You have probably seen numerous college rankings, including Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges,” which shed light on the quality of education and student’s experiences at the nation’s best schools. But how do these colleges stack up as places to work?
Glassdoor, an online jobs and career community where people share information and opinions about the places where they’re employed, offers a new type of college ranking. The site just released a report that provides an inside look at what it’s like to work for 50 of the nation’s largest universities, based on employee sentiment.
“Each year, several reports offer insight into how universities compare as academic institutions for students to attend, but this annual report is unique because it’s the only one of its kind purely based on what employees have to say,” says Glassdoor spokesperson Samantha Zupan. “With education reform a hot topic in the presidential race, it’s timely to see what university employees have to say, from professors to administrative staff, about the benefits and downsides of working at various universities across the nation.”
In Pictures: The Best Colleges To Work For
To be included in the evaluation, colleges and universities had to have at least 20 reviews submitted to Glassdoor by employees between Sept. 10, 2011, and Sept. 9, 2012. The respondents were asked to rate their employers on a five-point scale (1 = very dissatisfied, 5 = very satisfied).
So, which universities make the best workplaces?
With an overall rating of 4.2 out of 5, Brigham Young University sits on the top of the heap. It jumped two positions from last year, when it was No. 3. “BYU employees say they feel a strong sense of family on campus, they feel valued by top administrators who value research as well as work-life balance, and they share a focused commitment on the students with a goal of bettering tomorrow’s generations,” Zupan says. “Employees say that’s something they can be proud of.”
Trailing close behind are the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which are in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, both with a 4.2 rating.
A Caltech employee at the Pasadena campus said: “The benefits package is very good. People are passionate about the scientific research they’re doing and have a personal mission to advance knowledge around the world. Relaxed atmosphere usually.”
Meanwhile, an Urbana-Champaign lecturer raved about the school, noting that its “environment provides a lot of latitude to develop and grow expertise and to make ‘the job your own.’” The employee added that the university offers an “extremely flexible environment, provided you take care of your work duties. Very pleasant and knowledgeable colleagues.”
“At many of the highest rated universities this year, we continue to see employees speak favorably about how they feel valued by administrators, the research opportunities they’re allowed and encouraged to pursue, along with environments that promote a healthy work-life balance,” Zupan says. “Interestingly, no Ivy league university cracks the top ten this year as an employer.”
In addition to ranking the top colleges to work for, Glassdoor looked at the highest rated university presidents; the presidents with the biggest changes in approval ratings from 2011; and the most improved universities.
The top rated university presidents/chancellors include Stanford University’s John L. Hennessy, the University of Maryland’s Wallace D. Loh, the University of Pennsylvania’s Amy Gutmann and Yale University’s Richard C. Levin. All four received a perfect 100% approval rating, according to employee reviews. Washington University’s Mark S. Wrighton rounds out the top five with a 96% approval rating.
The presidents to see the biggest change year over year were Stanford’s Hennessy, who saw his approval rating increase 12 points to 100%, and Georgia Tech’s Bud Peterson, who’s approval rating declined the most year over year, down 11 points to 89% in 2012.
The University of Pittsburgh, which didn’t make the top 10, was the school with the greatest improvement. It saw its rating increase by .7 to 3.8 in 2012.
“This year, we see that university and college employees are generally satisfied in their jobs,” Zupan says. “Out of the approximately 50 universities on this year’s list, not one of them received less than a 3.7 rating. That’s above the average company rating on Glassdoor, taking into account all industries and the 210,000 companies featured on the site. This is valuable insider information showing that universities may be a good option for anyone who may be considering a job or career in higher education.”
In Pictures: The Best Colleges To Work For
This is an update of an article that ran previously.
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