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Top Feeders to Tech and Silicon Valley (Updated 2024)

Many young coders, programmers, and designers dream of one day being welcomed into an elite Silicon Valley company where the future of the world’s technology is conceived and developed.

In addition to being at the heart of American innovation, those who land jobs at prestigious tech firms enjoy high salaries and countless workplace amenities like, for example, Google’s famed free food, climbing walls, and lavish parties. In order to maximize your chances of personally enjoying these types of perks, you will want to consider undergraduate institutions that have direct pipelines to the premier companies within the technology sector.

To identify “top feeders” in the tech world, we relied on publicly available data from LinkedIn, a professional networking site featuring profiles of approximately 200 million workers across the United States. Specifically, we identified and analyzed the undergraduate backgrounds of nearly 30,000 entry-level engineering and information technology employees across ten of the most reputable American tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, Meta, Salesforce, Nvidia, Adobe, Cisco, and LinkedIn. We then constructed two lists. The first list looks at the raw number of alumni employed by this select group. The second list looks at the top 30 producers when adjusted for undergraduate enrollment, which allows us to highlight schools that may be smaller in size, but that still send a significant number of graduates directly to these prestigious companies.

Finally, we identified two top employers for each institution. The first top employer is the tech company employing the most undergraduate alumni from a particular school. The second top employer is the tech company with the highest share of employees from that undergraduate school. For example, Carnegie Mellon’s first top employer is Google, because more CMU (undergraduate) alumni work at Google than at any of the other ten tech companies. Carnegie Mellon’s second top employer is LinkedIn because its graduates comprise a larger share of all employees at LinkedIn than they do at any other company in our analysis. If a school’s second top employer and first top employer are the same, we indicate the tech company with the second highest share of employees instead. Measuring both total graduates employed and the institutional share of a company’s employees allows us to identify schools offering the best pipelines to smaller yet highly prestigious tech firms, such as Adobe and Nvidia, which may draw heavily from one particular institution but wouldn’t otherwise make an institution’s list of top employers because of their relatively small size.

 

Top Feeders (Total Employed)

Rank (Total)Institution# EmployedTop Employer (Total)Top Employer (Share)
1Carnegie Mellon University641GoogleLinkedIn
2University of Southern California624AmazonLinkedIn
3Georgia Institute of Technology505MicrosoftMeta
4University of California, Berkeley485GoogleMeta
5University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign401AmazonMeta
6Northeastern University392AmazonLinkedIn
7University of California, San Diego386AmazonLinkedIn
8University of Washington367AmazonMeta
9Columbia University364GoogleMeta
10New York University312AmazonMeta
11University of Michigan275GoogleMeta
12Cornell University255GoogleMeta
13University of California, Los Angeles252GoogleLinkedIn
14University of California, Irvine250AmazonLinkedIn
14University of Texas at Austin250AmazonLinkedIn
16Stanford University216GoogleMeta
17Purdue University183AmazonNvidia
18University of Pennsylvania177GoogleNvidia
19Duke University172AmazonMeta
20Massachusetts Institute of Technology151GoogleMeta
21San Jose State University149AmazonCisco
22North Carolina State University142MicrosoftCisco
23Rice University141GoogleMeta
24University of Maryland140GoogleMeta
25University of Wisconsin, Madison117MicrosoftGoogle
26Brown University113GoogleMeta
27University of Virginia99MicrosoftLinkedIn
28Boston University94AmazonGoogle
29Northwestern University87AmazonGoogle
30Santa Clara University83AmazonLinkedIn

Top Feeders (Adjusted for Undergraduate Enrollment)

Rank (Total)Institution# EmployedTop Employer (Total)Top Employer (Share)
1Carnegie Mellon University641GoogleLinkedIn
2Columbia University364GoogleMeta
3Massachusetts Institute of Technology151GoogleMeta
4Rice University141GoogleMeta
5California Institute of Technology31MetaLinkedIn
6Stanford University216GoogleMeta
7University of Southern California624AmazonLinkedIn
8Georgia Institute of Technology505MicrosoftMeta
9Northeastern University392AmazonLinkedIn
10Duke University172AmazonMeta
11University of Pennsylvania177GoogleNvidia
12Cornell University255GoogleMeta
13Brown University113GoogleMeta
14Harvard University82AmazonLinkedIn
15University of California, Berkeley485GoogleMeta
16Harvey Mudd College13GoogleMeta
17Santa Clara University83AmazonLinkedIn
18University of California, San Diego386AmazonLinkedIn
19University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign401AmazonMeta
20Yale University54GoogleMeta
21New York University312AmazonMeta
22Princeton University51GoogleMeta
23Northwestern University87AmazonGoogle
24University of Chicago74AmazonLinkedIn
25University of Washington367AmazonMeta
26Washington University70AmazonMeta
27University of Michigan275GoogleMeta
28University of California, Irvine250AmazonLinkedIn
29University of California, Los Angeles252GoogleLinkedIn
30Vanderbilt University55GoogleMeta

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