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Penn State No. 1 Among Recruiters, Wall Street Journal Finds

September 14, 2010

Penn State is the No. 1 school in the country among recruiters from leading companies, nonprofits and government agencies, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper surveyed 479 recruiters and asked them to identify the schools "whose bachelor degree graduates were the best-trained and educated, and best able to succeed once hired."

In addition to the No. 1 overall ranking for Penn State, the recruiters also ranked highly several Smeal College of Business majors. Among universities offering a Management Information Systems major, Penn State is ranked second. The University is ranked fifth in Accounting, sixth in Finance, and 11th in Business. Penn State also ranks seventh in Computer Science and ninth in Engineering.

"We know we have some of the best students in the country at Penn State, and recruiters know it, too," said Smeal Dean James B. Thomas. "In and out of the classroom—through activities like the student-managed Nittany Lion Fund and initiatives like the Smeal Honor Code—we focus on preparing our students to contribute as soon as they enter the workforce. Smeal business graduates leave here with the knowledge, skills and ethical framework required to successfully transition from student to businessperson."

Recruiters tend to agree, according to the Wall Street Journal report. The paper published quotes taken directly from the survey highlighting the University's "broad majors, strong curriculum," and "bright, well-rounded students that have the core competencies we desire."

The survey results also show that research and quality of faculty play an important role in recruiting. The newspaper says that employers tend to "like schools where they can form partnerships that allow them to work with professors and their students, giving them an inside track when it comes time to make offers for internships and jobs."

Recruiters also like Penn State's "excellent career placement office that works well with students and alumni." And of all the universities where survey respondents said they actively recruit, Penn State had the most mentions with 187.

Overall, large public universities fared well in The Journal's rankings, taking up 19 spots in the top 25. "Recruiters say graduates of top public universities are often among the most prepared and well-rounded academically, and companies have found they fit well into their corporate cultures and over time have the best track record in their firms," the newspaper reports.

The complete Wall Street Journal rankings are available online at WSJ.com.

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