The QS Graduate Employability Rankings is arguably the most extensive attempt to make a global comparison of the employability outcomes achieved by higher education institutions. This exercise, the newest in the QS rankings portfolio, and, perhaps, the most innovative, presents a series of challenges. The most obvious of these challenges is that “employability” is a notoriously difficult concept to assess on a global scale. It is an innovative exercise designed to provide the world’s students with a unique tool by which they can compare university performance in terms of graduate employability outcomes and prospects.

Methodology

For the current edition, we aimed to significantly increase this ranking’s scope. Whilst in previous years we acquired and analyzed data pertaining to 300 institutions and published a list of 200, this year, we are taking a bold step forward by doubling the number of evaluated institutions and publishing the top 500 universities that we have ranked. We introduced a minimal but still-significant recalibration of the weightings we use, aiming to both reduce the reliance on self reported figures and provide an enhanced normalization mechanism for the results– necessary, given their global scale.

The Alumni Outcomes indicator now carries a weighting of 25%, while the Employer-Student Connections ratio has a reduced weight of 10%. Additionally, the Employer Reputation index reflects the changes recently introduced in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, with the domestic component of the indicator receiving increased weight.

As expected, the extended coverage and the methodological refinements have had an impact on the results, introducing greater volatility into the rankings table compared to previous editions. We fully expect this volatility to be confined to this instalment.

Each institution’s score is comprised of five carefully-chosen indicators. Employer Reputation excepted, all metrics used are, currently, unique to the QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

What changed?

  • HIGHER WEIGHTING FOR THE ALUMNI OUTCOMES INDICATOR

    The weighting of the Alumni Outcomes indicator has been increased to 25%, from 20% in the previous editions, as a recognition of the strength of this metric, which now considers over 30,000 records.

  • LOWER WEIGHTING FOR THE EMPLOYER - STUDENT CONNECTIONS INDICATOR

    The Employer – Student Connections indicator has now a reduced weighing of 10%, as a compensation for the increased bearing of the Alumni Outcomes.

  • RECALIBRATION OF THE EMPLOYER REPUTATION COMPONENTS

    The domestic and international components have been recalibrated in the Employer Reputation indicator with an equal contribution of 50%, a change introduced in the 2018 QS World University Rankings. Previously, international responses were weighted at 70%, with domestic responses contributing 30% of the total score for this metric.

  • BETTER ADJUSTED GRADUATE EMPLOYMENT RATE

    A new adjustment method has been introduced for the Graduate Employment Rate index. To draw in outliers, the results are adjusted by the range between the maximum and minimum values recorded in each country or region. This accounts for the fact that a university’s ability to foster employability will be affected by the economic performance of the country in which they are situated.

Indicators

Employer Reputation 30%
Alumni Outcomes 25%
Partnerships with Employers 25%
Employer - Student Connections 10%
Graduate Employment Rate 10%

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