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Build Your Career Get Ahead

The Best Graduate Schools for the Career You Want

The Best Graduate Schools for the Career You Want
Credit: Refat/Shutterstock

If you plan to continue your education after college, some schools will give you a better chance at future success than others, new research finds.

After analyzing the employment pattern of its nearly 350 million members, LinkedIn uncovered which graduate schools are the best at launching their students into successful careers at desirable companies.

For example, in order to find the best universities for software developers, LinkedIn identified the top companies where software developers choose to work and then found LinkedIn members who work as software developers. LinkedIn then checked where these members went to graduate school. Finally, for each graduate school, researchers discovered the percentage of alumni who've landed software development jobs at these top companies and then compared the percentages to come up with the list.

"These rankings are based not on what happens before or during school, but the career outcomes that follow graduation," Itamar Orgad, a product lead for higher education at LinkedIn, wrote on the social network's blog.

Here are the top three graduate schools for each of the nine professions analyzed:

Accounting professionals

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of Michigan
  • San Jose State University

Finance professionals

  • New York University- Leonard N. Stern School of Business
  • Cornell University – Johnson Graduate School of Management
  • Duke University - The Fuqua School of Business

Investment bankers

  • New York University- Leonard N. Stern School of Business
  • Yale University – Yale School of Management
  • Georgetown University – The McDonough School of Business

Management consultants

  • Harvard Business School
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management
  • Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management


  • Duke University - The Fuqua School of Business
  • University of Michigan – The Stephen M. Ross School of Business
  • University of North Carolina - Kenan–Flagler Business School

Media professionals

  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Northwestern University

Sales professionals

  • University of Michigan – The Stephen M. Ross School of Business
  • University of Texas at Austin – Red McCombs School of Business
  • Duke University - The Fuqua School of Business

Software developers

  • Brown University
  • Cornell University
  • University of Washington

Software developers at startups

  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University

A more thorough list of schools for each profession is available on the LinkedIn website.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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