Tech & Work

State schools becoming favorites among recruiters

Recruiters are working more with state universities, over Ivy League schools, because of their well-rounded curricula.

According to the Wall Street Journal, recruiters are hitting up state universities more often for new hires — for economic reasons but also because those students are taught the basic bread-and-butter courses that better serve industry than the Ivy League curriculum.

The WSJ conducted a survey of top corporate recruiters whose companies last year hired 43,000 new graduates. The top three picks among those recruiters? Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Recruiters say graduates of top public universities are often among the most prepared and well-rounded academically, and companies have found they fit well into their corporate cultures and over time have the best track record in their firms. Other reasons recruiters favor state schools:

  • They can form partnerships that with professors and students, giving them an inside track when it comes time to make offers for internships and jobs.
  • Corporate budget constraints. According to the WSJ, "Recruiter salaries, travel expenses, advertising and relocation costs run upwards of $500,000 to recruit 100 college grads."
  • More than 55% of Ivy-league graduates go on to a doctorate degree, according to a recent survey. This means as employees, they tend to stay in a first job for a shorter period of time — often a year or less. This becomes costly for the corporations.

The connection between some schools and recruiters is so important that some companies actually set up offices to be near the schools. Google, for example, set up an office in Pittsburgh because it was close to Carnegie Mellon University, which ranks No. 1 for computer science.

You can see how the schools break down with recruiters by looking at the chart at the end of this article: Penn State Tops Recruiter Rankings


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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