Rating universities on employability: QS Stars | Top Universities
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Rating universities on employability: QS Stars

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Craig OCallaghan

Updated Apr 25, 2024
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QS Stars: Employability

The job market is undergoing a seismic shift.  

Technologies such as artificial intelligence are reshaping industries and changing skill requirements. The very concept of ‘work’ is evolving. In this dynamic environment, choosing the right university isn't just about finding a good course; it's about investing in your future with an institution that equips you with the agility and skills needed to thrive in the face of constant change. 

QS Stars shines a light on exactly how well universities prepare their graduates for the world of work. Universities can be assessed using the criteria below to measure the quality of their graduate employability. 

For the indicators below, institutions have the option to choose between employer reputation or campus employer presence. 

Employer reputation  

Universities with strong ties to respected employers can improve your job prospects. These connections indicate that their programmes are aligned with industry needs and equip you with the skills employers seek.  

Here, full points are awarded to institution if they received 50 employer nominations from the most recent QS Global Employer Survey analysis. 

OR Campus employer presence 

Having employers actively involved on institution’s campus is crucial. It means that as a student, you’ll have direct access to industry contacts and job opportunities during your studies, setting you up for a smoother transition into your career. 

Institutions are awarded top points in this category if distinct companies are present at campus events within a recent 12-month period.  

Graduate employment rate  

The Graduate employment rate quantifies the percentage of recent graduates who have secured employment shortly after completing their degree. It’s a valuable metric for evaluating how effectively a university helps students transition from academic study to professional employment.  

Institutions are awarded full points if over 90% of their graduates are in work or start a business within 24 months of graduating. 

For the below, institutions have the option to choose between employability outcomes or alumni impact. 

Employability outcomes  

This indicator measures the percentage of graduates employed within 24 months of graduation, or who work in their field of study.  

Strong employability outcomes signal that the institution effectively equips graduates for successful careers, reflecting the relevance and value of the education you receive. 

OR Alumni impact 

Successful alumni contribute to society and enhance a university's prestige. A strong alumni network can provide you with industry contacts, mentorship and career advice.  

Institutions are awarded full points if they have at least 50 alumni in the Alumni impact list of the QS World University Rankings. 

Career service support 

Having dedicated advisory staff is a tremendous asset for graduates on the job hunt, demonstrating the university's commitment to helping you securing employment after completing your studies. 

Points are awarded for universities that has the following:  

  • A minimum of 10 career advisors OR one career advisor per 1,000 students 

  • Career interview trainings or CV/cover letter writing support 

  • At least one on-campus career fair in the last academic year organised by the academic institution 

  • Career advising sessions available for students 

  • Online career portal with access to job vacancies or career advisor appointment system 

Again, institutions have the option to choose between apprenticeships or internships. 

Apprenticeships 

 Apprenticeships can forge valuable connections with companies and industries. Taking part in an apprenticeship can pave the way to   partnerships, sponsorships, and real-world research projects.  

Full points are awarded for institutions if they have 5% of total students enrolled in programmes with apprenticeships. 

OR Internships 

Universities offering internships typically see stronger job prospects for their graduates. These opportunities can open doors to future employment.  

Full points are awarded for institutions with a percentage of students enrolled in programmes where internship is part of the curriculum and organised/supported by the university. 

Navigate the evolving job market with confidence. By evaluating where universities’ strengths lie, QS Stars helps you find the perfect programme for your career goals. 

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