Top Feeders to Tech and Silicon Valley [according to list by College Transitions]

Not sure how accurate this information is but I certainly see lot of “top” schools… and Canadian colleges…

1 Like

… and San Jose State University …

However, they don’t list more than their top 30. If they did, then people may realize that there are far more than 30 colleges that people get hired from.


…and Santa Clara University…

I saw no mention of Cal Poly SLO, the number one school my tech company likes to recruit from.


Wondering why Linkedin doesn’t publish such a data point :grimacing:

Am sure many people would be curious about these…

Agreed, this data (to me) is biased… As I don’t see all the data from FANNG. I’d be curious about Wall St/Main St hiring data as well

Yeah, well, I suppose to be fair, the article did style itself as “TOP feeder schools to TOP tech companies”.

But it’s exactly articles like this that add to the feeding frenzy which has students believing they must go to one of 30 schools in order to get a job at the only 15 desirable places to work.

So I guess mundane companies like mine, who hire from mundane schools like Cal Poly SLO, aren’t worth a mention. :grinning:

1 Like

Guessing not very. We’ll depends on the jobs defined as tech. But I would expect see Arizona State, especially in the overall list, on there.

It says tech AND Silicon Valley.

These lists are also meaningless and useless. even if they were accurate, the results do not mean that attending these schools increases you chance of being hired. It is far more common that it’s the opposite - these are the favorite colleges for people who ae looking for a job in tech.

Also, “adjusted for undergrad enrollment” is kinda bogus. If anything, it should be adjusted for the number of graduating students in the field for which they were hired. I do not think that Silicon valley is looking for people with degrees in Animal Sciences or from Early Childhood Education.

It also doesn’t say which of the people are actually working in Tech. How many of the Harvard graduates are actually working in the business side of tech, which is the same type of job they would do working for any other industry? I am pretty sure that UPenn isn’t supplying all that many engineers to tech companies.

As for the methodology, a few questions for the Colleges Transitions list.

A. Those 30 companies hire fewer than 35% of the total engineers and information technology that they had in the database. That is not very useful.

B. They had 44,000 workers, which is 3.7% of all tech workers in the USA, and millions of these re on LinkedIn. They do not tell us what methods they used to select these 44,000

C. How much are they being paid, what is their job description? For all we know, half of them can be interns or temp workers.

Etc, etc, etc.

Let us compare this list to the following lists:

These are not entry-level, but total workers. Still, it can be seen that U Washington has twice as many tech workers in the workforce as CMU, not 60% as many. We can also see that although Microsoft may (MAY) be employing 752 entry level tech workers from UW, they have a total of over 6,900 from UW working there.

Harvard should not be on that list - U Washington has more tech people working for Microsoft than Harvard has engineering graduates from the last 30 years. It’s not 752 versus 200, it’s 1,300 degrees conferred a year versus 250 (now, until 2015 Harvard was conferring fewer than 200 a year).

Arizona State has 8,320 employees working in tech, while Harvard does not have that many engineering graduates in the work force. Yet College Transitions has Harvard on their list, but not ASU.

Some “college consulting” websites try to make sure Ivies and other elites always make up the majority of every “top” list.

I also love the “across fifteen of the most reputable American tech companies, including” and then it gives all 15. Same thing, using “including” gives the impression that they included others.

Also, when they add things like “best pipelines to smaller yet highly prestigious tech firms, such as LinkedIn and Adobe” as though that actually meant something. No dude, you are just trying to manipulate the methodology to include colleges that have very low acceptance rates.


Many of the top tech graduates and more experienced technologists don’t dream of working at Big Tech either. There are thousands of small companies doing incredible work where individuals can have a huge impact on the direction of the overall company. Finally, technology is a field where a new grad’s boss is almost as likely to have an associates degree from a community college as a degree from one of the “prestige” colleges listed in the story. Technology job hiring decisions are based more on what you know than who you know. It isn’t 1980 anymore.

The College Transitions story does seem to be an excuse to put the names of a bunch of prestige colleges into a story to justify the obsession that parents and kids have with getting into those colleges.


In forty+ years of working in high tech in the northeast of the US, I have met a total of two people who had graduated from Harvard. I do not understand why it is on the list. I know that they are making an effort to improve in CS and I keep expecting to start seeing graduates from there – I just haven’t seen it yet.

U.Mass Amherst should be on the list. I also know a huge number of excellent engineers working in high tech in the US who graduated from university in India. However, there are so many different universities and different campuses of IIT that I can see why no one single campus made the list.

My immediate neighbor just left one of the big famous tech companies and is now working for one of those small companies. He is very excited about what they are doing.

Of course if you stick in the industry long enough some of those small companies turn into big companies.




This is what I’m hearing anecdotally in my own family and amongst my kids’ friends. The “Cali or Bust” mantra is definitely more prevalent at certain schools though (it might as well be the unofficial motto of the University of Waterloo).

1 Like

How much money does College Transitions make from people with these obsessions, I wonder? People who want to attend ASU aren’t going to be spending nearly as much time and money (if any) on College Transitions “Admissions Counseling”. Of the 10 colleges on TechRepublic’s list, 9 have higher acceptance rates than Harvard, and for ASU it’s 88%. Moreover, if high school students know that ASU is in the top 10 for tech hires, they will start looking at other high acceptance colleges which may be in the top 25 of 30.

High school students then may find this 2017 article from Business Insider, which also has Penn State, UC Davis, Phoenix (!), TAMU, Cal Poly SLO, and NCSU on it, with Cornell being the only Ivy on this list.

College Transitions is mostly a College Admissions counseling company, and everything else on the site is set up to attract people to their college admission counseling business. The biggest consumers of paid college admissions counseling are parents and students who are focused on attending a college with low acceptance rates, particularly one of the private colleges which have the most complex admissions systems. So their lists are built to increase interest in these types of colleges and to reinforce the illusion that the only way to get a high paying job in any industry is by getting a degree from one of these colleges.


Thank you for the links. I myself want to research on these because I am also skeptical on the following:

  1. School rankings and actual employment output.
  2. School cost and effectiveness.
  3. Degree and career prospect.

For example, UCB CS is ranked top 5 but I am surprised to see how crowded the required class can be. Does over-enrollment impact the education quality? If it does why is the CS major still ranked so highly? What’s the reason it ranks high? (because of the students achievement post graduation or income level or just purely the fame)

Note: I do not work in tech/software industry but I live in a community in CA that pretty much every family wants their children to study CS for the sake of job security. :slight_smile:

I would really love to see actual numbers. Only reason FANNG stands out simply because of the entry level comp. (see, entry level comp can reach 100K) I also wanted to believe there should not be any pedigree in big name tech given that meritocratic nature of CS but I would carefully examine the trend because of the power of network. For instance, it is common to see the internship offered from specific pools of schools.

Yes, these companies may target a few specific campuses but students can apply to internships from any school. And if you gain a couple of years of experience none of these tech companies will care which school you graduated from.

Amazon, Facebook, Google and many others also have a presence in New York City and other locations, and these offices hire a lot of students from local/regional colleges.
I know several kids from Rutgers and Stevens that were recruited by Amazon and Google in NYC.

So in short, the article is presenting a limited set of facts in a way that benefits them.

Depends on what you mean by “education quality”.

There are many LAC advocates on these forums who prioritize the format and environment of the education, with small intimate classes being among the indicators of “education quality”. Breadth and depth of course offerings (which tend to be relative weaknesses of LACs, particularly for upper level courses) tend to be of lower priority.

UCB CS (EECS and L&S CS) is pretty much the anti-LAC in this respect. It has good breadth and depth of course offerings, with good breadth and depth of content in each course, but anyone who prioritizes the format and environment with a LAC preference will recoil in horror. But the breadth and depth of course and curricular content does mean that graduates are well prepared for what industry expects a CS graduate to be ready for.

1 Like

What is the relevance of this comment? @emi722 did not ask about LACs, there is but a single LAC in the entire set of lists. This looks like a gratuitous jab at both LACs and at people who, in general, support LACs, and seems apropos of nothing. This is not like you.

What @emi722 was referring to is this article which they posted on another thread:

I’m not sure how they are identifying only “entry level” employees since LinkedIn does not support that feature without manually opening thousands of profiles, many of which are private. Perhaps they are searching for a unique job title. If I search for job titles with the word “engineer” and live in United States, then I get the following results. I limited to the following 5 large tech companies that I often see praised on this site to save time – Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. The resulting colleges with most alumni working at the listed companies are similar to the ones listed on the College Transitions list, but in a different order.

No Canadian universities were among top 25 at any of these 5 companies. If I remove the lives in US restriction, there were still no Canadian universities among the top 25, but there were many Indian universities. For example, at Microsoft Birla was 3rd, Mumbai was 5th, Kendriya was 6th, Savatribai was 7th, etc.

While I often find such stats interesting, I’d be hesitant to draw any feeder type conclusions, such as concluding you should attend top ranked USC if you want to work at AAFGM and should avoid Ivies. Instead these companies hire and recruit from a wide variety of colleges. If a particular tech company has more alumni from a particular college than other colleges, there are often a wide variety of contributing factors besides the tech company favoring grads of that college.

Colleges with Most LinkedIn CS/Engineer Alumni at Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft

  1. USC
  2. GeorgiaTech
  3. CMU
  4. Washington
  5. Stanford
  6. UCB
  7. UIUC
  8. MIT
  9. Arizona State
  10. Mumbai
  11. Northeastern
  12. San Jose State
  13. UCSD
  14. UT Dallas