This blog has visited the subject of college rankings many times before – see, for instance, here and here. Furthermore, the College Scorecard, while NOT a ranking, does allow you to compare schools on different measures, including average annual cost, graduation rates, and salary after attending. There is no single ranking system or tool that you should definitely be using to assess possible colleges to which you may apply, but it is advisable to be aware of the different options that are out there for comparing schools. Some examples include:
- U.S. News & World Report – Our rankings “allow you to compare at a glance the relative quality of institutions based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty.” For more information on their methodology, click here. To see the full ranking, click here.
- Forbes – “We ignore the abstract (reputation) and wasteful (spending-per-student) to focus on one measurement: outcome. From student satisfaction and graduation rates, to career success and student debt, this ranking counts what matters.” Click here for their ranking.
- Money Magazine – Our rankings indicate which schools “deliver the most value—that is, a great education, at an affordable price, that helps students launch promising careers.” See here for more information on their methodology, and here for Money’s Best Colleges.
- The Times Higher Education – Our list “judges world-class universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.” Click here for more information.
Today I want to introduce you to yet another ranking system, and one that I think you’ll appreciate! It’s the LinkedIn University Rankings, which is based on career outcomes – “From university to career, see which universities are launching graduates into desirable jobs.” That is, these rankings are based on the career paths / employment patterns of the 396 million LinkedIn members – it’s really very cool! For instance:
The top school for aspiring accounting professionals? Villanova University
The top school for aspiring designers? Carnegie Mellon University
The top school for aspiring finance professionals? University of Pennsylvania
The top school for aspiring investment bankers? Georgetown University
The top school for aspiring media professionals? New York University
You can also search for more specific career outcomes. For example, are you interested in working at Pixar? Then perhaps you should consider the Character Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts. Beyond the lists, there’s also a university finder tool – “Tell us what you want to do, and we’ll show you which universities send the most alumni into that career.”
As this article from The Wall Street Journal points out, “The results from LinkedIn – by virtue of the size of its membership – offer the latest significant development in the way big data are reordering perceptions into how college influences a person’s career.” The article, however, also points out that these rankings must be taken with a grain of salt, as LinkedIn “doesn’t collect information on income, wealth, race or gender, and only considers graduates who obtained their degrees within the past eight years.” Still, the LinkedIn University Rankings definitely have the potential to contribute interesting and relevant information in helping you to address the ever-important “Where should I apply?” question, as the data allows you to further assess a potential college’s value, in terms of life post-graduation. Check it out!