Earning a college degree almost feels like being formally admitted into adulthood, but the truth is it's really just the formal start of something a lot tougher than pulling all-nighters during finals week: getting a job. And as much as picking the right major or getting good grades can help make you more marketable to potential employers, the school you go to obviously makes a big difference when you're trying score a post-graduation gig.
Having an Ivy League institution on your resume can certainly boost your profile, but it doesn't guarantee you anything. In fact, many lower-profile institutions have better track records in terms of getting students employed when they leave. Now, thanks to some new data, we know exactly which colleges or universities in each state are most likely to land you a job.
You Can Get Paid to Take a Vacation
Using the latest data on job placement ratings for colleges, the career-guidance site Zippia put together a brand new list of the schools in each state with the best record of getting their graduates jobs after graduation. Specifically, they looked at the employment levels for all college graduates a decade after students had earned their degrees, then identified the school in each state with the highest placement rate, and even ranked the 10 with the highest in the country.
Overall, Pennsylvania's Lebanon Valley College earned the top spot, with a placement rate at 96.185%. The number two school in the country was Salve Regina University in Rhode Island, (placement rate: 95.896%), and Ohio's Ohio Northern University (placement rate: 95.527%). Here's which schools made the cut in each state.
Alaska: Alaska Pacific University Alabama: Auburn University Arkansas: University of AR for Medical Sciences Arizona: Embry-Riddle Aero. Univ.-Prescott California: University of the Pacific Colorado: Colorado School of Mines Connecticut: Quinnipiac University Delaware: University of Delaware Florida: Embry-Riddle Aero. Univ.-Daytona Beach Georgia: Georgia Tech Hawaii: Hawaii Pacific University Iowa: Drake University Idaho: The College of Idaho Illinois: Millikin University Indiana: University of Notre Dame Kansas: Kansas Wesleyan University Kentucky: Georgetown College Louisiana: Xavier University of Louisiana Massachusetts: Endicott College Maryland: Mount St. Mary's University Maine: University of New England Michigan: Kettering University Minnesota: University of St. Thomas Missouri: Saint Louis University Mississippi: University of Mississippi Montana: Montana State University North Carolina: Elon University North Dakota: University of Mary Nebraska: Nebraska Wesleyan University New Hampshire: Keene State College New Jersey: Stevens Institute of Technology New Mexico: NM Institute of Mining and Technology Nevada: University of Nevada-Las Vegas New York: Hobart William Smith Colleges Ohio: Ohio Northern University Oklahoma: Southern Nazarene University Oregon: Oregon Health & Science University Pennsylvania: Lebanon Valley College Rhode Island: Salve Regina University South Carolina: The Citadel South Dakota: University of Sioux Falls Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Texas: McMurry University Utah: Westminster College Virginia: Virginia Tech Vermont: Saint Michael's College Washington: Pacific Lutheran University Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin-Platteville West Virginia: Bethany College Wyoming: University of Wyoming
Obviously, some of these schools are more specialized, and the industries some graduates are being placed in likely require highly specialized skills. It's also worth mentioning that there's a lot more to building a career than simply getting a job straight out of college, and going to one of the above schools is by no means a guarantee you'll end up earning a paycheck right out the gate. Still, if you're looking for your best odds at being gainfully employed this should at least give you an idea where to start looking. Though, if you're looking for the right city to kick off your career, this list might be handy, too.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.