Graduate employability: top universities in the United States ranked by employers 2018

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

November 14 2018
Harvard Yard

In total, 56 US universities appear in the Global University Employability Ranking 2018, 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, California Institute of Technology and Stanford University – but also New York University, which is not always found right at the top of university rankings.

Tuition fees at US colleges vary widely, particularly for international students, so value for money arguably depends both on tuition fees and how likely graduates are to be successful in their future career.

A number of state universities in the US, such as 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. Harvard University

Harvard University 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.

2. California Institute of Technology

According to the Caltech website, 60 per cent of the class of 2017 have gone directly 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. Approximately 150 recruiters from various fields are present at each fair. 

3. 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. 

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Top universities in the United States for graduate employability 2018

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2019 results

US Rank 2018 Graduate Employability Rank 2018 Graduate Employability Rank 2017 University State City 
1 1 2 Harvard University Massachusetts Cambridge
2 2 1 California Institute of Technology California Pasadena
3 3 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Cambridge
4 5 7 Stanford University California Stanford
5 7 11 Princeton University New Jersey Princeton
6 8 10 Yale University Connecticut New Haven
7 14 3 Columbia University New York New York City
8 15 43 New York University New York New York  City
9 21 28 Johns Hopkins University Maryland Baltimore
10 22 20 University of California, Berkeley California Berkeley
11 27 33 Dartmouth College New Hampshire Hanover
12 40 37 Duke University North Carolina Durham
13 41 97 Rice University Texas Houston
14 42 52 University of Chicago Illinois Chicago
15 47 42 Brown University Rhode Island Providence
16 54 39 Brigham Young University-Provo Utah Provo
17 57 107 Ohio State University Ohio Columbus
18 61 53 Carnegie Mellon University Pennsylvania Pittsburgh
19 62 40 University of California, Los Angeles California Los Angeles
20 65 51 Cornell University New York Ithaca
21 67 6 Boston University Massachusetts Boston
22 68 NR Tufts University Massachusetts Medford
23 93 117 Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Atlanta
24 94 95 Georgetown University Washington DC  
25 106 93 University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Philadelphia
26 109 115 University of Texas at Austin Texas Austin
27 115 106 Northwestern University Illinois Evanston
28 118 110 Texas A&M University Texas College Station
29 125 132 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey New Jersey New Brunswick
30 126 114 Purdue University Indiana West Lafayette
31 135 86 University of Southern California California Los Angeles
32 136 NR George Washington University Washington DC  
33 145 NR University of Boston, Massachusetts Massachusetts Boston
34 148 NR Vanderbilt University Tennessee Nashville
=35 150-200 NR Arizona State University Arizona Tempe
=35 150-200 NR Brandeis University Massachusetts Waltham
=35 150-200 56 University of California, San Francisco California San Diego
=35 150-200 NR Case Western Reserve University Ohio Cleveland
=35 150-200 NR Florida Institute of Technology Florida Melbourne
=35 150-200 NR University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Illinois Champaign
=35 150-200 128 University of Michigan Michigan Ann Arbor
=35 150-200 NR Northeastern University Massachusetts Boston
=35 150-200 NR Pennsylvania State University Pennsylvania State College
=35 150-200 86 University of Southern California California Los Angeles
=35 150-200 NR Stony Brook University New York Stony Brook
=46 200-250 NR Babson College Massachusetts Wellesley
=46 200-250 NR Boston College Massachusetts Boston
=46 200-250 NR University of California, Santa Barbara California Santa Barbara
=46 200-250 NR Emory University Georgia Atlanta
=46 200-250 81 Michigan State University Michigan East Lansing
=46 200-250 NR University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill North Carolina Chapel Hill
=46 200-250 NR University of Notre Dame Indiana Notre Dame
=46 200-250 NR Pomona College California Claremont
=46 200-250 NR University of Virginia Virginia Charlottesville
=46 200-250 NR Washington University in St Louis Missouri St Louis
=46 200-250 NR University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin Madison

See the full results of the Global University Employability Ranking 2018

Reader's comments (1)

It's very important for students to understand that it's not only your university's / college's national ranking - or even global ranking that counts - but your prospective employer's opinions of said institutions' graduates. Of course, you can't control this, but it's important to research what employers will expect from yourself and your classmates as opposed to those from other universities. There is definitely a similar theme in the UK, especially with the top 5-10 universities and the types of students that attend. Find out more: - The GRB Team

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