Ready For Liftoff?

This week we unveil "Best Places to Launch a Career," a new feature for young college grads. The ranking, a major expansion of BusinessWeek's Best B-Schools coverage, couldn't be more timely or useful. Some 1.4 million college graduates are entering the workforce this year, and many have no clear destination in mind. Our analysis, the most comprehensive of its kind, sifts feedback from students, college career counselors, and the employers themselves to reveal which companies offer the biggest advantages for entry-level employees, such as the highest pay, the most rapid advancement, and the best training programs.

The resulting list of 50 top companies is a road map for the Echo Boomers -- sometimes called the Millennial Generation -- as they take off on the biggest trip of their lives: their careers. This group, 80 million strong, born between 1982 and 2000, is a generation unlike any other. If the eldest of them are any indication, they're skeptical, picky, and restless. And more than some previous generations, they want employers who will respect their ideals and give them a chance to make a real impact.

In her Cover Story, Staff Editor Lindsey Gerdes explores some of the workplace changes being triggered by the first wave of Millennials to enter the workforce. The story is required reading not only for young job seekers but for those who do the hiring. To attract and retain this new generation, employers may need to throw out the old recruiting playbook and start fresh.

Under the direction of Associate Editor Louis Lavelle, the Best Places team also has created a robust new subchannel at There you'll find profiles of each employer, slide shows, tips on avoiding first-year mistakes, interactive tools, and a video roundtable with recruiters from top companies. Tune in to BusinessWeek Weekend (check your local TV listings) to find out why some of the top Wall Street firms think the best job candidates are former college athletes. We hope you find it all useful and enlightening.

By Stephen J. Adler, Editor-in-Chief

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