"Digitalization, specialization or soft skills are increasingly important, much more so than the prestige of a university’s name”Louis Ashworth

The University of Cambridge has ranked fourth for graduate employability in this year’s Global Employability University Ranking and Survey (GEURS).

To determine which universities provide the best career prospects, Times Higher Education (THE) surveyed 10,928 international recruiters and managers across 23 countries.

The rankings are based on a framework of six key factors: academic excellence, digital performance, focus on work, soft skills and digital literacy, internationalism, and specialisation.

The survey results showed that employers find students with digital skills, soft skills and subject specialisation most attractive, as opposed to just those with academic excellence.

The United States took six of the top ten spots, including the top three: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Two UK universities made the cut, with Cambridge and Oxford placing fourth and eighth, respectively.

Other notable ranking trends include that of Mainland China, which has continued to follow a general rising trajectory: Peking University claimed a record position of 15th, whilst Tsinghua University climbed 13 places to 37th.

Indian universities also saw clear improvements in their rankings, following improved soft skills, digital literacy, and technical and research specialisation.

Sandrine Belloc, Managing Partner at Emerging, a company involved with producing the rankings, commented: “[The GEURS rankings] provides [students] with the reasons behind recruiters’ choices and shows that indicators such as digitalization, specialization or soft skills are increasingly important, much more so than the prestige of a university’s name.


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“The resulting rankings provide a diverse range of universities for students to consider when thinking about who to invest in for their higher education to help shape their personal path into a successful and rewarding career.”

Seeta Bhardwa, Content Editor at THE Student, also stressed the importance of this ranking system: “Studying at university isn’t just one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make from an education and skills point of view, but also from a financial perspective. Students and their parents want to make sure that outlay will pay off in the long run.

“This ranking provides a means to understand what’s important to graduate recruiters and help students think about what they should focus on when choosing a university to give themselves the best possible start on the career ladder.”

The GEURS survey has been running for the past eleven years. For the past five years, it has been the second most consulted university ranking by employers.