The average tech job could earn you big bucks. In fact, a senior product manager earns $176,000 on average, a software engineer makes $133,000 , and a technology solutions manager earns $129,000 every year.
If you’re pursuing one of these jobs at a tech giant like Google, Facebook, or Apple, you may be wondering what the people who currently work there have in common or even how their journey started.
To understand the educational backgrounds of employees at some of the biggest tech companies, we looked at the colleges that most often appeared on employees’ resumes. What employment opportunities can you expect at the 100 top tech companies around the world after attending the top colleges? Continue reading to learn more.
College Resume Builders
Four colleges stand out as the most common schools on employees’ resumes at the top tech companies.
Specifically, the University of Washington appeared on nearly 3,600 resumes. This public research university in Seattle ranked 16th for the top public schools in 2017 , and Victor Grinich – one of the early founders of Silicon Valley – graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UW in 1945 and a master’s degree in 1950.
Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University also showed up on more than 3,400 resumes among employees at some of today’s most prominent technology companies. Carnegie Mellon, a private institution in Pittsburgh, ranked 24th overall as one of the best national universities in 2017 .
Additionally, UC Berkeley is on the resume of over 3,100 graduates across Silicon Valley and beyond, while Cornell had over 1,300 alumni associated with the same top tech companies.
Colleges Represented in Tech Companies Big and Small
Major tech companies may be hiring graduates across the world, but small and midsize companies are still snatching up alumni from some of the most popular colleges.
More than 1 in 10 employees at Expedia are graduates of the University of Washington . Similarly, nearly 1 in 10 employees at Akamai Technologies are graduates of Northeastern University. At Facebook and Google, over 5 percent of their workforce graduated from Stanford University.
At HomeAway.com, over a third of this Texas-based midsize company’s staff graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. And more than 1 in 5 employees at Tableau Software, based in Seattle, graduated from the University of Washington.
More than 10 percent of employees each from Guidewire Software, Dropbox, and Palantir Technologies are alumni of Stanford University – and at smaller tech companies like Coursera, Wealthfront, and Docker, over 10 percent of employees come from Stanford University.
Multifaceted Education Among Tech Brands
At big-name companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, employees are more likely to come from the same colleges. At Google, there are, on average, more than nine fellow alumni around the office. At Microsoft, there are more than eight employees who share alma maters, and nearly as many at Amazon.
However, at Apple and Facebook, employees had more diverse educational backgrounds, with over five graduates from each college.
It turns out, the most educational diversity belonged to smaller tech companies like Optiv, Prosper Marketplace, and Zillow – which had fewer than two employees each per school.
Major Players in Tech and Social Media
Between 5 and 7 percent of employees at Amazon and Microsoft are graduates of the University of Washington . But at Google, more than 5 percent of its more than 61,000 employees are graduates of Stanford University, while over 4 percent of Cisco’s workforce are alumni of San Jose State University.
Social media company Snap Inc. has over 16 percent of employees who’ve graduated from Stanford University, while more than 1 in 10 Yelp employees attended UC Berkeley. At Pinterest, just over 9 percent of employees graduated from Carnegie Mellon University.
Finally, ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft’s workforces are comprised of between 6 and 8 percent of graduates from Carnegie Mellon and UC Berkeley.
Women in Technology
At Capella University, a private institution in Minneapolis delivering a majority of its classes online, nearly 42 percent of female graduates are employed by tech companies. Similarly, more than 37 percent of women who graduated from Bentley University, California State University, and Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration are professionally involved in the tech industry based on the 286,777 resumes examined.
At San Jose State University – where over 4 percent of alumni work for Cisco and more than 3 percent work for PayPal and VMware – nearly 31 percent of female graduates are involved in the tech industry.
The Best Paid Alumni in Tech
Graduates from the most common colleges in the tech industry aren’t always the best paid.
At Seattle University, a private institution that ranked 8th for one of the best regional universities in the West, graduates in the tech industry earn nearly $266,000, on average, a year. Alumni from Pacific Lutheran University also report average earnings more than $265,000, while former students from Simon Fraser University earn over $263,000 a year on average.
Colleges and universities in the U.S. aren’t the only schools that produce well-paid tech graduates. The University of Cambridge in England ranked among the top 10, with graduates averaging more than $252,000 annually. Tsinghua University in the Haidian District of Beijing, China, also has graduates earning more than $254,000 a year.
The Best Schools in Tech
Tech employees with the longest tenure were more likely to be graduates of the University of Washington . Nearly 3 percent of the 286,777 resumes showed UW alumni had five or more years with the same company.
Nearly 2 percent of employees in the tech workforce for 21 or more years attended UC Berkeley. And over 3 percent with less than two years in the industry were from the University of Washington.
While alumni of UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and the University of Washington were more likely to have graduated before the 2000s, more than 3 percent of employees in the tech industry graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in the 2010s.
Cost Versus Value
College is expensive , and the cost of tuition – not to mention all of the necessities that go along with it like books and housing – have increased exponentially over the last several decades. Still, despite the high costs, when it comes to the slurries some alumni earn in the tech industry, certain colleges have the highest return on their investment.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette came in the top spot with a return on investment that was more than seven times the cost of attending the school. The average four-year cost of attending the school was $30,285, while the average salary earned in the tech industry was nearly $225,000. The University of Florida came in second, with almost six times the return on investment over the cost of attending the school.
Even Harvard, with an average four-year cost of over $51,000, still offered students almost five times the cost of their tuition in one year’s salary in the tech industry. Not such a bad deal in the grand scheme of things.
Your Career in Technology
While tech companies in Silicon Valley continue to work toward greater diversity in employment, four colleges stand out as being the most common schools on employees’ resumes. The University of Washington, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, and UC Berkeley have produced nearly 14,000 graduates currently employed in the technology industry.
Regardless of where you went to school, knowing your worth is the key to success in virtually every industry. At Paysa , we believe in empowering employees to make educated and informed career decisions . From negotiating your initial offer to getting the raise you deserve at the end of the year, Paysa is your tool to understanding your real market value. Visit us online today at Paysa.com to learn more.
All data used for the project come directly from Paysa’s internal collection of resumes that list the school in question and the current company. Using over 286,000 resumes of people who work among the 100 of the top companies in the tech industry, we analyzed which colleges they listed most often.
Fair Use Statement
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