Going to college or university is about more than just preparing 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 43 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 UK and the US.
Singapore, Japan and the UK each have an institution in the top 10, with Japanese 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 2020
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.
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.
In addition to its world-leading courses, the 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 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.
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 institutions favoured by employers, Harvard 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 the essential skills to succeed.
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.
The University of Oxford is the second UK university to feature in the top five of the global employability ranking.
The university has an extensive careers service for both current students and alumni, including CV writing and cover letter advice, internships and skills workshops.
According to the University of Oxford website, six months after leaving, the majority of graduates were in employment or in further study, 8 per cent were doing something else such as taking time out to travel and only 4 per cent were looking for work.
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Global University Employability Ranking 2020
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See here for more information from Emerging about the ranking and methodology
Read more: Best universities in the world