Top Feeder Schools To Silicon Valley

When it comes to landing a job at one of Silicon Valley’s coveted tech giants, geography matters just as much — or more than — prestige, according to a new report.

Some robust research released earlier this week from HiringSolved, an artificial intelligence and machine learning tech company, shows that Silicon Valley’s “top 25 companies” have recently hired more students from the University of California-Berkeley than any other school. The second-most-represented school was Stanford, perched in the heart of the tech-centric valley.

HiringSolved used its own proprietary artificial intelligence to aggregate data from more than 10,000 public social media profiles of individuals hired or promoted at the 25 firms in 2016 and the first two months of 2017. It found that Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University was the third-largest pipeline to Silicon Valley, with the University of Southern California following in fourth and the University of Texas-Austin rounding out the top five. Interestingly, no Ivy League schools made the top 10, and only three of the top 10 schools were private institutions. Five of the top 10 schools were based in California.

The chart below includes all hires made, not just recent graduates. According to a spokesperson from HiringSolved, the company “pulled a list of the largest tech firms from Wikipedia, then sorted the list by revenues.” The list likely includes companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Tesla, Netflix, Adobe, Yahoo!, among others.


Most of the schools in the top 25 make sense. They are primarily large universities that simply pump out a ton of graduates — like Arizona State University or Texas A&M University, which both have more than 50,000 undergraduate students — or smaller schools with top-notch engineering and computer science programs, like Carnegie Mellon and Cornell. Schools like San Jose State University and Santa Clara University prove geography also plays a role.

But there are some anomalies. For instance, Canada’s University of Waterloo places 16th — ahead of MIT. Controversial for-profit institution the University of Phoenix also shows up in the top 25.

UC-Berkeley is poised to stay on top, as the school seems to perpetually take advantage of its prestige and geographical advantage. This August, the school will launch its dual engineering and business degree — the first of its kind at a large, elite school.


The HiringSolved study also aggregated the “top skills” and “top roles” listed by recent hires and promotions at the 25 Silicon Valley firms. Python, a coding language for back-end app development, was the most-listed skill by individuals recently hired. Top e-commerce and business app development language Java was the second-highest listed skill. Being able to build cloud-based apps rounded out the top three most-desired skills in Silicon Valley.

Business majors, don’t totally fret. HiringSolved also broke down the “top roles” most recently hired at the tech companies, and while the top three positions listed have “software engineer” in the title, many business-oriented roles dot the list. Project manager is the fourth-most listed newly hired position, and business development consultant is also in the top ten. Product managers and business analysts also finish in the top 10, and financial analyst just misses as the 12th-most hired position.

When looking at just new graduates hired, the numbers get even better for business majors. Business development consultants are the third-most hired position for new grads, behind only software engineering interns and software engineers. Product specialist, business analyst, brand ambassador, marketing intern, and financial analyst all make the top 10, suggesting recently graduated business majors might have better luck going directly into tech after college than trying to transition into tech after early careers in other industries.


  • sugarntasty

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