LinkedIn released its first university rankings of projected career paths for undergraduates last week, with Georgetown topping the list in a variety of business fields.
The networking website ranked Georgetown number one for investment banking, number three for finance — following the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University — and number six for marketing.
“The rankings demonstrate that Georgetown alumni are at top companies across a number of fields,” Mike Schaub, the executive director of the Cawley Career Education Center, wrote in an email. “I expect that if LinkedIn surveyed additional industries, they would find even more Georgetown alumni at great companies.”
LinkedIn calculated these rankings by first studying the employment information of over 300 million LinkedIn members and then identifying so-called desirable jobs as well as relevant graduates and their matriculation patterns.
“We define a desirable job to be a job at a desirable company for the relevant profession. For example, we define desirable finance jobs as finance jobs at companies desirable for finance professionals,” LinkedIn Senior Data Scientist Navneet Kapur wrote in a LinkedIn blog. “The most desirable companies in a profession are those that are the best at attracting and retaining talent in that profession.”
To ensure that the statistics accurately reflect the current employment statistics, LinkedIn only includes graduates who have received degrees within the past eight years.
In the LinkedIn blog, Kapur summarizes the process of ranking universities: LinkedIn employees calculate the percentage of relevant graduates who have obtained desirable jobs. The percentages then allow them to rank universities based on career outcomes across different professional areas.
“Getting ranked like that against the best universities suggests that Georgetown graduates are doing well in those fields,” Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Charles Deacon said. “But you have to take it with a grain of salt. The value of it in today’s world is that people place such an emphasis only on outcomes and getting a good job.”
LinkedIn believes is is providing these statistics, they are providing students and parents with information about what schools will potentially give them the best chance at getting a desirable job after graduation.
“The ratings are a reflection of the times, and this is a good balancing factor for Georgetown,” Deacon said. “The fact that we stand out is a little surprising to some people, but not really to me.”
Both Schaub and Deacon stressed the continual involvement of graduates in the community as a factor in job placement.
“Alumni are increasingly actively involved with the university,” Deacon said.
Schaub elaborated, explaining alumni involvement.
“The Cawley Career Education Center connects with these alumni on a regular basis as they return to campus to host information sessions, participate in networking events and conduct interviews,” Schaub wrote.
Current students expressed excitement about the publicity surrounding the rankings and the consequences for the future regarding both finance-geared programs at Georgetown and graduates’ workplace participation.
“It’s reassuring to know that the work I’ll be doing over the next four years will be worthwhile,” Gus Kerin (MSB ’18) said.
Although the exact effects that the new rankings will have on the Georgetown community are unclear, Deacon believes it will influence application numbers for the next class.
“It will have a positive, but not large impact on admissions,” Deacon said. “For certain students in the applicant pool, it will certainly be an influence on their decisions.”
The LinkedIn rankings reflect the ever-increasing prominence of financial and banking industries at Georgetown. The 2012 Senior Survey Report listed financial services and consulting as receiving the most graduates from all schools, while the Class of 2013 Final Destination Report listed financial services as the top industry for students from the McDonough School of Business and the second most popular industry for graduates of Georgetown College and the Walsh School of Foreign Service.
“Recruiting for investment banking and finance occurs early in the fall and spring semesters and is highly visible to the campus community,” Schaub wrote. “These firms’ information sessions draw hundreds of students every week. Many students who are not interested in finance become a little anxious when they see their friends dressed in suits to attend information sessions and interviews, [but] the Career Center staff tries to reassure students that the recruiting process for most industries may not be as visible as finance.”
Despite the success of the university’s youngest college, Deacon hopes that people will not lose sight of the other aspects of the university.
“I hope that people that are doing well will also do good,” Deacon said. “Georgetown being associated with Wall Street is not a bad thing, but the university is so much more than just that one piece.”