These Are the Colleges Most Likely to Land You a Job in Every State

Saint Louis University | Shutterstock
Saint Louis University | Shutterstock

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.

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.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.