What Are the Best Schools for Employers to Target When Trying to Hire Grads Now

Posted July 07, 2015 by

President of College Recruiter niche job board Steven Rothberg recently interviewed president of Job Search Intelligence Paul Hill at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)​ 2015 annual conference in Anaheim, California. In the interview, Steven and Paul discussed the Hidden Gem Index awards used by College Recruiter to recognize which colleges and universities are best for employers based upon the quality and availability for hire of the students.

Steven and Paul discussed how the schools were selected to receive the awards:

We wanted to recognized schools at which employer had a reasonable opportunity to hire high quality graduates. Many awards rank schools based upon how difficult they are to get into and typically use SAT scores to do that ranking. Other awards rank schools based upon the quality of the graduates and typically use starting salaries to do that ranking. Neither of those does a good job of recognizing schools which add value and which have a decent percentage of seniors who in the spring haven’t already been hired or committed to going to grad school.

We looked at the range of scores around the country and established a criteria by looking at the performance of the students while coming into the schools. Then we looked at their achievement during school and when they graduated. We also looked at their occupational outcomes after they entered the labor force to see if they were utilizing their field of study. Finally, we looked at their starting salaries to see how those compared with grads with similar degrees in the same geographic area.

A lot of the typical ranking systems sort schools solely by the SAT’s of the entering students or salaries of the graduates. Neither approach shows which schools add value by taking students who high school achievements may have put them at the middle of the pack, giving them a great education, and graduating students who both find jobs in their chosen career fields AND whose salaries are at the top of the pack. Our new model is therefore based less on the family connections and other traits the students have before even going to the college and more on the economic value created by the college.

The Hidden Gem Index awards recognized about 10-12 schools in 12 different majors, all of which are in high demand by employers. Some schools are household names, some won multiple awards, but none were schools like Yale, Harvard, or Stanford. Those are great schools and their graduates typically have no problem finding well paying jobs in their career fields, but those graduates would have found well paying jobs in their career fields regardless of which school they attended. What we liked about our study was that we recognized schools which took students who may not have found well paying jobs in their career fields and greatly increased the likelihood that they would.

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