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The 120 Best Places for Students and Grads to Launch their Career

Learn more about the winners of Handshake's first-ever Early Talent Awards!

For years, Handshake has been the #1 place university and college students go to find jobs. Born out of a real need to level the entry level playing field, that journey has never been no more critical than it is now.

In a year full of firsts, students took the unprecedented step toward the virtual classroom. And employers heroically transitioned their teams and programs to continue providing meaningful opportunities for students and grads to launch their careers.

That’s why we want to recognize the agencies, companies, and organizations that—despite odds—took a leap of faith and immense creativity to support their next future leaders. The first annual Handshake Early Talent Awards (ETAs) celebrate these employers: the visionaries, innovators, and opportunity democratizers that set the stage for what 21st Century engagement should look like.

In its inaugural debut, the ETAs recognize 120 employers across 12 categories, from accounting to banking to manufacturing to technology. Congratulations to our winners! It’s these places that students increasingly gravitate toward.

What are Handshake’s Early Talent Awards?

Handshake’s ETAs is an annual awards program recognizing employers for best-in-class digital engagement programs. In its first year, over 500k employers on Handshake were evaluated using intentionally deliberate methodology to produce 120 winners across 12 industry categories.

Why do these awards matter to students?

Whether students are looking for an internship or a full-time job, Handshake ETA winners are considered some of the best places to launch early careers. Based on Handshake activity, we know that these organizations go above and beyond to connect and engage with great candidates.

And their student testimonials check out, too. See what your peers have had to say about their remarkable experiences at these future-forward workplaces by visiting their Employer Page on Handshake. From there, you’ll also be able to see open jobs and upcoming events and follow them to remain in the loop on new jobs once they become available.

How were the winners selected?

Handshake works with a lot of incredible employers, so choosing only 120 award winners was difficult to say the least. And since the size of a company isn’t directly correlated to the student experience, we didn’t want to just recognize the largest companies hiring on Handshake (although there’s certainly nothing wrong with being mighty).

Every day, employers trust Handshake to source, engage, and hire their next class of early talent. That’s why our methodology prioritizes student engagement over company or hiring scale. We reviewed platform activity across our network of over 500k employers from March 1 through December 31, 2020 along weighted criteria that tracks:

  1. Student interest, which measures how many views an employer receives per job.
  2. Message engagement, which reviews how many students click on an employer message.
  3. Brand resonance, which looks at the number of applicants per job impression, like the number of times a job card appears in a student’s search or suggested jobs.
  4. Virtual event participation, which highlights how many students, on average, register for an employer’s virtual event or virtual career fair session.

Where do I find out who won?

Visit Handshake’s Early Talent Awards launch site for more information about this year’s winners. Whether you’re an employer, higher education institute, or student, check out relevant answers to your FAQs to see how you can celebrate these employers (or earn your shot at a future award).

Why haven't I heard of some of these employers?

Although all 500 of the Fortune 500 are on Handshake, we also work with thousands of nonprofits, startups, and even mom and pops. We determined the list of winners based on their engagement track record. So while you might not recognize some of these employers, their early talent program is certainly worth learning more about.

Take this opportunity and get to know them by visiting their Employer Page on Handshake.

Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.