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

10 of the Best US 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 launch of the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017 sees 56 US universities rank within the world’s top 300 institutions for employability. Based on a methodology which assesses each university’s reputation amongst employers, graduate employment rate and other factors, the annual Graduate Employability Rankings celebrates institutions which are most effectively preparing students for the workplace.

Read on for an overview of 10 of the best US universities for employability, based on the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017.

1. Stanford University


Ranked 1st in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings, Stanford University is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and is known for being the alma mater of many successful entrepreneurs and business leaders – reflected in its unbeatable score in the ‘alumni outcomes’ indicator. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business supports entrepreneurial students with programs such as the Startup Garage and Stanford Venture Studio.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Following close behind Stanford at 2nd place in the world for graduate employability, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) receives its highest score in the ‘employer reputation’ indicator, reflecting the strength of the MIT brand worldwide. It also features in the global top 10 for the ‘alumni outcomes’ and ‘partnerships with employers’ indicators. MIT’s alumni community features astronauts, politicians, entrepreneurs and other successful graduates, including Buzz Aldrin and Kofi Annan.

3. Columbia University

Columbia University

Columbia University, based in ‘financial capital of the world’ New York City, is ranked 7th in the world for graduate employability in 2017. The Columbia University Center for Career Education aims to help students and graduates achieve their career goals, through counseling, career fairs, an exclusive online database of jobs and internships, workshops and more. Columbia achieves its highest rating in the ‘alumni outcomes’ indicator, counting three former US presidents and 39 Nobel Laureates amongst its array of successful graduates.

4. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

University of California, Berkeley

Next in our list of 10 of the best US universities for graduate employability is the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) at 9th in the world. The university’s Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Program works to help integrate entrepreneurial thinking into the student experience, giving students “multidisciplinary experiential learning opportunities, seed funding for selected startups, and connections to the greater UC Berkeley and Bay Area entrepreneurial ecosystems.” UCB is ranked 8th in the world for employer reputation, and has an alumni which includes at least 17 billionaires.

5. Princeton University


Ranked 10th in the world for graduate employability, Princeton University receives its highest score in the ‘alumni outcomes’ category. Unsurprising, since its alumni community includes an impressive 41 Nobel Laureates, two US Presidents, 14 Field Medalists and 12 US Supreme Court Justices. In 2015 the university opened its Princeton University Entrepreneurial Hub, an incubator space which houses the Keller Center’s eLab Summer Accelerator Program, a launch pad for students’ startup projects.

6. Cornell University

Cornell University

Cornell University is ranked 13th in the world for graduate employability, achieving a strong score of 9th for the ‘partnerships with employers’ indicator, with the university’s Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability aiming to enhance equal opportunities for all people with disabilities. Its graduates are noted for their achievements in public, professional and corporate life, including the CEOs of companies such as Kraft Foods and MasterCard, Henry Heimlich (inventor of the Heimlich manoeuver), Bill Nye ‘the Science Guy’ and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


Another of the best US universities for graduate employability is the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) at 15th in the world. It achieves its highest score for the ‘alumni outcomes’ indicator at 7th place (3rd amongst US universities) – its alumni include a number of notable politicians, seven Nobel Laureates, the founders of Blizzard Entertainment, and entertainment figures such as Francis Ford Coppola and George Takei. The university itself is one of Southern California’s largest employers and contributes $12.7 billion to the economy.

8. University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Ranked 17th in the world for graduate employability, the University of Chicago receives its strongest score for its graduate employment rate (23rd in the world), with 93% of students having post-graduation plans and 30% of full-time working graduates of the class of 2015 employed in finance or business roles. Google, JP Morgan and other universities such as Johns Hopkins University are among the top 20 employers of Chicago graduates, and the university offers over 1,300 paid Metcalf Internships through its Career Advancement service.

9. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is ranked 23rd in the world for graduate employability in 2017, and 8th place in the ‘alumni outcomes’ indicator, with particularly high profile graduates including influential academic Noam Chomsky, actor and director Elizabeth Banks, business magnate Elon Musk and fashion designer Tory Burch. The university’s Alumni Education Office partners with the careers service to offer exclusive professional development workshops and seminars to graduates, while 400 employers from a range of industries conduct 11,500+ interviews on campus.

10. Brown University

Brown University

Last but not least in our review of the best US universities for employability, Brown University is ranked 25th in the Graduate Employability Rankings. Its strongest score is in the ‘partnerships with employers’ indicator, reflecting its commitment to engagement with employers in research and other fields. Prominent graduates from Brown include actress and activist Emma Watson, media tycoon Ted Turner and financier John D. Rockefeller Jr.

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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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