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US dominates latest global employability rankings

Regardless of where US institutions stand on Trump, they will be pleased to see that the latest university employability rankings – the Global University Employability Ranking published by THE – has US universities in six of the top 10 places, dominating the top five, in fact.

Employability rankings have Caltech in no.1 position for 2016Caltech produces the most employable graduates, according to the latest Trendence/Emerging survey. Photo: Kevin Stanchfield

"The US dominance at the top of the ranking reflects a situation in which a ‘global brand name' is increasingly important for recruiters"

The annual survey puts California Institute of Technology as the institution that employers regard as having the most employable graduates, with MIT, Harvard University, Cambridge University (UK) and Stanford University making up the top five.

Other than Cambridge, the non-US institutions inside of the top 10 are: University of Oxford (7), Technical University Munich (8) and the University of Tokyo (10).

And Germany fares well in perception terms, with over 30% of the global hiring managers canvassed for the survey – carried out by Trendence and designed by a French HR firm – citing it as the second best country for producing employable graduates.

Over the 150 institutions rated, 34 countries are represented, including an institution each for Iceland and Israel, three from Taiwan and five from Japan (two in the top 30).

China has 14 universities listed, the UK has 11 (five in the top 30) and the US has 37 in the rankings overall (12 in the top 30).

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Student content editor for Times Higher Education, Carly Minsky, said of the headline story:

‘The US dominance at the top of the ranking reflects a situation in which a ‘global brand name’ is increasingly important for recruiters, given an internationally mobile graduate workforce.

“Less than 10% of the votes for the top US institutions were from US recruiters, the rest were from directors of international companies based elsewhere.”

The 2,500 recruitment managers who provided the ratings come from across 20 countries with a second layer panel of 3,500 international managers.

The companies that participate are described as having “more than 5,000 employees each and recruited more than 50 graduates per year.”

Germany fares well in perception terms

A set of job-related aptitudes, attitudes and behaviour was the characteristic that nearly all those canvassed felt defined what “employability” is, with a graduate being ready immediately after graduation for an entry-level position in their chosen field of study the second best definition, agreed on by almost 80%.

In terms of emphasis on the various qualitative measurements, the survey notes that there are “clear distinctions” in what employers want in different countries. “Employers in France, India, the US and the UK seek students with strong communication skills, while Chinese and German managers consider adaptability to be the most important”, it says.

The 2016 survey is the sixth of its kind and is carried out by Paris-based HR consultancy Emerging, and Berlin-based business research institute Trendence. It has been published since 2011, originally in partnership with NY Times International and then, from 2015, with Times Higher Education.

The full rankings can be seen here: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/global-university-employability-ranking-201

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