Top universities for employment outcomes | Top Universities

Top universities for employment outcomes

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Aisha Khan

Updated Jul 09, 2024




If you’re thinking of applying to university, chances are you’ve probably considered factors such as job prospects and career opportunities when deciding whether an institution is a good fit for you.   

With that said, the QS World University Rankings 2023 feature a new indicator – Employment Outcomes – to reflect the fact that for many students, a successful career is one of their primary goals of going to university.  

The indicator is designed to reflect the ability of institutions who ensure a high level of employability for their graduates, while also nurturing future leaders who go on to make an impact in their respective fields. 

The indicator is a combination of two metrics used in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings:  

  • Graduate Employment Rate (the percentage of graduates who go on to paid (non-voluntary) work within 15 months of finishing their degree)  

  • Alumni Outcomes Index (which institutions are producing impactful graduates in all walks of life, from performing arts to finance, medicine to politics) 

You can find out more about the methodology used to produce the ranking here

Although the Employment Outcomes indicator is unweighted for this year’s ranking, we’ve compiled a list of top performing institutions: 

Top 10 universities for employment outcomes 




Harvard University 

United States 

Stanford University 

United States 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

United States 

Yale University 

United States 

University of Pennsylvania 

United States 

Gulf University for Science and Technology 


University of Oxford 

United Kingdom 

Princeton University 

United States 

University of Cambridge 

United States 


London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 

United Kingdom 

To find out more about how top-ranked universities are preparing their graduates to excel in the workplace, we spoke to the careers team at UNSW Sydney (ranked first for employment outcomes in Australia) and NYU (ranked 13th for employment outcomes globally).  

UNSW Sydney

How do you enable students to find fulfilling and impactful careers after graduation? 

Tom Pyke, Team Lead at UNSW Careers, said: “UNSW Employability is a central unit at UNSW, focusing on developing in-demand graduates optimally prepared for the workforce. We provide individual career coaching, student development initiatives, co-curricular programmes and Work Integrated Learning courses that enable students to work in interdisciplinary teams to solve a real-world problem with a community, government or industry partner organisation locally or overseas. 

“Our Roadmap to Employability: Discover, Launch, Grow curates the curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular offerings at UNSW as part of a clearly sign-posted student employability journey that fosters a rich, diverse and nurturing student experience.  

“The three phases of the roadmap capture a step-change process that helps students to realise their graduate ambitions, these being: 

  • Discover: At this phase, programming supports students in discovering their values, motivations, interests, and aspirations, and determining what this means for their future personal and professional ambitions.  

  • Launch: At this phase, programming supports students in trialling their intended future professional endeavour through internships, placements, projects and other real-world opportunities such as global exchanges and field trips.  

  • Grow: This phase comprises of programming that supports students to transition into their graduate roles. It also supports early career alumni to grow their career through accelerated professional development opportunities, or to pivot their career in a direction that might result in more meaningful and sustainable work in the future”.  

Gracy Sarkissian, Executive Director of Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYU, said:  

“Through individualised coaching, career development programming, and on-demand resources, we guide students through a three-part career development process where they Explore, Prepare, and Connect to their futures. We empower students to discover their interests, identify a path, and gain the tools they need to succeed beyond their first job.  

“In addition to helping students and alumni refine their resumes/CVs and enhance their interviewing skills, we seek to expose them to a variety of career paths through internships, short term projects, boot camps, and site visits. We also provide opportunities to connect with professionals across diverse fields to expand their networks and identify mentors.  

“Most importantly, the Wasserman Center engages colleagues across the university to embed career guidance into the broader college experience, expanding access to ensure students graduate with a clear direction as well as the experiences and networks to achieve their goals.” 

How do you work to improve diversity and inclusion in graduate recruitment and support your students to push through the class ceiling? 

UNSW: “Equitable participation is a key focus area in our employability strategy, creating a welcoming, safe and respectful environment where all students but particularly those from equity backgrounds can participate fairly. We often provide consultations to industry and employers on how to best attract a diverse student pool.” 

“We work closely with Nura Gili, our centre for Indigenous programmes and provide targeted support for students from low socio-economic backgrounds and those from regional and remote areas. The careers coaches offer extended consultations for our students from EDI backgrounds, providing case management and referrals with additional UNSW support services and external disability employment services.” 

NYU: “Our centre has developed strong partnerships with employers committed to hiring diverse candidates, NYU departments serving historically marginalised students (e.g. Office of Global Inclusion, Moses Center for Student Accessibility), and external pipeline programmes that focus on increasing opportunities for underrepresented candidates.  

Our centre also hosts semester and year-long cohort programs including the Diversity Internship & Career Preparation Program (DICP), and First Class (professional development and mentorship programme for first generation college students). Additionally, we regularly partner with the NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Programs to host events such as the Real Talk Series, Women’s Networking Night, and Queer Career Connect Networking Night.” 

What would you say are some of the biggest challenges students face when entering today’s job market and how do you support students to overcome these challenges? 

UNSW: “Key challenges facing students include non-linear careers and the need to embrace uncertainty, be adaptable and resilient which has all been evident throughout the recent COVID experience for our students and graduates.  

“In addition to insights that we gather from our partner organisations, we collaborate with current students, our student organisations, and recent alumni using a students-as-partners approach to best identify how we can tailor our events, activities, and resources to overcome developing challenges in the workforce. 

NYU: “Regardless of the market, the job search can feel overwhelming. Since there are many factors at play in companies’ hiring processes and decisions, we encourage students to focus on the pieces of the process that are in their control and to exercise both determination and patience.” 

“The Wasserman Center helps students learn how to make a strong impression by providing numerous resources available for them to practice for a variety of in-person and virtual interviews. Students can even receive instant feedback from a career coach or online tool. 

“Lastly, our centre helps students learn the career readiness skills necessary to thrive in a hybrid work environment. This includes finding success in their daily jobs, building meaningful relationships with colleagues virtually and in person, and investing in their own continued learning and development.” 

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