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.
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 2021
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.
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 good relationships between tutors and staff.
Harvard University is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious college in the United States, with a reputation for admitting and producing highly accomplished students.
More than 30 heads of state are Harvard alumni, and the university also counts 38 Nobel prizewinners and 48 Pulitzer winners among its alumni.
Like many institutions favoured by employers, Harvard has a long history of groundbreaking research and innovation.
Many students undertake extracurricular activities while studying, from sport to entrepreneurial endeavours, which equip 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 it 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.
Stanford University is located in Pasadena, California, right next to the world-renowned Silicon Valley.
In total, companies founded by Stanford affiliates and alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, which would be the 10th largest economy in the world. These firms include Google, Nike, Netflix, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Instagram and Charles Schwab.
Stanford alumni also have founded non-profit organisations such as Kiva and SIRUM.
How to boost your career prospects as a university student
Class of 2020: tips for looking for a job
Coronavirus: what now for soon-to-be graduates?
Your student experience is on hold; career development doesn’t have to be
Video: advice from employers for university students on career development
Global University Employability Ranking 2021
Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2022 profile
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2021