From Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates, a number of big-name tech entrepreneurs were college dropouts. However, don’t be fooled by these successful leaders. Today, major companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple employ thousands of college graduates to fill the needs of their organizations. And graduates who land gigs at some of these high-paying companies make big bucks.
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Online career website Paysa analyzed more than 286,000 resumes of people around the world who work at the top 100 companies in the tech sector. Paysa uncovered information about where most tech employees attended college, the educational diversity of employees at tech companies, the average salaries of graduates and more.
If you want to land a job at a place like Facebook or Google, you may want to consider going to school out West. The University of Washington was the most common college found on tech employees’ resumes, with Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California also in the top five. For those who prefer the East Coast, coming in second to the University of Washington was Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Proximity to companies gives students an edge in forging connections that lead to jobs. At Seattle-based Microsoft, 6.5 percent of employees are graduates of the University of Washington. Meanwhile, 5.4 percent of Googlites are Stanford grads.
Stanford alumni also make up much of social media company Snap Inc.’s workforce -- in fact, a whopping 16.1 percent of employees at Snap went to Stanford. And many employees at San Francisco-headquartered Yelp hail from another competitive California college: Eleven percent of Yelp employees graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.
Out of all 100 companies surveyed, Google, Microsoft and Amazon had the highest proportions of graduates who came from the same schools and even the same graduating classes. At Google, an employee can expect an average of 9.2 fellow alumni from their class to join them in the workplace. It’s almost the same case for Microsoft and Amazon -- there are typically around eight employees with the same alma mater at these companies.
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Paysa found that while these major companies employ graduates with similar educational backgrounds, employees at smaller companies such as Optiv, Prosper Marketplace and Zillow come from a diversity of educational backgrounds. On average, only one employee will have attended a given college at each of these organizations.
So, which colleges’ grads reap the most money from their employers? Turns out the highest-paid grads working at tech companies aren’t from the most prevalent college backgrounds in the industry.
Graduates from Seattle University and the Pacific Lutheran University who work in tech are raking in an average $265,000 a year. (They went to school near the headquarters of both Microsoft and Amazon.) Of course, high-paid workers live outside of the U.S., too -- former students of the University of Cambridge in England and the University of Toronto are among the top 10 highest-paid groups of tech employees. A Cambridge alum working in tech makes an average salary of $252,645, and the average salary of a former Toronto student in the industry is $252,639.
Related: How to Find the Right Tech Talent (for the Non-Tech Entrepreneur)
Rose Leadem is an online editorial assistant at Entrepreneur Media Inc.
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