The best computer science and engineering schools in the US are hotspots for elite companies like Google, Apple, Raytheon, Facebook, and Lockheed Martin to recruit fresh, new talent.
We surveyed over 400 Business Insider readers to find out which engineering schools have the most valuable undergraduate programs.
Survey participants rated the schools on a scale from 1 (not valuable) to 5 (extremely valuable). To rank the schools we took the percentage of people who assessed each school at a 4 or 5, and averaged that with the average SAT scores (from college admissions website CollegeBoard) for the students at each school.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology came in first as the best school for engineering and computer science undergrads.
Read on to see which schools made the list.
Andy Kiersz also contributed to this piece.
With degree programs ranging from game design to digital art and animation, DigiPen turns students into experts on all things computers and programming. DigiPen's Washington location also puts the school in close proximity to several top gaming and technology companies, including Nintendo Software Technology, Microsoft, Valve, and Boeing.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Colorado State is a leader in the computer and electrical engineering spaces, and by graduation, 75% of the classes between 2007 and 2012 were either employed full-time, attending graduate school, or going into the military or another public service. Top employers of CSU school of engineering grads include Schlumberger, Lockheed Martin, and Wolf Robotics.
Twice a year, Brigham Young hosts one of the largest technical career fairs in the Intermountain West. The career services department works with more than 1,000 top companies to recruit BYU engineering students for jobs and internships around the world, and offers many other resources and connections specifically for female engineers.
UConn offers 12 bachelor's degree programs in engineering -- everything from biomedical engineering to computer science to engineering physics. Engineering students at UConn are highly sought-after upon graduation; top employers include Accenture, Google, IBM, Intel, and Procter & Gamble, and starting salaries range from $US52,000 to $US65,000.
'Powering the new engineer' is the University of Florida's motto for its 8,700-strong engineering program. UF is a top 10 school in terms of total STEM degrees awarded, and the undergraduate program has been ranked No. 2 by US News & World Report.
Internship and job opportunities at UC Boulder are plentiful; students are recruited by Fortune 500 and small companies alike through numerous recruiting opportunities and career fairs. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak attended UC Boulder's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences for a time; he ended up transferring to the University of California at Berkeley, but received an honorary doctoral degree from Boulder later on.
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Wall Street Journal named the engineering program at North Carolina State fifteenth in recruiter rankings. The school is visited by a number of local and national employers eager to hire NCSU grads; this fall, the school will host companies like Amazon, Anheuser-Busch, GlaxoSmithKline, and Merck, among others.
BU engineering students have excellent career outlooks: From the class of 2014, 49% had accepted job offers while another 14% went on to graduate school, 10% went on to transitional engineering jobs, and 4% went into military service. The average starting salary for BU grads is higher than the national average -- $US66,500, compared to $US59,000.
Santa Barbara, California
Many UC Santa Barbara students join professional engineering organisations such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association of Computing Machinery, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Students can graduate with a bachelor's in four years, or a dual bachelor's/masters in five.
OSU engineering students take advantage of a number of study abroad programs in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Employment outcomes are very positive: 100% of students with a focus in aviation reported finding employment at graduation; 95% of industrial and systems engineering students, and another 82% of computer science and engineering students report the same. Average starting salaries range from $US54,458 to $US67,170.
The University of Washington is committed to diversity, with nearly a quarter of its undergraduate engineering majors being women and another 45% comprising Asian Americans, underrepresented minorities, and foreign nationals. Many students secure jobs before graduation, and many others create their own job opportunities -- UW is ranked No. 3 in the country for the number of startups launched each year.
UC Davis is ranked No. 17 among top US public universities for the best undergraduate engineering programs by US News. The school puts on a company day, where potential employers can come recruit UC Davis students, and other career events. It even has a separate recruiting event for Apple engineers.
Rochester, New York
Last year, RIT engineering students generated more than $US30 million in earnings through employment placements. During their degrees, students participate in at least one year of full-time, paid experiential cooperative education experience with more than 500 companies, including Apple, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Welch Allyn.
Engineering is so steeped in WPI's campus culture that even the team name is the Engineers. WPI is one of the first engineering and technology universities in the country, where engineering -- especially in the fields of mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, and chemical engineering -- is the most popular major.
State College, Pennsylvania
Penn State is ranked seventh in the nation for industrial engineering, tenth for materials engineering, and 18th overall by US News. Every student completes at least one internship, and 45.2% of those who do receive an offer of full-time employment from their internship placements.
College Park, Maryland
Eighty-five per cent of Maryland undergraduate engineering students were either employed full-time or about to attend graduate school full-time by the time they graduated. Another 85% of undergraduate co-op and intern students who applied for full-time positions with their co-op or intern placements received offers. A bachelor's in engineering from Maryland pays off well, with the average starting salary falling around $US66,500.
Brooklyn, New York
Engineering students at NYU have big prospects in store: More than 89% of undergraduate students receive job offers within six months of graduating, and earn a mid-career salary of $US117,000. NYU's Polytechnic School of Engineering was ranked No. 10 on Forbes' list of colleges that will make you rich; Forbes also ranked it No. 7 on its list of the best colleges for women in STEM.
San Luis Obispo, California
Cal Poly statistics from the class of 2011-2012 report that 81% of undergrads had found full-time employment within a year of graduating, and earned a median starting salary of $US64,000. Top employers for Cal Poly grads include Abbott Laboratories, Covidien, Apple, Microsoft, and SpaceX.
College Station, Texas
The 'A&M' part of Texas A&M stands for agricultural and mechanical, as engineering has always been a part of this large Texas research university. The Dwight Look College of Engineering is ranked No. 8 overall for best undergraduate engineering program by US News, and the college is ranked No. 1 for the best petroleum engineering program.
Twelve per cent of graduates from the Northeastern class of 2013 majored in an engineering field. Students get a well-rounded, experiential education compiled of both classroom and hands-on learning that takes them out into the world to apply what they learn in class to real-life problems.
Los Angeles, California
The Viterbi School of Engineering at USC ranks 12th on US News' list of the best global universities for computer science. The school is known for its strong video game programming specialisation; its video games program was ranked No. 1 by The Princeton Review for the sixth year in a row.
About 85% of engineering undergrads secure one or more opportunities to be a summer intern or co-op engineer prior to graduation. The average starting income of a UW engineer is $US62,402 -- a salary which comes from prestigious companies such as 3M, Ford Motors, Kimberly-Clark, and Schlumberger.
San Diego, California
The engineering school at UC San Diego ranks 14th in the US and 18th in the world, according to the 2014 Academic Rankings of World Universities. The school specialises in a number of interdisciplinary initiatives, including contextual robotics, makerspace and design, and global entrepreneurism.
Average annual starting salaries for members of the class of 2014 range from $US58,260 for civil engineers to $US90,012 for petroleum engineers; the average for all students is $US73,039. The school hosts two engineering career fairs each year -- one in the fall and one in the spring -- where companies like Chevron, BP, Intel, Texas Instruments, and Raytheon serve as corporate partners.
After graduation, 87% of the class of 2014 either entered the workforce -- with a median starting salary of $US62,500 -- or went on to pursue an advanced degree. Many job-seeking students ended up at elite companies such as Microsoft, General Electric, and IBM.
Los Angeles, California
A starting point for over 33,000 working engineers, UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is also considered the birthplace of the internet: The first transmission from what would become the web was sent from campus. Bioengineering and biomedical research are two popular fields of study here.
In 2013, Vanderbilt engineering graduates landed jobs at ExxonMobil, Texas Instruments, and General Motors, among others. Every spring, Vandy also hosts an engineering-centric career day, which directly connects students with recruiters from top companies like Baker Hughes and Philips Healthcare.
University of Illinois' engineering students receive an average of two job offers apiece and earn around 11% more than other engineering undergrads around the country. The mean starting salary for the class of 2014 ranged from $US48,800 for nuclear, plasma, and radiological majors to $US89,023 for computer science majors.
With over $US81 million in research expenditures annually, Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering offers plenty of opportunities for hands-on experience. Throughout the year, McCormick also hosts three career fairs with accompanying interview days for students to network with recruiters and land internships and jobs.
More than a third of Rice's undergraduate students are enrolled in the George R. Brown School of Engineering. The school takes advantage of Houston's prominence in the energy, medical, and space sectors through research partnerships and internship opportunities with local companies.
At U Penn, every student is encouraged to participate in faculty-led research. Students can search for mentors in the faculty expertise directory or apply for one of the school's numerous scholarship programs. Penn also has several longstanding partnerships with big-name companies -- including Lockheed Martin and Honeywell International -- that result in research, internship, and employment opportunities for students.
New Haven, Connecticut
Yale's School of Engineering and Applied Science offers degrees across six disciplines of engineering: biomedical, chemical, environmental, electrical, mechanical, and materials science. Students can join a number of national engineering organisations, including the Society of Women Engineers and the Tau Beta Pi honour society.
New York, New York
At Columbia, students take advantage of the school's New York City location by working through practical projects that benefit the city, such as developing wheelchair accessible playgrounds or mentoring local high school students. Undergrads can also gain experience on-campus by assisting professors with research.
Ensuring that every student finds a job (or enrolls in graduate school) after graduation is a top priority at Johns Hopkins. The school employs a full staff of 12 to help students with everything from writing resumes to finding internships. Students gain plenty of experience on-campus as well: 70% of undergrads in the engineering department participate in research opportunities.
Troy, New York
Not only are RPI graduates prepared to handle professional engineering positions, they're ready to prove it. Last year, 58% of students graduated with a full-time job offer, and another 18% had plans to attend graduate school. Top employers for the class of 2014 include Schlumberger, Deloitte, Boeing, and General Electric.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Michigan's co-op program allows students to alternate between semesters of classes and time off to complete internships and gain work experience. For several students, these co-ops turn into a full-time job offer. Graduates from the class of 2014 were also recruited and hired by prominent companies including Facebook, Lockheed Martin, and Pfizer.
Durham, North Carolina
At Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, gaining hands-on experience is a top priority for students. More than 75% of undergraduates complete an industry-related internship, and almost 60% work with a faculty member on an intensive research project.
Undergraduate students from Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have gone on to work at elite companies including Pixar, Google, and Citigroup. Harvard's host of internship partners also includes exclusive placements at companies like Facebook, Intel, and NASA.
Ithaca, New York
Among the class of 2013, 92% of undergraduate engineering students were either on their way to graduate school or employed full-time by graduation day, with several headed to top companies including Proctor & Gamble, Accenture, and Google. The average starting salary for the class was $US72,287, though some students reported earning as much as $US120,000.
Princeton, New Jersey
At Princeton, the engineering curriculum for all majors focuses on equipping students to solve real-world problems regarding energy and the environment, health, security, and leadership. Engineering students from the class of 2014 reported an average starting salary of $US68,923 annually.
Georgia Tech's undergraduate engineering department is ranked No. 4 overall in the nation by US News. Its industrial engineering program earned US News' top ranking in its field, while Tech's civil and aerospace programs took No. 2 and No. 3 in their respective fields as well.
Graduates can expect competitive compensation with a degree from Carnegie Mellon. For the class of 2013, the median starting salaries ranged from $US60,000 for civil and environmental engineers to $US90,000 for electric and computer engineers. Partnerships with major companies like IBM, Google, and General Motors also allow students to gain hands-on experience in their fields.
Stanford students take can advantage of opportunities to study and work abroad through the school's Global Engineering Programs, which provides students with internships in China, Uganda, Japan, Brazil, and more. US News ranks Stanford as the No. 2 engineering school in the country, with its computer, mechanical, and electrical programs taking the No. 2 spots in their respective fields as well.
At Caltech, students take a practical approach to learning, in order to 'expand human knowledge and benefit society.' There are seven areas of study to choose from, ranging from aerospace to medical engineering. The school's engineering department is also pretty diverse -- over a third of students are women. The average starting salary for 2013 Caltech grads was $US82,000.
In addition to being the top engineering school overall, MIT boasts No. 1 ranked programs for chemical, aerospace/aeronautical, computer, and electrical engineering, according to US News. Upon graduation, 32% of students head on to graduate school while 57% enter the workforce. Students are courted by nearly 250 companies; top employers for MIT grads include Google, Amazon, ExxonMobil, and Goldman Sachs.
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