Rating universities on employability: QS Stars | Top Universities

Rating universities on employability: QS Stars

By Staff W

Updated September 23, 2022 Updated September 23, 2022

The QS Stars university rating system gives universities a rating for graduate employability – an indication of students' future career prospects. How is this measured?

When thinking about what university you want to attend, and what course you want to take, it’s more than likely that the issue of employment will have crossed your mind. After all, it’s the very reason that many people go to university in the first place.

Therefore, before applying to a university, it’s useful to see how well graduates from that university tend to fare in terms of finding work, particularly in a job market which is still reeling from the effects of the economic crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The graduate employability section of QS Stars measures this, allowing you to identify universities which are good at preparing their students for the challenges of finding work.

There are three criteria used to measure this:

Employer reputation


QS traditionally includes the Employer Reputation as a key performance area in all its ranking exercises. Of course, this metric adopts a leading role in a ranking focused solely on employability.


Full points are awarded to institution if they received 50 employer nominations

from the most recent QS Global

Employer Survey analysis.



Campus employer presence


Employer presence on campus is vital in ensuring that students are surrounded by business and industry contacts, to make use of while studying while also setting them up for job-seeking after graduation.


Institutions are awarded top points in this category if 200 distinct companies (or a number equivalent to 1% of the school’s full-time student population) are present at campus events within a recent 12-month period.


Graduate employment rate

Perhaps the most obvious way to assess how good a university is at propelling its graduates from the campus to the workplace is to see how many of its current crop of graduates managed to find work after graduating – and that what this measure looks at.

However, not everyone wants to go into work straight away, so excluded from this measure are those who aren’t seeking employment – a category consisting mostly of those who choose to continue their studies. If over 90% of job-seeking graduates are in work or started a business within 24 months, maximum points are awarded, with points awarded on a scale down to 50%.

Careers service support

These advisory staff can prove invaluable in helping graduates find work, and their presence is indicative of a university’s appreciation of its responsibility to help its students find work after graduation.

Points are awarded for universities that has the following:

  • 10 career advisors scaled down to two OR one career advisor per 1000 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

QS Stars does the evaluating for you, so you can easily see where a university’s strengths are in order to find a programme that suits your priorities.

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in September 2022

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