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Degrees of the Future 2022: Methodology

Here's how we selected the honorees for the 2022 Degrees of the Future.

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Summary

For the first time, Gizmodo and Statista are awarding U.S. higher education institutions within 25 future-relevant fields of study. Our top lists are based on different performance indicators derived from the following research methods:

  • a) Independent survey among the relevant target groups of university employees (e.g., professors, administrators) as well as students and alumni. More than 15,000 people were actively invited to take part in our survey. In addition, all interested persons from the target groups named above were able to participate via an open survey link provided on gizmodo.com. Students and alumni were also recruited through a specialized online access panel. The main survey was conducted online between January 10th and March 30th, 2022 and recorded more than 10,000 recommendations. Self recommendations of university employees for their own institution were not considered in our evaluation. Apart from recommending institutions for each selected field of study, survey respondents were asked to rate additional dimensions such as academic expertise or research achievements.
  • b) Statistical data published by the U.S. government: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the College Scorecard and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Our analysis includes 10 performance indicators on overall university level e.g., enrollment or costs, and also indicators on fields of study level e.g., graduates have been considered.
  • c) Bibliometric data indicating the impact of published scholarly papers by an institution in a particular field of study.

To receive an award, an institution had to be recommended and to receive a total score value above average.

The awarded institutions have been sorted in alphabetical order in our top lists.

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Disclaimer: The rankings are comprised exclusively of U.S. institutions that are eligible regarding the scope described in this document. A mention in the ranking is a positive recognition based on recommendations and publicly available data sources at the time. The ranking is the result of an elaborate process. Furthermore, events preceding or following the period 01/10/2022 06/15/2022 and/or pertaining to individual persons affiliated/associated to the institutions were not included in the metrics. As such, the results of this ranking should not be used as the sole source of information for future deliberations. The information provided in this ranking should be considered in conjunction with other available information about institutions or, if possible, accompanied by a visit to an institution. The quality of institutions that are not included in the rankings is not disputed.

Approach

The top lists are based on a mix of survey and institutional data.

Survey Data Collection

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We surveyed university employees such as professors, administrators, HR professionals and recruiters, students, and alumni.

In a first step, respondents were asked to select future-relevant fields of studies in which they were able to recommend institutions playing a leading role. After this selection, respondents were asked to recommend institutions and evaluate them in different quality dimensions.

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Institutional data

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Institutional Data: The performance indicators include KPIs reflecting the quality of the institution and faculty itself, but also costs and outcome measures. In addition, graduation statistics at field of study level are included in the evaluation. The data is indexed so that each metric can be compared with other metrics.

The data is based on various sources: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), College Scorecard and National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

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Bibliometric Data: We calculated the impact factor of published scholarly papers per eligible institution and field of study.

The bibliometric data is provided by a specialized scholarly literature database platform publishing data of U.S. institutions for various fields of study. Published KPIs are the number of scholarly works or scholarly citations.

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Analysis and scoring model

The scoring model covers various criteria to evaluate the strength of individual institutions within selected “degrees of the future.”

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Notes: 1) Based on public data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), College Scorecard and the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES).2) Based on survey data collected from January to March 2022.3) The bibliometric data is provided by a specialized scholarly literature database platform publishing data of US institutions for various fields of study. Published KPIs are the number of scholarly works or scholarly citations.
Notes: 1) Based on public data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), College Scorecard and the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES).2) Based on survey data collected from January to March 2022.3) The bibliometric data is provided by a specialized scholarly literature database platform publishing data of US institutions for various fields of study. Published KPIs are the number of scholarly works or scholarly citations.

Fields of study

U.S. institutions are awarded in 25 different future-relevant fields of study:

Biology: Epidemiology, Genetics, Immunology & Virology, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Neuroscience

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Computer Science & IT: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Graphics, Cybersecurity, Data Science, Game Design, UX Design

Engineering & Physics: Aerospace/Astronautical Engineering, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Autonomy & Robotics, Biomedical Engineering, Energy Engineering, Environmental Engineering

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Medical and Healthcare: Health Informatics, Health Research & Innovation, Medical Microbiology & Bacteriology

Social Science: Diversity & Gender Studies, International Relations & International Security Studies

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Interdisciplinary: Bioinformatics, Environmental Science and Climate Change, Sustainability, Urban Planning

About Gizmodo

From reviews of the latest phones, TVs, laptops, shows, and movies to the latest news about privacy, tech and environmental policy, and labor, Gizmodo aims to cover the worlds of technology, science, and entertainment with transparency, accuracy, humor, and blunt honesty.

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About Statista

Statista publishes worldwide established rankings and company listings with high-profile media partners.

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This research and analysis service is based on the success of statista.com. The leading data and business intelligence portal provides statistics, business relevant data, and various market and consumer studies/surveys.


Return to the full Degrees of the Future 2022 list.