An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
~As Benjamin Franklin has been known to say. Quite true but how do you see the returns on that investment?
You may argue that knowledge is the reward in itself but one can, quite justifiably, question said knowledge if you have obtained an MS degree from, say, the Mickey Mouse Institute of Cheese or a “BS” from the (Donald) Trump University.
The reputation of an educational institute is measured by the quality of the imparted knowledge, the intellectual growth it inspires, and how the students are able to transfer those into intellectual work products.
And one of the easiest ways to quantify the interest payback is the return of investment of the university degree – how well are you placed, change in employability, from before to after, and the subsequent career growth and success.
In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of US universities in providing the right kind of resources for such an ROI – employability and the factors that determine the effectiveness of a university, to top another, in student placement. We will,then, move on to the best-known universities with the best student placements, in the country.
What determines placement effectiveness in universities
Here, we have mentioned what, we think, are some of the university services, resources, and university/degree related factors contributing to your chances for landing a good job after graduation.
If you are looking to scour the list of American universities for your future degree, and consequent career prospects, these pointers would be a good place to begin your school research. Read Undergraduate Business School with the best Placement
Every university has a body of experts handling employability issues for its students – resume and interview experts, career counselors conducting workshops and seminars, etc.
Before you search your school fit, you may want to consider what the school has to offer in terms of job search support. After all, that is your end goal (for the most part).
This service is especially useful for international students who are bound by endless regulations with respect to visa and work permits.
Good career services provide job hunt assistance while great career services offer discipline specific support, have an active alumni network to bank on, are informed about the recruitment landscape – which companies hire international graduates, how to get those companies to show up on placement day –and how to expose the would-be graduates to employment opportunities.
And then there is the perception that employers have about the quality of graduates from a university. And if you thought that Ivy League universities are the only ones with superior brand names and a clear placement advantage, you are wrong. The recent Payscale College Salary Report puts a little-known Harvey Mudd College way over Harvard, Dartmouth, or Yale.
Field/Degree of Study
A National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) longitudinal study, showed a marginal difference between the number of graduates recruited from STEM vs non-STEM majors.
However, a striking difference did show up in the median full-time salaries between the two fields. STEM majors were at $60,000 annual compensation. A good $15k higher than the non-STEM majors.
Thus, university placement, which is a function of the degree major, clearly shows a larger ROI for certain science and mathematics subjects over the less monetarily rewarding social sciences majors.
Quite intuitively, the degree plays an important role in determining job prospects, as well (Read Is an MS degree, PhD or an MBA, from the US, worth it?). Also read MS degrees that pay the highest salaries, Worst majors for future job prospects.
Cost of Attendance and Salary
A good placement is also a measure of how quickly you are able to surpass the costs of getting a degree, aka the cost of attendance. Tuition per year can range from $20k to over $40k for private universities.
A placement with above average compensation will be a clear winner when it comes to a good ROI. Acquaint yourself with the employment statistics of each school in your radar.
Best Universities in USA for Placements
We present here a list of universities, in the US, known for their placement statistics.
The rankings have been obtained from several sources.
- Payscale’s Best Universities and Colleges by Salary Potential is based on data from the millions who took the Payscale Salary Survey.
- The Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Pay You Back” compiled a list of colleges, after analyzing ROI, academics, financial aid, graduation rates, student debt and career services, based on responses from administrators and students. The report also considered starting and mid-career salaries (data from Payscale).
- The Global University Employability Ranking, by Times Higher Education ranks universities in response to recruiter preferences, based on a study designed by the HR consultancy, Emerging.
- And finally, QS Graduate Employability Rankingsis based on five indicators – Employer Reputation (from over 30k responses to QS Employer Survey), Alumni Outcomes (alma maters of 30k high achievers in the world), Partnerships with Employers per Faculty (University-Company collaborations for research and placement), Employer/Student Connections, and Graduate Employment Rate.
Each ranking scheme has its own recipe and we will leave the onus on your (reader’s) shoulders to find out the finer details about the ranking methodologies.
|Best Universities/Colleges by Salary Potential 2021 (Payscale)||Top 20 Private Colleges that Pay You Back 2021 (Princeton Review)||Top 20 Public Colleges that Pay You Back 2021 (Princeton Review)||Global University Employability 2020 (Times Higher Education)||Graduate Employability 2022 (QS)|
|MIT||Harvey Mudd College||Georgia Institute of Technology||California Institute of Technology (Caltech)||MIT|
|Harvey Mudd College||MIT||University of California Berkeley||MIT||Stanford|
|Princeton||Caltech||University of Virginia||Harvard||University of California Los Angeles|
|United States Naval Academy||Stanford University||Missouri University of Science and Technology||Stanford||Harvard|
|Stanford||Princeton||University of California San Diego||Yale University||Cornell University|
|Harvard||Harvard College||Michigan Technological University||New York University||University of Chicago|
|Babson College||University of Pennsylvania||University of Illinois Urbana Champaign||Princeton||Yale|
|Santa Clara University||Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology||Virginia Tech||Columbia University||Princeton|
|United States Military Academy||Stevens Institute of Technology||University of California Los Angeles||Johns Hopkins University||New York University|
|University of Pennsylvania||Claremont McKenna College||New Jersey Institute of Technology||University of California Berkeley||Columbia|
|Caltech||Carnegie Mellon University||University of Michigan Ann Arbor||University of Chicago||University of Pennsylvania|
|Colgate University||Babson College||Texas A&M University||Duke University||University of Michigan|
|Yale||Yale||University of Washington||Dartmouth College||Duke University|
|Claremont McKenna College||Dartmouth College||William & Mary||Boston University||Northwestern University|
|Stevens Institute of Technology||Worcester Polytechnic Institute||University of California Davis||Georgia Institute of Technology||Purdue|
|SUNY Maritime College||Santa Clara University||University of California Santa Barbara||Carnegie Mellon University||Carnegie Mellon University|
|Williams College||Duke University||Purdue University||University of California Los Angeles||Georgia Institute of Technology|
|Dartmouth College||Columbia University||University of Texas at Austin||Rice University||Johns Hopkins University|
|Colorado School of Mines||Cornell University||State University of New York Binghamton||Cornell University||University of Texas at Austin|
|United State Air Force Academy||Colgate University||Penn State University Park||Brown University||Brown University|
|Lehigh University||Tufts University||University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign|
|University of California Berkeley||University of Pennsylvania||University of Southern California|
|Webb Institute||Georgetown University||University of North Carolina Chapel Hill|
|Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology||University of Texas at Austin||University of Washington|
|United States Merchant Marine Academy||United States Merchant Marine Academy|
If your dream school is not featured in these rankings, don’t fret. You know what they say about ranking – it is just an indicator and needn’t reflect the particular criteria you want from your future school.
Take a good look at your preferences, your end goals, and how these gel with your prospective school…lest you end up losing a fortune on an empty investment.
We can help you put in the strongest application to improve your chances of getting into one of these programs. Drop us an email if you’d like professional MBA application consulting help: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com
Here’re some related links for MBA
- MBA Programs with the best placement
- MBA placement opportunities abroad for international students
- ISB MBA Placements
- Top MBA colleges in the world