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10 of the Best Canadian Universities for Graduate Employability in 2020

By Sabrina Collier

Updated March 22, 2021 Updated March 22, 2021

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020 includes 16 of the best universities in Canada, all included among the world’s best institutions for promoting the employability of their graduates. The ranking is compiled based on a methodology which considers each university’s employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employer-student connections and graduate employment rate.

Read on as we count down 10 of the best Canadian universities for graduate employability in 2020.

The 10 Highest Ranked Universities in Canada for Graduate Employability

Canada rank

Global rank




University of Toronto



University of Waterloo



University of Alberta



McMaster University



Queen’s University



Western University



University of Calgary



Université de Montréal



University of Victoria



Carleton University

Carleton University=10. Carleton University

Carleton University, based in capital city Ottawa, features in the 301-500 range of the QS Graduate Employability Rankings in 2020, achieving its highest score in the alumni outcomes indicator at 168th in the world. Among its alumni are three Nobel Prize winners, as well as many notable figures in politics, entertainment, business, journalism and more.

The university plays an active role in supporting its students’ employment prospects, with its career service offering a number of co-op programs, careers fairs, networking events, workshops and support with finding part-time and volunteer work.

Six more Canadian universities are ranked 301-500 for graduate employability this year: Concordia UniversityDalhousie UniversityUniversité Laval, Simon Fraser UniversityUniversity of Guelph, and York University.  

9. University of Victoria

University of Victoria

The 2020 results see the University of Victoria (UVic) climb from the 301-500 range to now rank 251-300 for graduate employability. It achieves its best score in the partnerships with employers indicator (ranked 143rd), with its students completing more than 4,200 co-op terms each year with over 1,350 employers across Canada and around the world. Co-ops therefore play a key role in the university experience at UVic, with 43 percent of eligible students taking part.

8. Université de Montréal

University of Montreal

Ranked 171-180 for graduate employability in 2020, the Francophone Université de Montréal receives its best score in the employer reputation indicator (112th). One of the largest universities in Canada (with 67,400 students), its notable alumni includes the 15th prime minister of Canada, Pierre-Elliott Trudeau, computer scientist Yoshua Bengio, Louise Arbour, (the fifth United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) amongst many others.

7. University of Calgary

University of Calgary

Next in our look at the top universities in Canada for graduate employability is the University of Calgary, which appears in the 131-140 range of this year’s ranking. It achieves its strongest score in the partnerships with employers indicator at 99th, and is itself one of the top employers in the province of Alberta. Its alumni includes Java inventor James Gosling, former prime minister Stephen Harper and astronaut Robert Thirsk.

6. Western University

Western University

The 2020 results of the graduate employability rankings see Western University climb from 141-150 to now place in the 121-130 range, thanks to an improved score in the alumni outcomes indicator. The university’s Student Success Centre helps students enhance their employability and get ready for the workplace via internships, co-ops, volunteering, global experiences, job shadowing and Community Engaged Learning (CEL) programs such as Alternative Spring Break.

5. Queen’s University

Queen's University

Ranked 101-110 for graduate employability in 2020, Queen’s University, located in Kingston, Ontario, earns its best score in the alumni outcomes indicator at 75th. An example of the high level of employability enjoyed by its graduates can be seen in the university’s law department, where 95.4 of the class of 2018 were in law-related placements by the September after graduation.

4. McMaster University

McMaster University

McMaster University is ranked 98th in the world for graduate employability, down slightly on last year but nonetheless in the five top universities in Canada. It gets its best score in the partnerships with employers indicator and runs The Forge, an on-campus start-up accelerator, as well as the award-winning McMaster Innovation Park, which aims to “transform ideas from vision to commercial reality”.

3. University of Alberta

University of Alberta

The University of Alberta retains its position of 87th in the world for graduate employability in 2020, and is another of the top universities in Canada to earn its highest score for partnerships with employers, as well as boasting one of the best graduate employment rates in the country. Its careers center offers career mentoring, job shadowing, internship and work experience opportunities, grants and funding and more.

2. University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo

The University of Waterloo retains its position of 25th in the world for graduate employability in 2020, with its best score for the partnerships with employers indicator at 19th. It also claims the best score among the top universities in Canada for its graduate employment rate (just a few spots above the University of Alberta). The university is known for operating the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, allowing students to apply what they’ve learnt in the classroom to real-life settings.

1. University of Toronto

University of Toronto

Concluding our look at the top 10 universities in Canada for graduate employability, the University of Toronto is down slightly to 16th place but nonetheless is first in the country for promoting the employability of its graduates. It gained the highest score in Canada for three of the five indicators: employer reputation, alumni outcomes, and partnerships with employers (for which it ranks fifth).

There are four Canadian prime ministers among the University of Toronto’s alumni, amongst other successful figures such as actor Donald Sutherland and the country’s first female astronaut and first neurologist in space, Roberta Bondar.

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This article was originally published in September 2019 . It was last updated in March 2021

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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