Data & Analysis

2022 CodeSignal University Ranking Report

To produce the only skills-based ranking of the top 50 US colleges and universities for software engineering, we looked at students' actual coding and computer programming skills. What are the best universities for computer science? The results aren't what you might expect.

01.

Introduction:
Talent is Everywhere

So, then: why are recruiters all looking in the same few places?

Technical recruiters today are in fierce competition for top engineering candidates. At the same time, thousands of students graduate from computer science undergraduate programs each year who struggle to land an interview, despite having the skills needed to succeed on the job. 

Why is this happening? Because recruiters often target only those candidates who come from name-brand schools—even though over 94 percent of computer science degrees granted every year are not from these “top-tier” programs. It’s time for recruiters to open up their applicant pool to more diverse new grad talent.

This report presents our ranking of the 50 colleges and universities with the highest concentration of students who received a top score on CodeSignal’s General Coding Framework, the industry-standard skills evaluation taken by more than 50% of graduating computer science students in the US. 

We hope that this report will help recruiters and hiring managers find top early career developer talent using fair and objective recruiting practices to measure candidate skill.

02.

Our Top 10 Universities for Software Engineering

We analyzed a subset of CodeSignal’s General Coding Framework results data and ranked universities based on the percentage of their students whose score is in the 84th percentile on the General Coding Framework.

This has enabled CodeSignal to accurately project the best computer science colleges and universities programs across the US that train the top software engineering talent for coding and computer programming.

Here are our top 10:

Rank
School
#1

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

#2

Carnegie Mellon University

#3

Yale University

#4

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

#5

University of California, Los Angeles

#6

University of Pennsylvania

#7

Rice University

#8

California Institute of Technology

#9

University of California, San Diego

#10

Swarthmore College

03.

Key Highlights

Only 3 out of the 10 schools (Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Cal Tech) from our list were in the 2022 top 10 US News & World Report Best Undergraduate Engineering Program Rankings.

The top school in our list, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, didn’t make the US News top 30.

UC Berkeley and Stanford, tied for #2 in the US News & World Report ranking, don’t make our top 10.

6 of the top 10 schools from our list are Emerging HSIs.

04.

Conclusions

The data from CodeSignal’s validated skills evaluation for junior engineers, the General Coding Framework, shows that a degree from one of the traditional top engineering programs is not necessarily the best indicator of talent. Directly measuring candidates’ skills rather than what school they attended is a proven way to build a stronger, 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 program
    • Top talent is also diverse talent; many of the top schools in our skill-based ranking are Hispanic-Serving Institutions
05.

Additional Information

What is the General Coding Framework?

The General Coding Framework is a validated skills evaluation for assessing core programming and computer science knowledge that is shared by most software engineers and is taught in most computer science undergraduate programs in the US.

The General Coding Framework consists of 4 code writing tasks in the cloud integrated development environment and is language agnostic. This means task takers can choose a computer language that they feel most comfortable in. This skills evaluation measures the task taker’s code-writing skills, problem-solving skills, and ability to write clean code at a reasonable speed.

What is the methodology?

CodeSignal’s General Coding Framework is used by over 150 top tier companies such as Facebook, Asana, Uber, and eBay, as their primary technical skills evaluation for early talent. It has been completed by over 95,000 students who are seeking new grad software engineering opportunities in their senior year or summer internship software engineering opportunities in their junior year. More than 50% of undergraduate students completing their computer science programs in the US take the General Coding Framework, with over 9,000 students taking the skills evalution per week at the height of the recruiting season.

For this analysis, we’ve inferred the name of educational institutions from the email domains associated with the test takers. To support valid comparisons, we’ve adopted U.S. News & World Report’s grouping of colleges and used the “National University” group to come up with CodeSignal University Rankings.

What does a top score (over 800) mean?

The General Coding Framework has many variations of questions but produces comparable scores. Scores range between 600-849.

SCORE RANGE
Percentile
Description
600-649
0th-6th
The test taker can write simple code to do some operations.
650-699
6th-25th
The test taker is familiar with programming and can work with some common data structures.
700-749
25th-59th
The test taker has solid implementation skills and can solve some algorithmic tasks.
750-799
59th-84th
The test taker has good problem-solving skills, is familiar with algorithms, and can implement ideas that don’t require too much coding.
800-849
84th-100th
The test taker has excellent algorithmic and problem-solving skills and can develop large, complex applications.
Designed by in-house Software Engineers, Computer Science experts, and PhDs in I/O Psychology, the General Coding Framework measures test takers' computer science fundamentals on topics like algorithms and data structures. Those who demonstrate a great computer science foundation and strong ability to implement scalable applications receive a score in the highest range: 800-849, or 84th percentile.
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