Best universities for graduate jobs: Global University Employability Ranking 2018

Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2018

November 14 2018
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Going to college or university isn’t just about preparing you for a career, but choosing the right institution and course can certainly improve your graduate prospects.

A global employability ranking, designed by HR consultancy Emerging and published exclusively by Times Higher Education, reveals which universities the recruiters at top companies think are the best at preparing students for the workplace.

These 250 universities span 41 countries, from the US to Japan. Employers voted for institutions both in their own country and around the world, if they recruit internationally. 

In some countries, graduate jobs are not easy to come by, but in European countries such as France, Switzerland and Germany, professional experience is built into degree programmes.

France, Germany and China are among the best represented countries in the employability ranking, along with the United Kingdom and the United States.

Both Germany and Japan have an institution in the top 10, with Chinese and Canadian universities also appearing high in the ranking.


Employability rankings by country

Top universities in the United States for employability
Top universities in the UK for employability
Top universities in Canada for employability
Top universities in Australia for employability
Top universities in the Netherlands for employability
Top universities in France for employability
Top universities in Germany for employability 


Top universities for employability 2018

1. Harvard University

Harvard University is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious college in the United States, with a reputation for admitting and producing highly intelligent and skilled students.

More than 30 heads of state are Harvard alumni and the university also boasts 48 Nobel prizewinners and 48 Pulitzer winners.

Like many schools favoured by employers, Harvard also has a long history of groundbreaking research and innovation.

Many students undertake extracurricular activities while studying, from sports activities to entrepreneurial endeavours, which endow them with essential skills to succeed.

2. California Institute of Technology

It’s no surprise that the California Institute of Technology – regarded as one of the best universities in the world – is also a favourite among international employers. Students are admitted on the basis of strong maths, science and engineering skills and interest, which seems to serve them well in their future careers.

Not only do Caltech students learn the fundamentals across a range of science and engineering subjects, they also get to grips with the most innovative tools to address some of society’s most pressing challenges.

The student population is tiny compared with other colleges – one of the smallest in the world, with just over 1,000 undergraduates and 1,200 postgraduates. This close community allows for excellent relationships between tutors and staff.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In addition to its world-leading courses, Massachusetts Institute of Technology also offers career-enhancing programmes for undergraduates, industry leaders and the general public.

Many companies have significant involvement with college courses and research, often spanning disciplines and lasting for a number of years.

MIT students, alumni and faculty members play key roles in entrepreneurial innovations, including developing advanced computer networks, securing venture capital transactions, and biotechnology.

4. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is among the world’s best and most elite universities.

Its history stretches back to the 13th century, when the university was founded by Oxford scholars taking refuge after conflicts with townspeople.

Now, its graduates are globally sought after, valued particularly for their specialist knowledge, gained as a result of personal tuition that is unique to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.

5. Stanford University 

With its proximity to Silicon Valley, Stanford University is a good training ground for students looking to move into the tech industry. 

Stanford alumni have founded many successful companies, including Google, Nike, Netflix, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Instagram and Charles Schwab. 

Graduates have also founded non-profit organisations such as Kiva and SIRUM.


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Global University Employability Ranking 2018

Search institution name or country to filter by that nation

Rank 2018InstitutionCountryScoreRank 2017ChangeWorld University Ranking 2019University_link

This year an increased number of votes allow for a “challenger” list of institutions placed between 150 and 250 in the ranking to also be published in two bands. The full "challenger list can be seen below. 

OrderRanking bandInstitutionCountryScoreRank 2017ChangeWorld University Ranking 2019University_link

Read more: Best universities in the world

Reader's comments (7)

Why doesn't the ranking order of US Universities in the global 150 list match the same ranking order of the US-only list i.e. Caltech No.1 on the 150 list (with New York Uni 14 places behind all US HEIs) but NYU is No.1 in your listing of top universities in the US?
The global list uses the votes of a panel of local recruiters and a second panel of international managing directors, whereas the US-only list is actually a different ranking based only on the votes of local (US) recruiters. In this case, NYU received more votes than CalTech from local recruiters, but less votes in total when the votes of the second panel were taken into account for the global ranking.
I am very astonished that there is no dedicated list of German universities, but from smaller countries like the Netherlands (no offense intended), and despite the fact that 10 German universities are placed in the top 100. According to the comment from Carly Minsky this list would come from the local recruiters which would be very interesting to compare.
Here you are: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/best-universities/graduate-employability-top-universities-germany-ranked-employers
Thanks for the suggestion wkorten. I will explore the possibility of getting a Germany article published this week.
I'm somewhat doubtful of the methodology employed in that this list seems restricted entirely to Research Doctoral universities and is devoid of any of the fine liberal arts colleges in the United States that prepare their graduates with the critical thinking skills essential in entrepreneurship, management, analysis and consulting, many of whom have disproportionately distinguished themselves in scientific and engineering achievement. While Babson College and Gettysburg College are in the US list, I'm surprised not to see schools such as Swarthmore, Amherst, Haverford, Oberlin, Reed, Cooper Union, Bryn Mawr, Pomona and Carleton, among others, as providing highly employable graduates, especially in comparison to the many large public universities that are more accomplished for their graduate research than their undergraduate outcomes. I suspect there is a misunderstanding of the available diversity of American colleges either in the part of the survey organizers or the respondents.
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