A Graph of All the Money You Won’t Be Making

Written by has just released a ranking of the best Ivy League Schools in terms of post-Bachelors salaries. Let’s see how Columbia stacked up. Why look, it’s last, dead last. Topping the list is Dartmouth (fraternities), followed by Princeton (eating clubs) and Yale (collective ennui?). 


As one Bwog staffer points out: “This says a lot more about the profile of students who go to these schools than how much the schools help them.

People like me who aren’t going to make a lot of money are gonna drag the average down even though people from Columbia can still make that cash if they go into a profitable field.”

See how SEAS and Barnard stack up after the jump.

In terms of engineering schools, our SEAS didn’t make the list, nor did Barnard on the liberal arts bracket — though who knows, maybe Judith Shapiro opted out of that ranking too. 

Anyway, the real winner here is, whose wonderful website gave us the option of embedding this chart for you. 

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  1. CC 08

    Can anyone define "starting salary"? I figured that the starting salary is your first salary right after your graduate, but the methodology notes that "typical starting graduates have 3 years of experience". So is the starting salary the salary for people who've been working for about 3 years, or is it saying that most Ivy League grads have about 3 years of internship experience before they start their first post-graduation job?

  2. hey  

    SEAS didn't make the list because it wasn't ranked separately. Note the "Columbia University," not "Columbia College." My guess is they included Barnard too, which is what the Wall Street Journal did when they made a similar list a few years back.

    But anyways, yeah, even if this were a better tabulated tabulation, it really says more about the types of student at a school than it does of the school's reputation. I mean, Dartmouth? Waspy upper-middle class to wealthy fratboys continuing with their waspy upper-middle class lives? Shocking.

    • no i dont think so

      Actually there is a whole other engineering schools list which bwog has linked to. SEAS is not on that list. Barnard is considered ( well is, despite its association with Columbia University) a liberal arts school and they did not make that other separate liberals schools list. Of course I would imagine, as you said, that both schools are also included in the Columbia University averages.

      • click  

        hmm...can you read? The engineering list goes down to 40k, which Columbia SEAS quite obviously has an avg starting salary far greater than (greater than CC's, too!), so no, SEAS was not included on the Engineering School list (Neither were other Engineering branches of broader unis, like Stanford's, UPenn's, etc.)

    • wrong

      The WSJ Feeder Survey included Barnard seperately. It even noted in the 'comments' column that Barnard did worse than Columbia. It should be noted that the comments were largely worthless. And that the methodology for that survey sucked.

      Further, the starting salary puts us in 5th. That's the number that's inflated by investment banking. I guess Cornell grads are more likely to get real jobs than Columbians.

      There's some interesting other data available if you parse Washington Monthly's 'alternative' college rankings. Among the Ivy League, Columbia is second to last in the rate of college graduates who go on to get PhDs, 5th in in terms of how many students join the Peace Corps, and in 5th (a smidge above a three way tie for last) in rate of students entering ROTC (its a relative level of suckitude. Only Cornell and Princeton (#1 in the ivies) have significant ROTC presence according to this data).

      One other interesting fact: Columbia and Cornell have a higher percentage of students coming from poor families (as measured by number of Pell Grant recipients) in the Ivy League. Just something to consider. (For the sake of statistical balance, Dartmouth is roughly middle of the road, while the most homogenous schools are Harvard and Princeton).

      • ...

        The economic background of the families of those students entering the school probably has a serious influence on these income numbers...

        So, what is it that Columbia students do exactly when the graduate if they aren't making money or pursuing intellectual truth as academics??

        • man

          a bunch of other stuff.

        • ...  

          bagging groceries for nyu students? i read so on the internet somewhere. it's okay tho, the unions are strong.

          in other news, if you just somehow expect to make a lot of money just by virtue of going to school here when you have no idea how that's going to work, it's probably a good idea to do yourself a favor and dispose of that fantasy now.

          you are what you do, not where you went to school.

  3. Anonymous

    Does this include grad school?

    Because Columbia is a big feeder school.

  4. info

    This isn't a very useful and/or accurate portrayal though, for two reasons. First, it speciifically doesn't include those with advanced degrees, which I imagine includes some serious high rollers. Second, and more importantly, Columbia's only dead last in the "mid-career" category, which is those with an average of 15.5 years of experience. In other words, it shows the late 80s/early 90s, a period when Columbia was doing much worse in admissions (partly thanks to New York unsafeness >>>>>> New York coolness).

    As for the "starting salary," that's 3 years of experience (early 00s), and there Columbia is 5th, and only Harvard and Princeton are significantly greater than the other schools.

  5. hurrah

    I managed to beat the mid-career median without going into i-banking.

  6. whoa

    our mid-median career salary is still going to be over $100,000 that's crazy

  7. Farnsworth Bentley

    Can't wait to throw that 60k first paycheck to drugs and velvet blazers.

  8. Amazing...

    ...That no one's turned this into a shit-on-GS thread yet.

    /GS student.
    //I'm waaaaaiting...

  9. REX

    Don't forget too that a lot of Columbia grads aren't going into business (ibanking) or consulting after college - some people will have non-for profit jobs or jobs in low paying sectors. So it balanced out..

  10. DHI


    So how many kids are going into business selling shit rather than handling money?

    I mean, there's lots of people making money that ain't bankers but I never hear about it in Columbia.

    We gotta get some commodity barons, robber moguls, that type.

  11. DHI

    By the way

    Stanford once tried to rename their team the Robber Barons

    It won the student vote but the administration shut it down because they didn't want to call their school's founder a robber baron.

    But he was

    If they were called that instead of the "Cardinal" I would have gone to Stanford on the pure awesomeness of that name.

  12. Problem

    Their methodology excludes all grads who go on to get a JD, MBA, MA, PhD, MD, or any other graduate degree, which I have to assume makes up a pretty significant (and sometimes significantly earning) portion of the CU population. So, this ranking is essentially meaningless.

  13. Alum

    The reason Columbia isn't on the engineering list is that it doesn't fit into that category, not that SEAS grads don't make enough money.

    The list of "engineering schools" is limited to universities that are focused on engineering and science. It doesn't include any engineering schools from large, generalized universities (except, perhaps, Carnegie Mellon). Stanford isn't there, for example, and neither are such other engineering powerhouses as UC-Berkley, Michigan, Illinois or USC.

  14. Hmm

    I think part of the explanation is that so many Columbia alumni will settle for a lower-paying job so long as they can stay in NYC, often choosing over higher-paying positions in other cities. I assume that carries over into the mid-career figures in some way.

  15. Errr...

    We're about to get a president

  16. or maybe

    sucking at earning money isn't really sucking--

    maybe we just have souls?

  17. Methodology

    "Bachelors Only: Only employees who possess a Bachelor's degree and no higher degree are included. Those Bachelors graduates who continue their education and earn a Master's degree, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, or other advanced degree are not included.

    For some liberal arts, Ivy League, and highly selective schools, graduates with higher degrees can represent a significant fraction of all graduates.

    Careers that require advanced degrees, such as in law or medicine, are not included.

    US Only: All reports are for graduates of schools in the United States and who are working in the United States."

  18. why

    does anyone really care? we all learned in high school stat that statistics tend to be flawed. so i think we all need to take care of those panties in a twist and chill out.

  19. epb

    And yet Columbia has graduated more billionaires than all but 4 other American universities...Harvard, Stanford, Penn and Yale. Any study like this is absolutely meaningless except, perhaps, as an indicator of networking capabilities.

  20. Eh?

    "This says a lot more about the profile of students who go to these schools than how much the schools help them."

    What rot! Everybody knows that salary package is the only measure of success or happiness in life, or otherwise anything else of meaning!

  21. Why we're poor....

    It's all because of the fucking socialist activists on campus - most of whom probably have full rides - that go on to become social workers making 20K a year.

  22. dudes

    columbia isn't last.....and princeton is first. the schools aren't ordered according to rank, just randomly. from the looks of it, columbia's like 4th/5th.

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