Best universities for graduate jobs: Global University Employability Ranking 2017

Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2017

November 16 2017
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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 impact on your graduate prospects.

A global employability ranking, designed by HR consultancy Emerging, conducted by research institute Trendence 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 150 universities span 33 different countries, from the US to Japan. Employers voted both for institutions in their own country and universities 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 Switzerland 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 2017

1. California Institute of Technology

It’s no surprise that Caltech – regarded as one of the best universities in the world – is also a favourite among international employers. All 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 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.

2. Harvard University

Harvard is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious university in the United States. There’s hardly a company in the world that has not heard of its 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 prizewinners.

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

Many students undertake community projects while studying, from sports activities to entrepreneurial endeavours – all extracurricular activities that endow them with essential skills to succeed.

3. Columbia University

Columbia University has climbed an impressive nine places from last year to take this years' third place position in the graduate employability rankings. 

Founded in 1754, it is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and is the fifth oldest in the United States. 

The university is organised into 20 schools including three undergraduate schools. 

The university has a high calibre of alumni which includes five Found Fathers of the United States, 10 Justices of the United States Supreme Court, 96 Nobel laureates, 20 living billionaires and 123 Pulitzer Prize winners. 

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In addition to its world-leading courses, MIT also offers career-enhancing programmes, both for undergraduates, industry leaders and the general public.

Many companies have significant involvement with college courses and research, often spanning different 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.

5. University of Cambridge

Around the world, the University of Cambridge is one of the 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 some of the most sought-after in the world, valued particularly for their specialist knowledge, which comes as a consequence of personal tuition that is unique to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.

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Global University Employability Ranking 2017

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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:
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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