Graduate employability: top universities in the United States ranked by employers 2020

US universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2020

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November 19 2020
Harvard Yard

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A total of 51 US universities appear in the Global University Employability Ranking 2020, designed by HR consultancy Emerging and published exclusively by Times Higher Education. The ranking reveals which universities recruiters at top companies think are the best at preparing students for the workplace.

The top 10 includes many of the usual suspects – Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University – but also New York University, which is not always found at the top of university rankings.

Tuition fees at US colleges vary widely, particularly for international students, so value for money arguably depends on both the cost of tuition and the likelihood that graduates will succeed in their future career.

A number of state universities in the US, such as the University of California, Berkeley, which generally have lower tuition fees, do particularly well when evaluated by employers.


Employability rankings by country

Top universities in the world 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 three universities in the US for graduate employability

1. California Institute of Technology

According to the Caltech website, a high percentage of graduates go straight into the workforce. Many of these students have been recruited on campus.

The Career Development Center at the university provides networking sessions and twice-annual careers fairs to assist students in finding a job. Some 150 recruiters from various fields are present at each fair.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have helped to develop some of the most innovative technologies of today, such as 3D printing and bionic prostheses.

Among MIT’s alumni are 89 Nobel laureates, 58 National Medal of Science winners and 48 MacArthur fellows.

3. Harvard University

Harvard is not only one of the most prestigious universities in the world, it is also the top choice for recruiters, for many reasons.

Students are taught by world-leading academics and can take advantage of events on campus outside the core curriculum, on topics ranging from Chilean film to the psychology of prosperity.

Alumni are supplied with a HarvardKey, which gives them access to an alumni directory to help them build a strong professional network.


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Top universities in the United States for graduate employability 2020

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2021 results

US Rank 2020 Employability Rank 2020 Employability Rank 2019 Institution State
1 1 2 California Institute of Technology California
2 2 3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts
3 3 1 Harvard University Massachusetts
4 7 5 Stanford University California
5 10 9 Yale University Connecticut
6 11 16 New York University New York
7 14 8 Princeton University New Jersey
8 16 13 Columbia University New York
9 19 21 Johns Hopkins University Maryland
10 33 24 University of California, Berkeley California
11 42 38 The University of Chicago Illinois
12 47 42 Duke University North Carolina
13 51 27 Dartmouth College New Hampshire
14 60 75 Boston University Massachusetts
15 62 76 Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia
16 64 88 Carnegie Mellon University Pennsylvania
17 65 63 University of California, Los Angeles California
18 67 56 Rice University Texas
19 72 70 Cornell University New York
20 75 67 Brown University Rhode Island
21 94 84 Tufts University Massachusetts
22 101 82 University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
23 117 100 Georgetown University Washington DC
24 124 110 University of Texas at Austin Texas
25 134 119 Northwestern University Illinois
26 135 121 Texas A&M University Texas
27 145 160 Arizona State University Arizona
28 148 224 Northeastern University Massachusetts
29 151 135 University of Southern California California
30 163 163 Florida Institute of Technology Florida
31 167 131 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey New Jersey
32 168 137 Purdue University West Lafayette Indiana
33 172 151 University of Massachusetts Massachusetts
34 179 152 Boston College Massachusetts
35 180 201 University of California, San Francisco California
36 190 198 Vanderbilt University Tennessee
37 193 199 Case Western Reserve University Ohio
38 194 184 Brandeis University Massachusetts
39 205 211 University of California, San Diego California
40 206 172 Babson College Massachusetts
41 208 202 Emory University Georgia
42 212 239 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Michigan
43 213 208 University of Notre Dame Indiana
44 214 213 Washington University in St Louis Missouri
45 219 200 Penn State (Main campus) Pennsylvania
46 220 203 Michigan State University Michigan
47 231 216 University of Virginia (Main campus) Virginia
48 235 244 Stony Brook University New York
49 238 245 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill North Carolina
50 241 207 Ohio State University (Main campus) Ohio
51 245 - Minerva Schools at KGI California

See the full results of the Global University Employability Ranking 2020

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