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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We present here a list of universities, in the US, known for their placement statistics.
The rankings have been obtained from several sources.
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|
|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.
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