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CodeSignal's 2023 University Ranking Report

CodeSignal's annual University Ranking Report is back, ranking the top 50 national universities based on technical skills.

CodeSignal’s skills-based university ranking

We ranked colleges and universities based on their students’ objective coding skills and the results aren’t what you’d expect.

Key findings of our 2023 report:

11 of the top 30 schools in our skills-based ranking

are not recognized in the US News & World Report’s top 30 undergraduate engineering programs.

Stony Brook University, the #2 US school in our rankings,

is not included in the US News & World Report’s top 30.

18 of the schools that made our top 50 list

are designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) or Emerging HSIs.

7 schools outside of the US would make our top 50 list,

when we open up our rankings to all schools across the globe.

The Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee,

was the top non-US school for software engineering talent, ranking just below California Institute of Technology (#8 on the US list).

Report sections

Top 30 universities

Highlighted universities don’t appear on the US News & World Report’s top 30 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.

#1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (79th percentile)

#2

Stony Brook University (79th percentile)

#3

Carnegie Mellon University (75th percentile)

#4

Yale University (75th percentile)

#5

Rice University (73rd percentile)

#6

Stanford University (73rd percentile)

#7

Harvard University (73rd percentile)

#8

California Institute of Technology (73rd percentile)

#9

University of Pennsylvania (72nd percentile)

#10

Columbia University (72nd percentile)

#11

University of Massachusetts at Amherst (71st percentile)

#12

Brown University (71st percentile)

#13

University of Southern California (71st percentile)

#14

Harvey Mudd College (71st percentile)

#15

University of California, Berkeley (71st percentile)

#16

Princeton University (71st percentile)

#17

University of Chicago (71st percentile)

#18

Duke University (71st percentile)

#19

University of California, San Diego (71st percentile)

#20

University of Texas at Austin (71st percentile)

#21

Cornell University (70th percentile)

#22

Swarthmore College (70th percentile)

#23

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (70th percentile)

#24

University of California, Los Angeles (69th percentile)

#25

New York University (69th percentile)

#26

Georgia Institute of Technology (68th percentile)

#27

Johns Hopkins University (68th percentile)

#28

University of Florida (68th percentile)

#29

North Carolina State University (68th percentile)

#30

University of California, Irvine (68th percentile)

Emerging leaders

These universities, ranked 31 to 50 in CodeSignal’s skill-based university ranking, are rarely targeted by university recruiters.

Highlighted universities don’t appear on the US News & World Report’s top 30 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.

#31

Dartmouth College (68th percentile)

#32

University of Wisconsin, Madison (68th percentile)

#33

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (67th percentile)

#34

Northwestern University (67th percentile)

#35

Arizona State University (67th percentile)

#36

University of California, Santa Barbara (66th percentile)

#37

Washington University, Saint Louis (66th percentile)

#38

Michigan State University (65th percentile)

#39

Purdue University (65th percentile)

#40

State University of New York at Buffalo (63rd percentile)

#41

University of Washington (63rd percentile)

#42

Vanderbilt University (62nd percentile)

#43

Georgetown University (62nd percentile)

#44

Brandeis University (62nd percentile)

#45

University of Pittsburgh (58th percentile)

#46

Boston University (58th percentile)

#47

Northeastern University (57th percentile)

#48

San José State University (57th percentile)

#49

Texas A&M University, College Station (56th percentile)

#50

University of Notre Dame (56th percentile)

Noteworthy schools for diverse talent

18 of the schools that made our top 50 list are designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) or Emerging HSIs. This means that a significant portion of the student body identifies as Hispanic or Latino/a.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ranked #1

Rice University

Ranked #5

Stanford University

Ranked #6

California Institute of Technology

Ranked #8

University of Southern California

Ranked #13

Harvey Mudd College

Ranked #14

University of California, Berkeley

Ranked #15

University of California, San Diego

Ranked #19

University of Texas at Austin

Ranked #20

University of California, Los Angeles

Ranked #24

New York University

Ranked #25

Johns Hopkins University

Ranked #27

University of Florida

Ranked #28

University of California, Irvine

Ranked #30

University of California, Santa Barbara

Ranked #36

University of Washington

Ranked #41

San José State University

Ranked #48

Texas A&M University, College Station

Ranked #49

Top global schools for developer talent

This year, we also looked at schools outside of the United States by the same objective measure of students’ skills. We found that when we open up our rankings to all schools across the globe, 7 schools outside of the US would make our top 50 list. Those schools are:

Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

India (73rd percentile)

University of Waterloo

Canada (73rd percentile)

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

India (72nd percentile)

National University of Singapore

Singapore (70th percentile)

University of Toronto

Canada (68th percentile)

Imperial College London

United Kingdom (66th percentile)

Nanyang Technological University

Singapore (64th percentile)

Using coding skills assessment results helps you identify qualified candidates

CodeSignal tip: target overlooked schools

These universities made our top 50, but they’re significantly less likely to be targeted by recruiters than Stanford, MIT, or UC Berkeley. Here are our top 5 overlooked schools:

  • Stony Brook University
  • University of Florida
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of California, Irvine
  • San José State University

Conclusion

The results are clear: When you rank schools by an objective measure of their students’ technical skills, you’ll find that talent comes from everywhere—not just the schools traditionally recognized as top engineering schools. Directly measuring candidates’ skills, rather than looking at what school they attended, is a proven way to build a stronger and more diverse team.

Key takeaways:

Companies recruiting early career developers should expand the scope of their target universities.

Much of the top new grad engineering talent is coming out of schools not typically recognized for their engineering programs.

Top talent is also diverse talent; many of the top schools in our skill-based ranking are Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

About the author: CodeSignal’s Skills Evaluation Lab

The Skills Evaluation Lab is made up of CodeSignal’s teams of PhD Industrial-Organizational (IO) Psychologists and Assessment Design Engineers. 

Together, these teams set the standard for fair and predictive technical hiring by developing, validating, maintaining, and ensuring compliance for CodeSignal’s Certified Evaluations. Leading companies use these research-backed evaluations to generate a stronger signal of skill, reduce legal risk in the hiring process, and give time back to engineers.

Methodology

We analyzed the results of CodeSignal’s General Coding Framework, which measures core programming and computer science fundamentals.

  • Our ranking is based on students’ average (mean) scores on the General Coding Framework for each educational institution.
  • We’ve inferred the name of educational institutions from the email domains associated with each candidate who completed the General Coding Framework.
  • To support valid comparisons, we’ve adopted U.S. News & World Report’s grouping of colleges and included schools that met the criteria for the “National University” group.
  • For our ranking analyses, we only included universities that had more than 30 student candidates.

The 2023 ranking dataset includes all student candidates with university emails who completed the General Coding Framework between April 21, 2022 and April 21, 2023 (n = 32,179).

What is the General Coding Framework?

The General Coding Framework is the industry standard for evaluation of core programming and computer science fundamentals taught in most undergraduate programs. The assessment is taken by more than 50% of graduating computer science students in the US.

  • Consists of 4 language-agnostic code writing tasks
  • Developed and validated by our Skills Evaluation Lab
  • Completed by over 253,000 candidates
  • Used by top-tier companies like Meta, Uber, and Zoom as their primary technical assessment for early talent hiring