Universities which focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are outperforming other higher education institutions around the world in terms of student employability, according to higher education experts QS.

QS released its latest Graduate Employability Rankings today, with Stanford University in the U.S. emerging as the best in producing the most work-ready graduates.

In second place was fellow American university the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), followed by China’s Tsinghua University, Australia’s University of Sydney, and the UK’s University of Cambridge to round off the top five.


QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017: Top 10
Rank University Country
1 Stanford University U.S.
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) U.S.
3 Tsinghua University China
4 The University of Sydney Australia
5 University of Cambridge UK
6 Ecole Polytechnique France
7 Columbia University U.S.
8 University of Oxford UK
9 University of California, Berkeley U.S.
10 Princeton University U.S.
Source: QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017


The University of Sydney’s jump to fourth place from its position at 14th place last year was an impressive one, as it leaped over prestigious schools such as University of Oxford, Ecole Polytechnique, and Columbia University.

Commenting on this, QS head of research Ben Sowter said: “This ranking indicates that efforts made by Australian universities to establish themselves as industry-friendly knowledge hubs are paying dividends for their students.”

Five U.S. institutions made the top 10, which also includes two UK universities, and one each from China, Australia, and France.

Among the top 50 universities, there is a diverse range of countries being represented, such as Germany, Singapore, Canada, Japan, and Spain.


“The 2017 instalment of this ranking illustrates that universities with a heavy STEM focus are generally among the most successful in nurturing student employability,” added Sowter, as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Though employers seem to prefer graduates of STEM-focused universities, this doesn’t necessarily mean that students pursuing STEM majors are the ones getting hired, as the rankings don’t show rates of employment by field of study.

To compile the rankings, QS analyzed the graduate employment rates of 21,000 former students and surveyed 37,000 potential employers.

Up to 300 universities worldwide were involved, and were given scores based on five criteria: employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employer/student connections, and graduate employment rates.

Image via Shutterstock

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