Best universities for graduate jobs: Global University Employability Ranking 2016

Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
November 16 2016

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 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 34 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.

Unsurprisingly, then, 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 for employability 2016

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. 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.

3. 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.

4. University of Cambridge

Around the world, Cambridge is known as the home of 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.

5. Stanford University

When it comes to industry connections and entrepreneurship, Stanford has a far more impressive track record than most.

The university is credited as a key driver in the development of Silicon Valley, which is next door to its campus in Palo Alto. In return, Silicon Valley companies have since provided university students with plenty of professional opportunities.

Stanford faculty and alumni have together founded companies valuing more than $2.7 trillion, which would make it the 10th-largest economy in the world.

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Global University Employability Ranking 2016

Rank Institution Country Score 
1 California Institute of Technology United States 927
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States 887
3 Harvard University United States 853
4 University of Cambridge United Kingdom 836
5 Stanford University United States 805
6 Yale University United States 800
7 University of Oxford United Kingdom 773
8 Technical University of Munich Germany 744
9 Princeton University United States 713
10 University of Tokyo Japan 677
11 Boston University United States 648
12 Columbia University United States 576
13 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong 558
14 University of Toronto Canada 541
15 National University of Singapore Singapore 530
16 Imperial College London United Kingdom 517
17 Peking University China 508
18 McGill University Canada 504
19 University of California, Berkeley United States 487
20 Tokyo Institute of Technology Japan 466
21 HEC Paris France 465
22 Australian National University Australia 438
23 King’s College London United Kingdom 431
24 University of Manchester United Kingdom 420
25 IE University Spain 417
26 EMLYON France 415
27 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland 403
28 Duke University United States 382
29 Johns Hopkins University United States 378
30 Brigham Young University United States 372
31 LMU Munich Germany 368
32 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom 367
33 École Normale Supérieure France 366
34 Dartmouth College United States 348
35 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland 339
36 Mines ParisTech France 336
37 Fudan University China 333
38 Indian Institute of Science India 331
39 New York University United States 329
40 Brown University United States 328
41 University of California, Los Angeles United States 319
42 CentraleSupélec  France 312
43 École Polytechnique France 311
44 University of Montreal/HEC Canada 308
45 London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom 307
46 University of British Columbia Canada 305
47 University of Melbourne Australia 303
48 University College London United Kingdom 301
49 University of Sydney Australia 297
50 Goethe University Frankfurt Germany 291
51 University of Copenhagen Denmark 287
52 Carnegie Mellon University United States 285
53 Shanghai Jiao Tong University China 284
54 Cornell University United States 283
55 University of Chicago United States 282
56 Heidelberg University Germany 279
57 Monash University Australia 276
58 Ghent University Belgium 273
59 Tsinghua University China 272
60 University of California, San Francisco United States 269
61 Humboldt University of Berlin Germany 268
62 Stockholm University Sweden 266
63 KU Leuven Belgium 265
64 University of New South Wales Australia 263
65 Kyoto University Japan 262
66 University of Navarra  Spain 259
=67 Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel 256
=67 Frankfurt School of Finance and Management Germany 256
69 University of Zurich  Switzerland 255
70 University of Helsinki Finland 252
71 University of São Paulo Brazil 247
72 Delft University of Technology Netherlands 245
73 National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech) Taiwan 244
74 ESSEC Business School France 242
75 McMaster University Canada 241
76 Technical University of Denmark Denmark 237
77 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 235
=78 Lund University Sweden 231
=78 University Commerciale Luigi Bocconi Italy 231
80 University of California, San Diego United States 230
81 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany 227
82 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) South Korea 226
83 Michigan State University United States 224
84 University of Bristol United Kingdom 221
85 Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 220
86 University Ramón Llull Spain 217
87 Pierre and Marie Curie University France 216
88 Eindhoven University of Technology Netherlands 214
89 University of Southern California United States 212
90 University of Birmingham United Kingdom 207
91 KTH Royal Institute of Technology  Sweden 205
92 University of Göttingen Germany 202
93 University of Nottingham United Kingdom 200
94 Georgetown University United States 198
95 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands 193
96 Technical University of Berlin Germany 189
97 Sciences Po France 186
98 University of Pennsylvania United States 182
99 University of Lausanne Switzerland 181
100 Northwestern University United States 180
101 Nanyang Technological University Singapore 179
102 Rice University United States 178
=103 University of Texas at Austin United States 177
=103 University of Washington United States 177
105 University of Bern Switzerland 176
106 Polytechnic University of Milan Italy 175
107 Seoul National University South Korea 174
108 Leiden University Netherlands 173
109 Ohio State University United States 172
110 Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education Mexico 171
111 Zhejiang University China 170
112 University of Groningen Netherlands 169
113 Paris-Sud University France 168
114 Texas A&M University United States 166
115 Free University of Berlin Germany 165
116 Karolinska Institute Sweden 163
117 Purdue University United States 162
118 Osaka University Japan 160
=119 Georgia Institute of Technology United States 159
=119 Nanjing University China 159
121 Pohang University of Science and Technology  South Korea 158
=122 Technion Israel Institute of Technology   Israel 157
=122 University of Oslo  Norway 157
124 University of Alberta Canada 156
=125 University of Basel Switzerland 154
=125 Lomonosov Moscow State University Russia 154
=127 National Taiwan University Taiwan 153
=127 University of Science and Technology of China  China 153
129 Keio University Japan 152
=130 University of Michigan United States 151
=130 RWTH Aachen University Germany 151
132 EDHEC France 150
133 University of Geneva Switzerland 149
134 Trinity College Dublin Republic of Ireland 148
135 Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey United States 147
136 University of Iceland Iceland 146
137 Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Italy 144
138 City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 141
139 Tel Aviv University Israel 139
140 University of Auckland  New Zealand 137
141 National Tsing Hua University Taiwan 134
142 University of Florida United States 133
143 University of Wisconsin-Madison United States 132
144 University of Vienna Austria 130
145 Saint Petersburg State University Russia 125
146 University of Buenos Aires  Argentina 122
147 American-University of Dubai UAE 110
148 University of Malaya (UM) Malaysia 109
149 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia 104
150 National Autonomous University of Mexico Mexico 102

See more analysis in the full feature


Reader's comments (6)

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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