10 of the Best US Universities for Graduate Employability 2018 | Top Universities

10 of the Best US Universities for Graduate Employability 2018

By Sabrina Collier

Updated September 11, 2018 Updated September 11, 2018

Click here to read the latest version of this article, based on the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019.

There are 81 US universities featured among the global top 500 for graduate employability in the recently published QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2018, including 19 in the top 50. This ranking aims to celebrate the universities which are skilled at preparing students for the workplace, based on a methodology which measures each university’s employer reputation, alumni outcomes, graduate employment rate and other aspects.

Read on to discover 10 of the best US universities for graduate employability in 2018. 

1. Stanford University

Stanford University

Continuing to rank first both in the US and the world for graduate employability, Stanford University is the best university in the world for the Partnerships with Employers indicator, as well as ranking second for Alumni Outcomes. Situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford is known for producing many successful business leaders and entrepreneurs, including the founders or co-founders of household names such as Google, LinkedIn, YouTube, Nike, Netflix and Snapchat, to name a few. The university’s Career Development Center has recently been renamed BEAM (Bridging Education, Ambition & Meaningful Work) and offers career coaching appointments, employer connections events and fairs, expert advice, and experimental trips to explore different workplaces.

2. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


Climbing from 15th to second in the world in this year’s Graduate Employability Ranking, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) receives its strongest scores for Alumni Outcomes and Partnerships with Employers (ranked eighth in the world for both). Notable alumni of UCLA include seven Nobel Prize winners, the founders of Blizzard Entertainment, and entertainment figures such as Carol Burnett, George Takei and Francis Ford Coppola.

3. Harvard University


Having opted out of last year’s ranking, Harvard University enters this year at third place both in the world and the US. It receives an unbeatable first place score for Alumni Outcomes, reflecting the huge number of successful individuals who’ve studied at Harvard, such as Natalie Portman, Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, Margaret Atwood and Matt Damon. Harvard achieves third place for Employer Reputation, with employers certainly respecting Harvard’s prestige.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Ranked fifth in the world for graduate employability, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is another of the best US universities for the Employer Reputation and Alumni Outcomes indicators (ranked fourth in the world for both). The university supports students’ career prospects with its Global Education and Career Development center, which also offers advice on going abroad for work or study.

Discover the 10 most successful MIT graduates >

5. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

UC Berkeley

Another of the best US universities for graduate employability is the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), ranked ninth in the world and achieving its strongest score for the Employer Reputation indicator. The university’s Haas School of Business includes the Berkeley Haas Entrepreneurship Program, which integrates entrepreneurial thinking into the student experience, assisting students in launching new ventures, and UCB’s alumni include 33 Nobel Prize winners, 17 billionaires, and 11 Turing Award winners.

6. New York University (NYU)

New York University Stern School of Business

Climbing an impressive 27 places this year to now rank 11th in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings, New York University (NYU) achieves third place in the world for the Employer-Student Connection indicator, with the university running a range of careers fairs for all majors, plus fairs for specific academic majors. Ideally located in New York City (one of the world’s leading financial centers), NYU also ranks ninth for Alumni Outcomes.

7. Columbia University

Columbia University

Another New York City-based institution, Columbia University is ranked 12th for graduate employability in 2018. Columbia receives its highest score for Alumni Outcomes, thanks to an array of successful alumni, including US presidents and other heads of state, 39 Nobel Prize winners, and other notable figures such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Katie Holmes and Leonard Cohen. Its Columbia University Center for Career Education aims to help students achieve their career goals through career fairs, counseling, workshops and more.

Trying to decide between NYU and Columbia? Read a comparison of the two here >

8. Princeton University

Princeton University

Next in our look at the best US universities for graduate employability is Princeton University, which is ranked 13th in the world. As well as having a top-50 score for Employer Reputation, Princeton receives its highest score for Alumni Outcomes, again graduating successful figures in business, politics, engineering, entertainment and other ventures. The university’s Princeton University Entrepreneurial Hub serves as a start-up incubator space for encouraging the exchange of ideas.

=9. Cornell University

Cornell University

Ranked joint 18th in the world for graduate employability, Cornell University is another of the best US universities for Alumni Outcomes (achieving a strong score of 12th for this indicator). Each year, Cornell’s Career Services hosts over 400 career workshops and events on campus, and offers students’ advice on understanding their strengths, exploring their options and taking action for their next steps.

=9.  Yale University


Concluding our look at the 10 best US universities for graduate employability is Yale University, a new entrant at joint 18th with Cornell.  Yale is ranked 15th for Employer Reputation, reflecting its Ivy League reputation, and sixth for Alumni Outcomes. Prominent Yale alumni include Meryl Streep, five US presidents, Boeing founder William Boeing and Peace corps founder Sargent Shriver.

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This article was originally published in September 2017 . It was last updated in September 2018

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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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