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Best Universities for Placement in USA

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.

Best Universities for Placement in USA

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

Career Services

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.

Read Average cost of studying abroad: USA vs Europe and Average Salary after MS in USA, Canada and Australia.

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

Good luck!

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8 thoughts on “Best Universities for Placement in USA”

  1. Hi..Iam bhavana…Iam doing my btech now ..I was just confused which option I have to go.. either do a job for two to three years then go to mba.or do an MBA in India by getting good rank in CAT…..I was just confused..and iam interested in doing event management job…if I want to do an event managing job…which way I have to go?????…plzz suggest mee

  2. Hi sameer
    Brother I just need to ask you that I have just completed my bba degree from Kashmir university. Now I am looking to do job in gulf for 2years because I have a dream to do MBA in england its possible .but I want to settle there as well .as for as I am concerned that only MBA will not help you in getting a good job there for that you should be having a good experience with your mba degree.suggest me your view
    Thank you brother

  3. Hi,

    I having 4 yrs of work ex. currently, I am working in Sales and marketing . I am thinking to do MBA from aboard But, get confuse to do MBA in consultant or Finance, marketing & also interested in doing CPA. Please suggest me.

  4. Sir I have completed my MS in Finance from EDHEC Business School, Nice, France and I am looking for some payed internship in any other countries other than my native country India. Can you please suggest.

  5. Hi
    Currently I’m in 2nd year of my Mechanical B. Tech and I don’t know what should I do after my graduation? I don’t know what am I interested in? Sometimes I wish to study MS abroad, sometimes MBA or to be an entrepreneur !!! But I don’t know what should I do or how should I proceed?
    Please Help me.

  6. @Bhavana: We’ve addressed that dilemma here:

    @Aaqib: You’re right. You’ll need several years of work experience to get into a good bschool, and get a good job after that.

    @sukhbir: Here’s how to select the right MBA specialisation:

    @Manasvi: Yes, around 5 years is the average in most bschools. Wait till you have at least 2 years.

    @Anand: We’ve covered MS in Mechanical engineering in this article:

    @Ramachandran: It’s quit difficult to get an internship or job in another country, if you don’t have a network there. Try getting in touch with EDHEC alumni in the country you want to work in. They may have some leads and help to offer.

    @Yatharth: Read my response to Bhavana above.


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