Top 5 Bay Area Companies with the Most SCU Alumni
Dean Ku M.A. '09
According to LinkedIn, the top five employers of SCU alumni in the San Francisco Bay Area are (in descending order), Cisco, Apple, Google, Oracle, and Lockheed Martin. While it’s not surprising that tech firms hire a lot of SCU graduates, a deeper dive may provide some unexpected insights.
did you know that the majority of SCU alumni are actually in non-technical roles?
Apple, Google, Cisco, and Oracle are among the biggest tech companies in the world, and one would expect them to employ many Santa Clara alumni in technical roles such as engineering and IT. But did you know that the majority of SCU alumni are actually in non-technical roles? For example, 63 percent of SCU alumni at Google work in non-engineering and non-IT roles, including project management, operations, finance, HR, communications, marketing, and sales.
The top peer endorsed LinkedIn Skills of these Google employees include leadership, management, and strategy, which highlight the importance of critical thinking, but also soft skills. In fact, emotional intelligence (EQ) is a huge predictor of success. According to Carnegie Institute of Technology research, only 15 percent of our financial success is attributable to technical ability. The remaining 85 percent results from “personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead.” In other words, “people skills or skills highly related to emotional intelligence were crucial skills.”
the top 10 majors of SCU graduates at Google include those in the liberal arts, like communications, psychology, political science, as well as business majors
Another interesting fact is that the top 10 majors of SCU graduates at Google include those in the liberal arts, like communications, psychology, political science, as well as business majors such as finance and marketing, in addition to the expected computer, electrical, and mechanical engineering majors.
One of SCU’s most prominent alumni at Google is David Drummond,* senior vice president of Corporate Development at Alphabet (Google’s newly named holding company) and chairman of Google’s investment arms, Google Ventures and CapitalG. He was also formerly on the board of directors at Uber (back when Google and Uber were on friendlier terms).
In many ways, Drummond is your “typical” SCU graduate at Google. He may not have a technical background (B.A. in history), but he has played an instrumental role in the success of the company. According to his bio, he started with Google in 2002 as “Google’s first outside counsel and worked with Larry Page and Sergey Brin to incorporate the company and secure its initial rounds of financing.” As a graduate of Stanford Law, Drummond certainly didn’t lack subject matter expertise, but developed a strong foundation as an undergraduate at SCU, building the self-awareness, empathy, and social skills required of an individual with strong EQ.
While leading technology companies like Google are investing billions of dollars in technologies focused on autonomous vehicles, advanced robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, there’s still no substitute for talented humans with strong soft skills (like SCU graduates) to run the business. Go Broncos!
*David Drummond spoke on campus in 2011 as part of the SCU President’s Speaker Series.