QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019

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Why do Australian universities have higher employability (rank) than that of British ones in QS Graduate Employability Ranking?

  • 4
    Guess: Australia has a really low unemployment rate? – Anonymous Physicist Oct 9 '18 at 5:58
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    Speaking overly broadly, engineering graduates are more likely to be employed, and more likely to be paid well, than humanities graduates. Some universities have higher percentages of graduates in the humanities, and this effects their rankings in such ratings. More technically oriented universities will, as a rule, produce more employable graduates than less technically oriented universities, provided employability is measured by likelihood of employment and starting salary. – Dan Fox Oct 9 '18 at 9:01

Know what's being ranked. Read the methodology. The QS graduate employability ranking uses:

Employer/Student Connections (10%). How many employers go to campus for presentations etc?

Alumni outcomes (25%). They take a list of the most influential people and sort them by the institutions they graduated from.

Employer ranking (30%). It's sourced from a survey sent by QS to employers asking them where their best employees graduate from.

Partnerships with Employers per Faculty (25%). They find out which institutions are collaborating with employers to do research.

Graduate employment rate (10%). How many graduates are employed after one year?

Then go to the employability rankings again and sort by indicator. We're comparing the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney to the Cambridge University and Oxford University (the two highest-rated British universities).

  • Sydney's scores are: 99.3 / 93.3 / 94.4 / 98.4 / 97.9
  • Melbourne's scores are: 78.5 / 92.6 / 97.9 / 95.4 / 98.1
  • Cambridge's scores are: 89.6 / 99.9 / 100 / 88.9 / 75
  • Oxford's scores are: 81 / 100 / 100 / 89.6 / 69.5

Note that these numbers are very likely expressed as a fraction of the top performer. In other words 69.5 employment rate doesn't mean that 30.5% of Oxford's graduates are still looking for a job after a year; 94.4 employer ranking doesn't mean that 94.4% of all employers think Sydney's graduates are good.

The British universities handily lead in the alumni outcomes & employer ranking categories, and do (relatively) poorly in the partnerships with employers per faculty & graduate employment rate categories, while the employer/student connections category is more mixed.

Draw your own conclusions. Some factors to think about:

  • Taken at face value, this implies that employers value Cambridge & Oxford degrees very highly, but they still find it hard to get a job (an evident contradiction).
  • Further, if they actually do get a job, they are more likely go on to do really well (of course, this only applies to the very peak of the distribution).
  • Do you care about which institutions are collaborating with employers to do research? This will vary by student. Presumably if you're looking to do research in industry, this will be very important to you, while if you don't care about that then it doesn't matter.
  • Are you seeking a local job? If so, then campus presentations are a great opportunity to network. If you're not looking to get a job in the city/country then they probably aren't really relevant to you.
  • The UK recently went through and is still going through some political upheaval. That could've had an impact on its university graduates getting a job, especially if they're international students.
  • 2
    According to this methodology page they adjust the graduate employment rate relative to the average in the country, so it seems to be a measure of how much the university improves employability, rather than a "raw" employability score. They also confirm that this factor can be affected by the country's economy. – Anyon Oct 9 '18 at 13:40
  • Based on @Anyon's observation, one might reasonably say that this value should not be compared between universities in different countries. – David Ketcheson Oct 10 '18 at 8:18

I don’t know how is that computed, but ALL the countries and regions where those universities are based have practically zero unenployment rate. Plus without knowing the algorithm I am ready to bet that the difference in score between first and 10th are so small that you would expect next year many institutions to change position in the list, possibly vanishing the point of your question.


Why do Australian universities have higher employability than that of British ones?

The cited QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019 don't prove that graduates from Australian universities have higher employability than graduates from British ones. Allure's answer elaborates upon this (I thought it was straightforward and didn't mention any details).

  • 4
    Without further elaboration on why do you think the ranking does not prove the OP's claim, this answer is not useful. – fa__ Oct 9 '18 at 9:40
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    -1 Not a very useful answer. – Azor Ahai Oct 9 '18 at 16:29
  • I thought it was obvious that the rankings didn't offer proof, so I didn't explain why. Another answer has now offered such an explanation. – user2768 Oct 10 '18 at 9:45

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