Which 25 universities rank among the best employers for new grads?

Forbes' annual list of the Top 300 business for the next wave of college degree holders includes 25 higher ed institutions.

Four weeks of paid vacation, paid parental leave and a full tuition waiver for its courses are just a few of the perks that await new hires at Auburn University. In a job market that is highly competitive, those benefits can mean the difference between quickly landing the most talented young employees or having openings sit on job sites for months.

Those that do come through are also annually recognized as standouts among their peers. Auburn, for example, was just named the nation’s 15th Best Employer for New Grads by Forbes magazine, and first among all education entities, on its annual list.

So how did the popular public Alabama land-grant institution rise to the top? President Christopher Roberts said the university’s mission is not strictly focused on those who attend. “We work hard to meaningfully invest in our faculty and staff, and that includes our newest employees,” Roberts said. “Auburn is committed to not only delivering a world-class education for our students but to providing an exceptional working environment for our employees.”

That includes an exhaustive, but highly appreciated, list of extras that set it apart from competitors, both in higher ed and across all sectors of business such as discounted game tickets, no co-pays on generic medications, significant reductions on tuition for family members, and robust health and retirement packages.

“Auburn is a great place to work, and this ranking serves as confirmation of that,” said Karla McCormick, associate vice president of human resources. “Our employees value Auburn’s commitment to offering competitive pay and benefits, career development opportunities and the ability to positively impact our campus, our state and the world.”

More from UB: Michigan ranks No. 1 on Money’s new Best Colleges list as public universities rule

Yale University came in at No. 19 overall on the Forbes list, which was compiled with help from Statista, of 20,000 U.S. workers with less than 10 years of experience at companies with 1,000 or more employees. They rated their companies on pay, promotion opportunities, diversity, job safety and their brand, among other things.

Auburn and Yale topped the likes of Google, Microsoft, Discover, Southwest Airlines, Cisco and Humana. Indeed came in at No. 1 overall, followed by the Mayo Clinic, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, NASA and Charles Schwab. Virginia Tech at No. 30 and the University of Notre Dame at No. 40 were the only other institutions to crack the top 50.

Those institutions will be some of top workplaces searched for by new graduates as they face a wide-open field of potential employers as 11 million positions remain open across the U.S. Business indicated in a recent survey done by the National Association of College and Employers they plan to hire 31% more workers this year from the graduating class.

Others in the top 200 included: the University of Kentucky (50), the University of Alabama-Birmingham (66), Cornell University (69), Penn State University (73), the University of Michigan (105), the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (111), the University of Pennsylvania (116), the University of Chicago (134), the University of Pittsburgh (139), Washington University in Saint Louis (147), Ohio State University (152), the University of Utah (154) and Johns Hopkins University (190).

Outside the top 200 (but still within an impressive Top 300) were two institutions in the Sunshine State—the University of Florida (205) and the University of Central Florida (206)—as well as Rutgers University (214), the University of Alabama (226), Northwestern University (243), the University of Texas at Austin (270), Clemson University (277) and Harvard University (289).

Chris Burt
Chris Burt
Chris is a reporter and associate editor for University Business and District Administration magazines, covering the entirety of higher education and K-12 schools. Prior to coming to LRP, Chris had a distinguished career as a multifaceted editor, designer and reporter for some of the top newspapers and media outlets in the country, including the Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinel, Albany Times-Union and The Boston Globe. He is a graduate of Northeastern University.

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