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10 of the Best European Universities for Graduate Employability

By Sabrina Collier

Updated September 12, 2017 Updated September 12, 2017

Click here to read the latest version of this article, based on the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2018.

The results of the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017 are in, and European universities are well-represented among the top 300 in the world for graduate employability. The ranking assesses performance in five categories, including graduate employment rates, industry partnerships and student-employer connections. The UK claims 37 representatives in the ranking, Germany 15, France 11, and Spain 10. 

We’ve covered the UK in a separate article, so read on for 10 of the best continental European universities for graduate employability…

1. Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech

Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech

Ranked 6th in the world for graduate employability, and the only non-UK European university in the top 10, France’s Ecole Polytechnique ParisTech receives its highest score in the ‘employer reputation’ category – reflecting its esteemed status, as one of the country’s highly selective grandes écoles. The university is a partner of the ParisTech Entrepreneurs Incubator, a support structure for innovative digital start-up projects, which launched more than 350 companies in 2015.

2. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

ETH Zurich

Switzerland’s ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) places 16th in the graduate employability ranking, achieving its strongest score for ‘employer reputation’. ETH Zurich is associated with 21 Nobel Prize winners, including Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli. The university supports budding entrepreneurs with Pioneer Fellowships, which enable recipients to further develop their research in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (ieLab).  

3. KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

Ranked joint 20th in the world for graduate employability, Germany’s KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie places 11th in the category assessing partnerships with employers, thanks to its strong cooperation with industry in a number of research projects and other collaborative efforts. KIT offers vocational training in more than 30 commercial, technical and scientific professions, and also offers the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) platform to help budding entrepreneurs. 

4. Technische Universität Darmstadt

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Staying in Germany, Technische Universität Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt) is ranked joint 30th in the world for graduate employability in 2017. It claims its highest score in the industry partnerships category, reflecting its involvement with global companies on research and employment-related partnerships. TU Darmstadt prides itself on its ‘Dual Career Service’, which advises students in finding employment and establishing contacts with employers in the region.

=5. University of Navarra

University of Navarra

Heading to Pamplona, Spain, the University of Navarra (Universidad de Navarra) shares 37th place with Politecnico di Milano in the employability ranking, with strong scores in the ‘employer pertnerships’ and ‘employer reputation’ indicators. The university aims to promote the professional development of its students, running the University of Navarra Business Foundation as a meeting point between businesses and students/alumni.

=5. Politecnico di Milano

Politecnico di Milano

Italian institution Politecnico di Milano places joint 37th in the graduate employability ranking, achieving extremely high scores for both ‘partnerships with employers’ (2nd in this category) and ‘graduate employment rate’ (3rd). Politenico di Milano offers a range of international projects for student exchange, allowing students to study abroad at a partner university, and was the winner of the Nurturing Employability Award in the Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014: Reimagine Education.

7. Chalmers University of Technology

Chalmers University of Technology

Chalmers University of Technology, located in Gothenburg, Sweden, is ranked joint 40th for graduate employability in 2017. It places 6th in the list for its partnerships with employers, maintaining partnerships with companies such as Ericsson, Volvo and SKF. Notable former students of Chalmers include Nobel Prize-winning industrialist Gustaf Dalén, popular YouTube vlogger Felix Kjellberg (‘PewDiePie’) and architect Margit Hall.

8. Technische Universität München

Technische Universität München

Heading back to Germany for the next of our round-up of the best European universities for graduate employability, Technische Universität München (TUM) is ranked joint 42nd this year, with its highest score for ‘employer reputation’ (21st). As of 2016, more than 800 start-ups have come from TUM, and the university aims to foster a supportive environment for students with entrepreneurial ambitions to launch their ideas with a market-focused approach.

9. Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Also in Germany, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen) is ranked 44th in the world for graduate employability in 2017 and is not far behind TUM in its ‘employer reputation’ rank (24th). The largest technical institution in Germany, RWTH Aachen maintains close links with industry, partnering with companies from various sectors to support the university in coaching, events and a broad range of other activities to support entrepreneurial students in achieving their goals.

10. Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology

Concluding our look at some of the best European universities for graduate employability is the NetherlandsDelft University of Technology (also known as TU Delft), ranked 47th in the world for graduate employability in 2017 and also featuring in the top 50 of the ‘employer reputation’ indicator. The strong demand for its graduates is evidenced by a 2013 report which indicated that TU Delft graduates are more likely to find jobs faster and with a higher salary compared to the national average. 


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This article was originally published in November 2016 . It was last updated in September 2017

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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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