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Visualized: The Top Feeder Schools into Silicon Valley



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Open the large interactive version here Top feeder schools to Silicon Valley?

Open the large interactive version here Top feeder schools to Silicon Valley?

Visualized: The Top Feeder Schools into Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is one of the largest and most prominent tech hubs in the world. It accounts for about one-third of America’s national investment capital and it houses the headquarters of over 30 companies in the Fortune 1000.

Given its world-class reputation, it’s the dream of many tech workers to land a job in a Silicon Valley company. But what’s the best route for getting there?

While there is certainly no clear-cut path, one way to try and answer this question is by looking at the universities and colleges that Silicon Valley employees graduate from.

This interactive map by ​Stephanie Cristea shows the top feeder schools to some of the largest companies in Silicon Valley.

A Look at The Top 30 Schools

The data for this graphic comes from a study by College Transitions, which looks at the top feeder schools for 12 different companies with employees in Silicon Valley, including Twitter, Alphabet, DocuSign, Meta, and eight other large businesses.

Using publicly available data from LinkedIn, the study looked at more than 70,000 entry level engineers and IT employees at these 12 different companies, and identified where they received their undergraduate degree.

Here are the findings of the top 30 feeder schools across all 12 companies:

Rank (Total)Institution# EmployedTop Employer
1Carnegie Mellon University1,356Google
2University of Southern California1,252Google
3University of California, Berkeley1,212Google
4Georgia Institute of Technology1,094Microsoft
5University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign877Google
6University of Washington876Microsoft
7University of California, San Diego795Google
8University of Waterloo793Google
9University of California, Los Angeles704Google
10Stanford University661Google
11Columbia University651Google
12University of Michigan632Google
13Cornell University612Google
14Northeastern University604Google
15University of Texas at Austin578Google
16University of California, Irvine482Google
17San Jose State University470Google
18Purdue University469Microsoft
19University of Toronto466Google
20New York University464Google
21Massachusetts Institute of Technology405Google
22University of Pennsylvania352Google
23University of California, Davis333Google
24North Carolina State University329Google
25University of Maryland309Google
26Duke University304Google
27Harvard University260Google
28University of Wisconsin, Madison249Google
29University of Virginia244Microsoft
30Brown University236Google

While this research is far from exhaustive, it provides a glimpse of where 12 of the largest companies in Silicon Valley source their talent, and what it takes to make it into the big leagues.

Adjusted Proportional Rankings

Next, let’s look at the ranking after being adjusted proportionally for each school’s undergraduate enrollment numbers (so smaller schools can be fairly represented in the data):

Rank (Adjusted)Institution# EmployedTop Employer
1Carnegie Mellon University1356Google
2Columbia University651Google
3Stanford University661Google
4Massachusetts Institute of Technology405Google
5California Institute of Technology78Google
6Harvey Mudd College72Google
7Georgia Institute of Technology1094Microsoft
8University of Southern California1252Google
9Rice University235Google
10Harvard University260Google
11Duke University304Google
12Cornell University612Google
13Northeastern University604Google
14University of California, Berkeley1212Google
15University of Pennsylvania352Google
16Princeton University170Google
17Brown University236Google
18Santa Clara University180Google
19Northwestern University226Google
20University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign877Google
21Swarthmore College36Google
22University of California San Diego795Google
23University of Washington876Microsoft
24Yale University115Google
25Washington University in St. Louis183Google
26Johns Hopkins University143Google
27University of Chicago156Google
28University of California, Los Angeles704Google
29University of Waterloo793Google
30University of Michigan632Google

Interestingly, when looking at the adjusted figures, only two of the top 10 feeder schools are Ivy League institutions: Columbia, which comes second on the list, and Harvard, which just makes the cut at number 10.

Carnegie Mellon takes first place, with over 1,300 hired graduates across all 12 companies. While the Pittsburgh-based university is not an Ivy League school, it still has a great reputation—in a recent study by U.S. News & World Report, it ranked as one of the best universities in America.

Even with its excellent reputation, Carnegie Mellon’s acceptance rate is relatively high at 17%, especially when compared to its Ivy League counterparts like Columbia (6%) and Harvard (4%).

It’s worth mentioning that, while Ivy League didn’t dominate the top 10 list, all eight schools made it into the top 30. So, while this data shows that Silicon Valley isn’t exclusively hiring from Ivy League schools, it does indicate that these prestigious institutions have a seat at the table.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Ranked: European Countries by the Average Age Adults Move Out

The average age for adults to move out in the top seven countries—all from the same region—is either at or above 30.



A cropped chart ranking European countries by the average age at which people leave their parental homes, as sourced from Eurostat (2023)

Ranked: European Countries by the Average Age Adults Move Out

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Leaving home and setting off to build one’s own life is considered a key pillar of adulthood in many countries. It’s the proverbial mark at which societies deem a person fit and able to architect and maintain the trajectory of their own life.

However, not all cultures and family structures are the same. And sometimes economies can influence the ability to move out.

We rank the European countries by the average age at which people leave their parental homes, as sourced from Eurostat data, current up to 2023.

When Do Europeans Leave the Nest?

Balkan countries, and Southern Europe as a whole, likes to leave the parental nest a little later in life.

The average age for moving out in seven countries—all from the region—is either at or above 30.

CountryAverage Age Leaving
Home (2023)
🇭🇷 Croatia32
🇷🇸 Serbia*32
🇸🇰 Slovakia31
🇬🇷 Greece31
🇪🇸 Spain30
🇧🇬 Bulgaria30
🇮🇹 Italy30
🇵🇹 Portugal29
🇸🇮 Slovenia29
🇲🇹 Malta28
🇹🇷 Türkiye*28
🇮🇪 Ireland28
🇷🇴 Romania28
🇨🇾 Cyprus27
🇭🇺 Hungary27
🇵🇱 Poland27
🇱🇺 Luxembourg27
🇧🇪 Belgium26
🇱🇻 Latvia26
🇨🇿 Czechia25
🇦🇹 Austria25
🇱🇹 Lithuania24
🇩🇪 Germany24
🇫🇷 France24
🇳🇱 Netherlands23
🇪🇪 Estonia23
🇩🇰 Denmark22
🇸🇪 Sweden22
🇫🇮 Finland21
🇪🇺 EU26

*Data from 2022. Figures rounded. Ages unavailable for the UK, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Kosovo.

Cultural factors (strong family bonds) and economic pressures (high rents compared to lower local wages) combine to influence higher moving out age in the region.

Another interesting correlation is how the same countries tend to have higher home ownership rates (Romania, Slovakia, and Croatia all above 90%) indicating that renting is not a popular choice for residents.

Multigenerational families are also more common across the region, a holdover from a more agricultural-oriented society, stronger Church, and weaker welfare state and institutions.

On the other hand, in Nordic countries, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, the average age of moving out is in the 21 to 22 range. Similarly, their home ownership rates are much lower in comparison.

More European Insights From Visual Capitalist

If you liked this kind of content, check out The Top Export in Each EU Country for a national breakdown into the EU’s $6 trillion export list.

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