Rice students’ coding skills are top 3 in the nation

Skills-based ranking shows Rice is a national leader in fostering diverse talent


By Emily Person
Special to Rice News

Top-tier tech company recruiters may want to put Rice University at the top of their list for early talent hiring.

According to CodeSignal’s 2024 University Ranking Report, Rice ranks No. 3 nationally among colleges and universities based solely on students’ objective coding skills.


CodeSignal, a leading technical interview and assessment platform, analyzes recent job applicants’ current coding and programming skills using the General Coding Framework. This system has become industry standard for evaluating candidates’ technical skills as a growing number of top-tier companies like Meta, Uber and Zoom adopt the platform.

The 2024 University Ranking Report shows that Ivy League schools known for being the most competitive for college admissions are not always the leaders in technical talent development.

“The CodeSignal ranking is based on actual students’ performance and not on reputation or votes,” said Luay Nakhleh, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering and professor of computer science and biosciences. “A No. 3 ranking from CodeSignal reflects the high caliber of our students and our commitment to excellence in education.”

Computing has been central to Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering for decades, within the Department of Computer Science and throughout the rest of the school. The Brown School’s computing curriculum emphasizes the fundamentals while also introducing students to emergent technologies.

In addition, future computing is a primary research focus area at the School of Engineering. The school’s programs prepare students to accelerate future computing technologies that solve real-world challenges with applications in machine learning and artificial intelligence, robotics, security, data science, space technologies, health care and energy transition.

CodeSignal’s latest report also reveals that top talent is diverse talent. Twenty-one of the schools that made CodeSignal’s top 50 list—including Rice—are designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) or Emerging HSIs, indicating that a significant portion of the student body identifies as Latinx.

Latinx students made up 24% of the 2023-24 first-year incoming students at Rice Engineering. CodeSignal’s recognition of Rice as a “noteworthy school for diverse talent” further underscores Rice Engineering’s deep commitment to creating an inclusive, diverse environment.

As CodeSignal concludes, “directly measuring candidates’ skills, rather than looking at what school they attended, is a proven way to build a stronger and more diverse team.”