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

Considering how insanely expensive higher education is in the States, the least you can hope for after graduating college is getting a job, let alone one doing something you're passionate about...

Auburn University, Alabama | Shutterstock
Auburn University, Alabama | Shutterstock

Considering how insanely expensive higher education is in the States, the least you can hope for after graduating college is getting a job, let alone one doing something you're passionate about. The harsh reality is, of course, earning a degree from even a top-notch school is hardly guaranteed to score you a gig out there in the big bad world, especially in light of a record low unemployment rate. And while your field of study has a lot to do with setting you up for success, where you graduate can also play a big part.

To help determine which schools earn top marks for turning out folks who successfully enter the job market, the team at career site Zippia consulted a bunch of data to identify the colleges whose graduates have the best record when it comes to finding employment a decade after graduation. Specifically, they looked at the US Department of Education's "College Scorecard" from 2017-2018 to check employment rate data for all higher education institutions from coast to coast, identified the ones with the highest placement rate in each state, then ranked the 10 best in the country. 

As of 2019, Connecticut's Quinnipiac University has the best overall graduate employment rate in the country at 96.1%, followed by South Dakota's Augustana University (96.05%), with Ohio Northern University ranking third (95.86%). These are the schools that earned the top spot in each state.  

Alabama: Auburn University
Alaska: University of Alaska Anchorage
Arizona: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott
Arkansas: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
California: Samuel Merritt University
Colorado: Colorado School of Mines
Connecticut: Quinnipiac University
Delaware: University of Delaware
Florida: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach
Georgia: Georgia Institute of Technology
Hawaii: Hawaii Pacific University
Idaho: The College of Idaho
Illinois: Bradley University
Indiana: Rose-Hullman Institute of Technology
Iowa: University of Dubuque
Kansas: Baker University
Kentucky: Georgetown College
Louisiana: Xavier University of Louisiana
Maine: University of New England
Maryland: Loyola University Maryland
Massachusetts: Western New England University
Michigan: Kettering University
Minnesota: Saint Johns University
Mississippi: University of Mississippi
Missouri: Culver-Stockton College
Montana: Montana State University
Nebraska: University of Nebraska Medical Center
Nevada: University of Nevada-Reno
New Hampshire: University of New Hampshire School of Law
New Jersey: The College of New Jersey
New Mexico: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New York: Siena College
North Carolina: Elon University
North Dakota: University of North Dakota
Ohio: Ohio Northern University
Oklahoma: Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Oregon: University of Portland
Pennsylvania: Lebanon Valley College
Rhode Island: Providence College
South Carolina: Citadel Military College of South Carolina
South Dakota: Augustana University
Tennessee: Rhodes College
Texas: Trinity University
Utah: Westminster College
Vermont: Castleton University
Virginia: James Madison University
Washington: Gonzaga University
West Virginia: West Virginia Wesleyan College
Wisconsin: Marquette University
Wyoming: University of Wyoming


You'll notice some of these schools are a bit more specialized or technical, which may be the reason their graduates are more likely to find jobs after school. Also, just because they're on the list is by no means a guarantee that going to any of these schools will get you a job right out the gate.

It's also worth mentioning that while everyone has bills to pay (and likely a mountain of student debt) once college is over, there's a big different between landing a job after graduation and building a career. The latter is a winding road that doesn't necessarily start out as you'd expect.

Still, if you're looking for a good chance that you're post-graduation life includes gainful employment, this should at least provide a bit of guidance.

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