than other alumni ($85K on average). Proficiency in Project Management, Microsoft Office, and Data Analysis command top-of-the-line rewards as well.

Benefits and Perks

Only one in three grads for this school enjoy paid vacation days and about one in five survey participants get paid sick time. Health insurance benefits extend to a large number of survey participants, and a fair number of grads sign up for dental plans. In an effort to save up for the years ahead, most alumni contribute to a 401(k). Other benefits that University of California alumni receive are a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and free drinks.

Related Schools

University of California grads report the most similar salaries to UCSB alums, earning $69K on average. The University of California-Los Angeles, the University of California-Riverside, and the University of California-Irvine are also similar to UCSB.

University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) Job Listings

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1600 1990
ACT Scores 26 31

Key Stats for University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)


51 %
49 %
$42,637 - $88,007
$49,119 - $116,373

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 1492 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
$41,868 - $92,638
$48,994 - $108,520
$59,100 - $110,718
$44,698 - $88,923
$63,447 - $135,112
$69,557 - $118,007
$48,648 - $77,376
$44,000 - $96,033
$55,752 - $136,586
$48,656 - $90,000
$43,684 - $102,083
$48,666 - $106,992
$41,213 - $95,710
$44,860 - $100,143
$48,248 - $100,958

More Charts for University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Most Popular Job for University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) Alumni

Most Popular Employer Name for University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB) Alumni

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