The 10 Best Small Colleges for Jobs in 2020

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A female college student smiling with a binder
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This story originally appeared on Zippia.

While college is a time of personal and professional growth, for many students it is an expensive investment in their future.

Students attend college with the expectation of securing gainful employment. However, not all schools are equal in job placement success.

Some colleges are vastly more supportive of their students’ post-graduation concerns than others. In particular, small colleges — with smaller class sizes and a stronger sense of community — do an excellent job at setting students up for success.

To help bring attention to exceptional small schools, we at Zippia put together a list of the top small schools for getting a job.

Using information found on the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we searched for the college in each state with an enrollment level between 1,000 to 5,000.

From there, we cross-referenced the small colleges with data from College Scorecard to find the highest listed job placement ratings, looking at employment levels 10 years after students have graduated.

Then, we selected the institution with the highest job placement rate in each state. For the purposes of readability, we rounded each school’s placement to the nearest decimal point.

These small colleges are the best for job placement. Did a school in your state make the list?

10. University Of Dubuque (Iowa)

Dubuque, Iowa
Joseph Sohm /

Institution: University of Dubuque
City: Dubuque, Iowa
Placement rate: 94.7%

The University of Dubuque sets its students up to land the job they want. Their placement rate of 94.7% shows what current students already know — the education is quality, and the school offers a network of support. About 2,200 students attend the university, making it the perfect choice for those who want an excellent private education with small class sizes.

9. Siena College (New York)

Siena College, New York
SevenMaps /

Institution: Siena College
City: Loudonville, New York
Placement rate: 95.1%

Siena College has the highest job placement rate in New York — a distinguished 95%. Students who attend Siena can choose among 36 majors, more than 80 minors and certificates, and prestigious joint-degree programs in liberal arts, science and business. While different choices may appeal to different students, judging by the placement numbers, all will find the job market welcoming.

8. Saint John’s University (Minnesota)

Saint John's University
Ken Wolter /

Institution: Saint John’s University
City: Collegeville, Minnesota
Placement rate: 95.2%

St. John’s University carries an impressive 150-year legacy, which includes students successfully launching their careers upon graduation.

7. Saint Anselm College (New Hampshire)

Manchester, New Hampshire
Sean Pavone /

Institution: Saint Anselm College
City: Manchester, New Hampshire
Placement rate: 95.2%

Saint Anselm has the highest job placement rate of any small college in New Hampshire, at 95%.

6. Providence College (Rhode Island)

Providence College, Rhode Island
Jon Bilous /

Institution: Providence College
City: Providence, Rhode Island
Placement rate: 95.3%

Providence College is one of the bigger small colleges on this list. Students looking for a balance between a small community feel and exciting social opportunities will find this Rhode Island school particularly appealing.

5. Illinois Wesleyan University (Illinois)

Bloomington, Illinois
Meagan Marchant /

Institution: Illinois Wesleyan University
City: Bloomington, Illinois
Placement rate: 95.5%

Illinois Wesleyan University is a liberal arts schools with exceptional job placement rates. The school has a fairly selective acceptance rate of 59%. However, students who get in are treated to a world-class education that leaves them ready to hit the job market.

4. Lebanon Valley College (Pennsylvania)

Frontpage /

Institution: Lebanon Valley College
City: Annville, Pennsylvania
Placement rate: 95.6%

In Pennsylvania, small Lebanon Valley College has big results when it comes to graduating students ready to enter the workforce. It boasts a 95.6% job placement rate.

3. Stonehill College (Massachusetts)

Easton, Massachusetts
Dan Logan /

Institution: Stonehill College
City: Easton, Massachusetts
Placement rate: 95.8%

Stonehill College has the highest job placement rate of any college in Massachusetts, at 95.8%. In addition to excellent job prospects, Stonehill offers its students a tight-knit community feel with intimate class sizes. The school boasts a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 100 programs in the liberal arts, sciences and business.

2. Ohio Northern University (Ohio)

Ohio Northern University
Joe Dunay /

Institution: Ohio Northern University
City: Ada, Ohio
Placement rate: 95.9%

This private, United Methodist Church-affiliated school will surely appeal to students seeking to continue their education at a private religious institution. Those who attend can be reassured by the high job placement rate of 95.9%.

1. Augustana University (South Dakota)

Augustana University
Michael R Helland /

Institution: Augustana University
City: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Placement rate: 96.1%

Augustana University is the No. 1 small college for securing a job, out of more than 1,000 schools. An impressive 96% of alumni are gainfully employed, thanks to the education and support provided by this South Dakota school.

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