A recent survey of 1005 young professionals by the Mary Christie Institute and the American Association of Colleges and Universities highlights young alumni dissatisfaction with how
college prepared them for the work force. It is easy to imagine that some of the issues are COVID related while others are simply young people transitioning from college life. That said, the disappointment related to college career offices is interesting and worth keeping in mind as surveys mention that an increasing number of high school students focus on career preparation as a reason for attending college. One such survey is the 2018 Strada/Gallup survey of 86,000 individuals which found that 58% of respondents pursued an education 'for a good job or career', more than 2x the second most popular response of 'learning and knowledge' . We believe that the focus of consumers on career and jobs has only increased since 2018 and because of this, while colleges compete on many things, one of them that seems likely to increase is career outcomes and how well a school helps prepare its students.
While most colleges find ways to highlight the strength of their job placement and career centers there is a lack of any real data or evidence behind most schools claims of superiority. More importantly, there is a lack of industry survey work and research that enables families to see which schools 'stand out' in career and job placement with most analysis very narrow in scope and lacking depth.
We believe that a school that is adding value in its career office is doing a number of things well. Our feeling is that a school that is doing a good job helping it's students launch their post-college careers generally has an adequately staffed career center , a strong internship effort , a strong alumni association, high post graduate job placement rates and strong intermediate term salary data as well as company and student surveys that point to satisfaction with their effort. While there is no one survey that captures all this data by combining U.S. News survey work , Princeton Review survey work, information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgetown's Center on Education and The Workforce as well as the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the 2022 Global University Employability Rankings a number of colleges begin to stand out as broadly excellent in their career efforts.
The following list of colleges and universities is comprised of schools that rank highly in the majority of the surveys and data sets mentioned above (ranked highly in at least 4 out of 6). Many of the schools on this list are well known for their excellence and are among the most selective schools in the country but a few might surprise. For families looking for superior career focus and results these schools would be a good place to start a college search.
University of Chicago