Around 21,000 undergrads attend the University of Southern California, a school in Los Angeles, Calif.. The school sits in the top 19 percent of universities by return on investment. Most often cast as a die-hard sports school first, University of Southern California students study hard as they cheer on the Trojans. English is one of the most popular majors at the University of Southern California, and the student ranks boast SAT and ACT test scores that sit well above the national average. The numbers in this rundown were provided by the USC grads who participated in PayScale's salary survey.

College ROI Report


20 Year Net ROI 


Annual ROI 

5.3 %

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

University of Southern California (USC) Median Salary by Job


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See all degrees for University of Southern California (USC) »
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Apr 2019
  • Individuals Reporting: 7,709
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About This School

University Park
Los Angeles, CA 90089


Private School, Research University, For Sports Fans

92 %

23 %

76 %

18 %


The USC alumni can most commonly be found in the education industry, the software development industry, and software as a service (SAAS) development, though they are employed throughout a wide range of sectors. The majority of USC alumni wind up in the aerospace and defense industry. Reminiscent of their reportedly high performance on the SAT and above-average graduation rates, USC alumni often collect high salaries as well. Those with an education from the USC earn an average of $78K.


After graduation, disparities in salary rise to the surface — males earn an average around $90K per year compared to females' approximately $67K.


The biggest paychecks among USC alumni are earned by Senior Software Engineers — these former students make a median salary of $125K per year. The next biggest paychecks go to Software Engineers ($100K) and Mechanical Engineers (about $77K). Social Workers pick up $47K in financial rewards, representing the lowest-paid position among alumni.


Despite handing out the worst average salary (approximately $72K), Los Angeles, Calif. holds on to its USC student population, and one-third of grads continue to reside in the city. USC grads with a different agenda may consider the above-average salaries in San Jose, Calif. — pay averages to $112K. Other common destinations for USC grads include close-by San Diego, Calif. and New York, N.Y.

Degree Major

A graduate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business Administration from USC can rake in a whopping average around $127K per year, more than any other degree from this school. On the other end of the spectrum, those with a Master of Social Work (MSW) tend to do the worst in terms of salary, making an average $50K per year.


One-seventh of USC grads wind up using Project Management at their job, which is one of the most common skills among alumni. Former Trojans with Java experience garner salaries that are 37 percent more than other grads' salaries. Demonstrated ability in Microsoft Excel, Data Analysis, and Microsoft Office rank among leading skills as well.

Benefits and Perks

Just one-third of alumni enjoy paid vacation and merely one-fifth of alumni get paid sick time. Most respondents save for retirement through a 401(k) plan. Dental insurance applies to a fair number of graduates, and most former students report health coverage. University of Southern California alumni are also on the receiving end of a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and tuition reimbursement.

Related Schools

Compensation averages $78K for University of Notre Dame alumni, making their earnings most comparable to USC grads. Other schools similar to USC include the California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Rice University.

University of Southern California (USC) Job Listings

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores 1920 2250
ACT Scores 30 33

Key Stats for University of Southern California (USC)


50 %
49 %
$43,847 - $96,404
$52,741 - $123,448

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 2268 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more
$51,203 - $113,790
$43,688 - $95,010
$60,624 - $123,578
$43,052 - $103,825
$70,261 - $130,256
$72,164 - $139,510
$57,846 - $125,183
$67,595 - $114,284
$45,464 - $99,610
$56,476 - $125,397
$45,480 - $109,740
$47,475 - $105,878
$55,486 - $128,648
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