We like to talk a big game about growing the economy with technology startups in Arizona. Many brag about our universities being a strong pipeline for talent to fuel that economy. I personally haven’t seen that to be true based on my involvement in the broader startup community. It is time we asked, are Arizona universities developing the talent to fuel the new economy? Arizona State University certainly has a monopoly with the sheer volume of students across a number of disciplines. In 2014 they had over 72,000 students enrolled.
However, volume is not enough. They also claim to have quality, “ASU is ranked 88th in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities and 48th among all universities in the United States“. Much like standardized testing those metrics for quality don’t always pan out in the real world. The only real metric is in the result. How strong are the candidates for our schools in placing students (in this case in startups).
LinkedIn has a new University Ranker. They looked to answer, “Which schools are best at launching graduates into desirable jobs?”
They analyzed millions of alumni profiles to find out how schools around the world stack up across a variety of careers. Here’s how they found the top schools for software developers at startups:
- First, they identified the top startups where software developers are choosing to work.
- Next, they found people on LinkedIn who work as software developers and saw where they went to school.
- Finally, for each school, they found the percentage of these alumni who’ve landed software development jobs at these startups, then compared the percentages to come up with the list.
Sadly no Arizona school cracked into the top 15. Our neighbors University of California San Diego (UCSD) and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) both did. The University of Arizona did make it into the top 25 for software developers. Again Arizona State was no where to be found, which is staggering based on the size of the student body.
How do we start to elevate the engineering mojo at our Arizona institutions of higher learning?