Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

NYT employability rankings place WU outside of top 100 schools worldwide

Leah Kucera | Student Life
Students might want to stop their parents from turning their old bedrooms into home gyms, as they may find themselves crashing there for another few months post-graduation.

A recent study conducted by The New York Times ranked Washington University 102nd out of 150 universities around the globe on the basis of employability after undergraduate studies. The study was conducted by surveying thousands of recruiters from the top companies in 20 countries.

“It’s a disheartening stat,” sophomore Amy Fjerstad said. “I feel a little bit more secure in the fact that I can major in a less job-secure field knowing that I have Wash. U. on my transcript to provide an advantage over other schools, but the rank doesn’t really make it look like we do have that advantage.”

Fjerstad, an anthropology major and psychology minor, noted the statistic might hold differently for students who choose to major in a more secure area, such as science.

But some students who majored in job-secure fields also report having difficulty finding a job after graduation. Recent Wash. U. biomedical engineering graduate Rebecca Salisbury (’12) searched for work for five months after graduating before finding a job.

“Finding a job post graduation took a lot of perseverance and many, many job applications,” Salisbury said. “Experience seemed to be the most important factor, though, whether it be internships or leadership in extracurriculars.”

Salisbury does not think that attending Wash. U. had an effect on the process of finding a job.

“I think I would’ve had a pretty similar job search situation regardless of where I went,” Salisbury said. “It’s hard to know how much recruiters really look at what school you attended, but the rest of your resume definitely matters as much.”

According to Mark Smith, director of the Career Center, the statistic is not one that students should worry about. He noted that the list had a bias in favor of Asian and European countries, as well as towards larger engineering-based schools. Similarly, he claimed the low ranking of larger state schools, like the University of Texas and Pennsylvania State University, seemed unlikely considering their student body sizes.

“I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Smith said. “We’re one of the top schools in the U.S. and there are a lot of steps Wash. U. takes in order to help students find a job after graduation.”

Among the steps taken by the Career Center are a focus on group surveys and marketing to employers that visit the school. The Career Center also has brought in a branding consultant to make sure it has been doing the best possible job in attracting employers to Washington University students.

A recent study conducted by Forbes that listed the 10 best business schools according to starting salary after graduation ranked Washington University’s Olin Business School as fourth, with a starting rate of $58,417.

“Knowing that statistic makes me feel a lot better about my major,” sophomore business student Danny Gibbs said. “It’s good to know there’s some security that all the work I put into school for these four years will likely pay off into something concrete once I graduate.”

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  • Lulu says:

    Jon: Are you actually going to list any evidence or examples to go along with your claim? Or do you just like blaming your own shortcomings on WashU?

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  • jon says:

    i cannot believe how unbelievably crappy washU career services are.
    washU is where human capital gets destroyed.
    i am have deep regrets to have attended here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair, you also can’t write. Unless English isn’t your first language, in which case I apologize.

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      • jon says:

        I cannot believe the woeful inadequacy of career services at Washington University in Saint Louis.
        WashU is where human capital gets destroyed.
        I deeply regret having chosen to attend this institution.

        Happy now?

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      • jon says:

        To be fair, the students at WashU are some of the smartest people I have met in my life. My comments are by no means an attack on the quality or intelligence of the student body. You all could have created MUCH more value for both yourselves and employers if you had chosen to attend other universities.

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        • anonymous says:

          Maybe some of us attend WashU to learn things, not “create value” for our employers. A WashU degree is still many time more valuable than one from most other schools.

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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878