Where do Yale CS majors work? 📊
As a CS major in my junior year at Yale, I’ve spent a lot of time this semester thinking about how hard or easy it is to find tech internships and jobs as a Yale CS major, and what kind of jobs people are getting post graduation.
I’ve always wanted a more quantitative answer to these questions, so — instead of studying for midterms 😂 — I did some basic analysis on a set of employment data on graduates from the Class of 2014 to 2017 to figure out where Yale CS majors were going to work after graduation.
I started off by filtering the data to just include all CS majors — double and interdisciplinary (e.g CS & Math, EECS) majors included — and then did some manual data cleaning to get rid of naming inconsistencies (e.g standardizing ‘Facebook’, ‘Facebook Inc.’, and ‘Facebook, Inc.’ to ‘Facebook’ as a single employer). Afterwards, I tallied up which company each student worked for.
There were a couple of interesting takeaways:
1. A large portion of CS majors go to the ‘Big 3’ of Google, Facebook & Microsoft
Anecdotally, I had a vague sense that a lot of Yalies go to Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, but it was interesting to see that the actual percentage was as high as 28.32%. This is slightly higher if we just looked at 2016–2017, where 29.1% of them went to the Big 3.
This isn’t entirely surprising because the largest tech companies in industry need to hire a lot more new grad software engineers and have a good reputation among students. It’s worth nothing, however, that these 3 companies all have a strong on-campus recruiting presence in the fall. Meanwhile other tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Intel etc. who don’t come to campus hire very few Yalies.
If the data was available, I think it would be very interesting to compare the percentage of students going to the Big 3 (and perhaps include a few other companies like Apple and Amazon) at other schools compared to that of Yale’s. If we assume for a moment that getting a job at a large, prestigious tech company is a “good outcome” for a CS major — a highly debatable definition — it could be one way of measuring how Yale CS stacks up against other schools in terms of employment prospects.
2. There’s a long tail of companies who each hire a small number of Yalies
The distribution of CS majors to different tech companies is incredibly uneven. Beyond the Big 3 of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, only Bloomberg (6 people, 2.58%) and Palantir (6 people, 2.58%) hired more than 2% each of majors across 2014–2017. On the other hand, 53.2% of CS majors went to a ‘long tail’ of tech companies who took in a very small number of Yalies — often just 1 — in the last 4 years.
I found this surprising for two reasons. First, it seems like on campus recruiting produces varying levels of success for different tech companies. The top 5 employers — Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg, and Palantir — all recruit on campus, but there are other tech companies who recruit on campus but who are part of this ‘long tail’ of companies that have hired very few Yalies.
Secondly, I was surprised that there were many Yalies going to a variety of great tech companies in Silicon Valley that don’t come to Yale and hence aren’t particularly well known on campus but — at least hearing anecdotally from friends — are a much larger recruiting presence in schools like Berkeley, Stanford, MIT etc. This ranges from established companies like LinkedIn and Salesforce to exciting, high growth startups like Quora, Opendoor, Pinterest, Slack, Thumbtack, Plaid etc. One question I’m interested in investigating further at some point is how these alums ended up working at companies that don’t recruit at Yale. Did they apply online or through other career fairs (e.g Grace Hopper, Greylock Techfair etc.)? Were they exposed to these companies when working at prior internships in Silicon Valley?
3. Facebook went from having zero presence to our largest employer in 2 years
One of the most surprising finds in the dataset for me was Facebook’s very recent emergence as an employer at Yale. Across 2016–2017, Facebook took in the most number of Yale CS majors among all companies, taking in a total of 15 students. I expected this trend to hold in 2014–2015, but I discovered that Facebook took in no one from Yale during those 2 years (barring any of the 5 people with no data available across 2014–2015 working at Facebook).
The raw data I used is available to Yale students on Symplicity (https://yale-csm.symplicity.com/students/ ) in the Document Library under the names ‘Class List: Class of 2017’, ‘Class List: Class of 2016’, ‘Class List: Class of 2015’, and ‘Class List: Class of 2014’
Shoutout to Eugine Szeto and Jessica Ambrosio for proofreading an early draft of this piece! You guys are amazing! 😄
Thank you for taking the time to read this — hopefully it was somewhat useful or interesting to you, whether you’re a CS major at Yale, a Yalie considering the CS major, or if you were just generally curious! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you have any thoughts, criticisms, or questions about the post.