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10 of the Best US Universities for Graduate Employability 2020

10 of the Best US Universities for Graduate Employability 2020 main image

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020 includes 84 top US universities amongst the 500 institutions featured in the rankings, with 29 of these featuring in the top 100. The rankings are designed to help students compare universities in terms of their graduate employability prospects. Institutions are scored based on five indicators; employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employer-student connections and graduate employment rate.

Read on for the 10 highest ranked US universities for graduate employability, as revealed by the 2020 rankings.

The Highest Ranked Universities in the US for Graduate Employability

US rank

Global rank




Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)



Stanford University



University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)



Harvard University



New York University (NYU)



Cornell University



Yale University



University of Chicago



Princeton University



University of Pennsylvania

10. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

Up four places this year and coming in at 10th in the US and 20th in the world in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020 is the University of Pennsylvania; which is new to the top 10 in the US this year.

The university earns its highest ranking in the alumni outcomes indicator, where it ranks third in the world, and counts 64 billionaires, three US Supreme Court Judges and two US presidents in its alumni, including current US president, Donald Trump. The University of Pennsylvania is also part of the prestigious Ivy League group.

9. Princeton University

Princeton University

Princeton University comes ninth in the US for graduate employability, and 15th overall. The university is known for its beautiful architecture and for being one of the oldest universities in the US, being established in 1746. It is also part of the Ivy League group.

Princeton’s top ranking is earned for the alumni outcomes indicator, where it comes in 12th place, thanks to an array of impressive alumni that includes Michelle Obama, John F. Kennedy and the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.

8. University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Up an impressive eight places from last year and coming in at an impressive 14th place in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020, is the University of Chicago, which earns its best score in the graduate employment rate indicator, at fourth – the highest of all the ranked US universities.

The University of Chicago also scores well in the partnerships with employers indicator at seventh in the world, which takes into account how successful the university is in collaborating with global companies to produce quality research, as well as work placement related partnerships.

7. Yale University

Yale University

Established in 1701, Yale University is the second-oldest university in the US to be featured in the graduate employability rankings. Yale University rises one place this year, to rank 13th in the world but remains strong in seventh place in the US.

Yale scores well in both the alumni outcomes and employer reputation indicators at seventh and ninth in the world respectively. With notable alumni including George H W Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, actress and director Jodie Foster, this is hardly surprising.

6. Cornell University

Cornell University

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020 see Cornell University rise nine places to reach 12th  worldwide and sixth among the top universities in the US. Like many of the top US universities featured in the rankings, Cornell University earns its highest score in the alumni outcomes indicator, in 11th place worldwide.

The university’s most famous alumni include Bill Nye (‘The Science Guy’), Christopher Reeve, Henry Heimlich, Irene Rosenfield and Toni Morrison. It is also part of the respected Ivy League group.

5. New York University (NYU)


Staying firmly in 11th place in the world for graduate employability is New York University (NYU), which earns its highest score for alumni outcomes but also scores well in the partnerships with employers indicator, most likely a result of the university’s on campus recruitment program, in which a wide range of organizations come to campus and interview current students for full-time roles after graduation.

4. Harvard University

Harvard University

Down one place this year to rank fifth in the world for graduate employability this year, Harvard University is the oldest university in the US and was established in 1636. Harvard boasts first place for both the employer reputation and alumni outcomes indicators, which is reflected in the fact that over 500 employers recruit directly on campus each year, as well as the fact that the university is part of the highly reputable Ivy League group. The university also has very impressive array of alumni, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, John F Kennedy and George W. Bush.

3. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) drops one place this year to rank third in the world for graduate employability. UCLA scores highly in the alumni outcomes and the employer reputation indicators, both ranking within the top 20 worldwide.

UCLA also has links to many top employers, as well as an annual career week which allows students to engage with industry experts on campus, and there are also many career workshops available for students.

2. Stanford University

Stanford University

In second place both among the top US universities and worldwide for graduate employability, is Stanford University.

Stanford places highest in the world for the partnerships with employers indicator, and offers many career fairs each academic year, helping students increase their graduate employment prospects by allowing them to connect to a large network of employers.

Stanford also performs well in all the other graduate employability indicators, particularly alumni outcomes and employer reputation, with an alumni including Herbert Hoover, Tiger Woods, Reese Witherspoon, John F. Kennedy and Elon Musk.

1.      Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


For another year running, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) takes top place among the top US universities, coming first in the world in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020, as well as first in the world university rankings.

As expected, MIT scores well in all the graduate employability indicators, but gains its highest scores for the employer reputation and alumni outcomes. The university has a Global Education and Career Development Center, which helps to support student careers and also offers advice on going abroad for work or study.

Discover some of MIT’s most successful graduates.

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Luiza M, Victor Seung Myung L & 1 others saved this
Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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