7. Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ)
For their class of 2020, 95% of Stevens’ students found competitive employment or graduate school positions within six months of graduating, the stat virtually unchanged from the year before.
Plus, the $77,000 average starting salary shattered records in 2020. It’s no wonder Stevens is also a top-ranked school for best return on investment, according to PayScale.
This speaks to the timelessness and rigor of a Stevens education, which boasts small class sizes and student-driven learning.
In fact, undergrad seniors take part in the annual “Senior Design Day,” where competitors present research and business ideas to a panel of established entrepreneurs, CEOs, and venture capitalists. Big companies like L’Oreal, Disney, and Johnson & Johnson have all tapped seniors to help innovate.
The spirit of entrepreneurship defines many Stevens alumni: Charles Stewart Mott co-founded General Motors, Eugene McDermott co-founded Texas Instruments, and Alfred Fielding co-invented Bubble Wrap.
6. Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA)
As a renowned land-grant university, Virginia Tech integrates technology across all disciplines and continues to innovate today.
Torgersen Hall comes equipped with high-tech auditoriums, virtual reality simulators, and state-of-the-art research spaces. The hall is connected to the university’s library, a physical bridge between knowledge of old and new.
To support its student football team and the sport at large, the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab has been studying head impacts since 2003. Their research has resulted in ratings for helmet safety that allow players to assess risk of concussion more transparently before purchasing a helmet.
Virginia Tech has produced not only professional athletes and decorated military personnel, but also those that went on to careers in tech, including astronaut Roger K. Crouch and Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun.
5. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)
A top engineering school, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is famous for its unique “WPI Plan,” a project-based learning style that not only teaches students technical knowledge but also how to make them better learners. The plan pushes students to develop soft skills and realize their impact in their community and beyond.
In fact, the generous Global Projects Program sends more engineering students abroad than any other U.S. university.
Such hands-on and cross-cultural learning has produced prolific alumni over the years.
Inventor Elwood Haynes was instrumental in developing the first automobile as well as stainless steel.
Biologist and WPI professor David Adams was the first person to replicate Alzheimer’s disease in a lab mouse.
Entrepreneur Naveen Selvadurai co-founded social networking platform Foursquare.
Thanks to the wildly successful WPI Plan, the institute will undoubtedly continue to produce brilliant innovators in the future.
4. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s motto, “Knowledge and Thoroughness,” is certainly apt. As the oldest polytechnic university in the English-speaking world, Rensselaer is the example that many American colleges have followed.
Undergraduate and graduate students alike are heavily involved in driving research at Rensselaer. Its top six research priorities are biotechnology, energy and the environment, nanotechnology, computer and information technology, and media and the arts.
The school’s Center for Computational Innovations houses the most powerful private-university based supercomputer in the world. The center itself is driven by a $100 million collaboration with the institute, IBM, and New York State.
Rensselaer alumni have pioneered the transcontinental railroad, created the first commercial television, and invented the digital camera. They have won Pulitzer Prizes, National Medals of Technology, and Fulbright Scholarships.