Best Universities for Placement in USA

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.

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 2017 (Payscale) Colleges that Pay You Back 2016 (Princeton Review) Global University Employability 2017 (Times Higher Education) Graduate Employability 2017 (QS)
Stanford University Harvey Mudd College California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Stanford University
Harvey Mudd College MIT Harvard University MIT
Caltech Caltech Columbia Columbia
MIT Stanford University MIT University of California Berkeley (UCB)
Princeton University Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Boston University Princeton University
SUNY Maritime College Stevens Institute of Technology Stanford University Cornell University
United States Military Academy State University of New York Maritime College Yale University University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
Dartmouth College Babson College Princeton University University of Chicago
Babson College Carnegie Mellon University UCB University of Pennsylvania
United States Naval Academy Worcester Polytechnic Institute Johns Hopkins University Brown University
Harvard University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dartmouth College Northwestern University
Duke University Rice University Duke University University of Michigan
Webb Institute Princeton University Brigham Young University Duke University
Yale University Clarkson University UCLA Caltech
University of Pennsylvania The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Brown University New York University
Williams College Cornell University New York University Johns Hopkins University
Samuel Merritt University Yale University Cornell University Arizona State University
Georgetown University Colgate University University of Chicago Boston University
United State Air Force Academy University of Pennsylvania Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University
Claremont McKenna College Georgia Institute of Technology UC San Francisco University of Southern California
Stevens Institute of Technology Santa Clara University University of California San Diego University of Texas at Austin
United State Merchant Marine Academy Duke University Michigan State University University of Washington
Santa Clara University Lehigh University University of Southern California Georgetown University
Colorado School of Mines UCB University of Pennsylvania Purdue University
UCB Tufts University Georgetown University University of Wisconsin Madison


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.

Good luck!

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  1. Bhavana says:

    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. Aaqib ahmed says:

    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. sukhbir says:


    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. Manasvi says:

    I have got my bachelor’s from india and want to pursue my mba degree from abroad so do i need work experience?

  5. Anand says:

    Hi sir ,
    Help me to find out best universitirs in US for MS ,related to Mechanical Engineering *


    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.

  7. Yatharth says:

    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.

  8. Sameer Kamat says:

    @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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