Wall Street Journal Recruiter Rankings: Best Schools for Future Corporate Tycoons

Wall Street Journal Recruiter Rankings: Best Schools for Future Corporate Tycoons

Adding the Wall Street Journal Recruiter Rankings to the list is making an apples vs. oranges comparison. The WSJ even concedes that, "Our ranking of U.S. colleges and majors is purposefully practical and limited in scope. We wanted to identify the schools that are most likely to help students land a job in key careers and professions—areas that are growing, pay well and offer high levels of satisfaction."

The results stem from a survey completed by nearly 500 recruiters for the nation’s "largest public and private companies, nonprofit organizations and federal agencies across every region of the country and spanning nearly two dozen industries." The WSJ "asked recruiters to identify, based on their experience, the schools on our list of 100 top colleges and universities whose bachelor degree graduates were the best-trained and educated, and best able to succeed once hired. Companies could also write-in schools not on our list."

The majority of the Top 25 finishers are large public universities, where recruiters traveling on tightened corporate budgets admit that they can get more bang for their buck that at the smaller, albeit "elite" institutions." Note that the list includes sub-rankings by major. For instance, the University of Michigan scored its #6 spot by being in the upper 7 in six different major fields, while Brigham-Young (one of the few private colleges that made this roster) is at #11 but only because it took the #1 spot for "Accounting."

Pros: As with the Times Higher Ed rankings, it’s refreshing to that see big state universities can best the big Ivy guns. Also, since the demise of the Gourman Report, CC members are always clamoring for major-specific rankings, and this list offers some of this by ranking recruiters’ picks not only by institution but also by departments within a school.

Cons: One CC Senior Member, "gadad," put it well on the CC discussion forum, saying, "Obviously, there’s an economy of scale in sending a representative of your company to a school with 40,000 students over a school with 5,000. And the large state U’s are the ones turning out the most candidates who are looking for entry-level jobs after their baccalaureate degrees – their counterparts at more selective colleges are going on in greater proportions to graduate and professional schools. The latter are likely to be better positioned for career success ten to twenty years later than the student with a bachelor’s degree who took an entry-level job after learning about a company from an on-campus recruiter. It’s like ranking the financial value of a college degree by the average income of graduates a year or two out of college. Those who took entry-level jobs will have some income while those who are in med school, law school, and pursuing Ph.D.s will not. The resulting numbers may be accurate, but they’re very misleading when used to calculate long-term career prospects."

Back to "College Rankings – Good, Bad, or Ugly?"