Today (May 26), Forbes published its annual list of best employers for new college graduates. And from top to bottom, there are quite a few head-scratchers. According to the 20,000 American employees with less than 10 years of working experience, the best employer for new grads is pharmaceutical company Merck and Company. The New Jersey-based company is followed by Dallas-based Southwest Airlines.
Then the list gets funky.
Following Southwest Airlines as the third- and fourth-best companies for new college grads are the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Alabama-Birmingham, respectively. No offense to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center or the University of Alabama-Birmingham, but there are probably not a ton of current college graduates dreaming of working at either place. Rounding out the top five is California-based national grocery store chain Trader Joe’s.
VAGUE METHODOLOGY, ODD RESULTS
Forbes uses a vague methodology and it’s unclear how exactly the ranking was compiled. The participants of the survey had to be employed at a company of at least 1,000 employees. So you won’t find any boutique or smaller firms and organizations on the list. They were asked about the competitiveness of the compensation, opportunities for advancement, the safety of work environment, diversity and inclusion, and company image.
They were also asked how likely they’d be to recommend their own employer to others as well as to recommend employers outside of their current employer. But it’s unclear which data points were weighted in what ways or how the ranking was calculated.
Not surprisingly, odd results followed. Lesser-known organizations like Help at Home, Msa Safety, M&T Bank, and Micron Technology all made it into the top-25. Meanwhile, popular companies like Google (No. 26), Salesforce (No. 34), and PricewaterhouseCoopers (No. 118) trailed. Where is Amazon? Not on the list. Same with Bain and Company, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey and Company.
According to this list, working at In-N-Out Burger (No. 52) is better for new grads than working at Apple (No. 58), Bank of America (No. 80), and JPMorgan Chase (No. 106).
FORBES’ TOP 10 EMPLOYERS FOR NEW GRADS
- Merck & Co.
- Southwest Airlines
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
- University of Alabama, Birmingham
- Trader Joe’s
- Hard Rock International
- Help at Home
- Costco Wholesale
The entire list, which can be found here, should be taken with a sizable grain of salt.