Does being educated equate to being employable? One might say that this question has puzzled academicians and employers for decades, but today, when there is a very real and measurable fast-paced change underway in the way we work, are hired and function, the question has assumed more authority than ever. It is to answer this question that the Times Higher Education Global Employability Ranking (GER) 2017 list was compiled, to identify educational institutions that are producing the most employable graduates. The list was derived using the results of the Global University Employability Survey (surveying respondents from 22 countries), and rates countries and institutions according to their digital competency and links to the industry, and also which skills are most prized by employers.
Here are some of the trends in this year’s list:
- California Institute of Technology takes the top position, again, and seven of the top 10 institutes are American. It is followed by Harvard University and Columbia University respectively. Of the 150 universities on the list, 35 are from USA.
- Technion Israel Institute of Technology has been named as the institution best preparing its students in adapting to the digital revolution, and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) tied with UCL for the second spot.
- Universities from France, which do not fare very well on other indices, are prevalent in the list due to their strong links to industries and companies. French business schools especially make an impact.
- The top two universities for company links are ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich and the University of Basel.
- The struggle to find a graduate equipped in a particular skill-set change, depending on where you are: In China and South Korea, it is AI and Machine learning, in Germany, network and information security, in UK, HR Talent Management and in US, Data engineering and data warehousing.
- Employers are looking at two types of skills to be better prepared for the future: purely technical knowledge needed to drive innovation and softer attributes like adaptability, teamwork and problem-solving.
- As far as what skills are needed to the most in the digital age, the list is as follows, in decreasing order of importance: Communication, problem-solving/critical thinking, adaptability, initiative, collaboration, creativity, emotional intelligence/empathy, resilience, curiosity, social and cultural awareness and leadership.
- The satisfaction level of the respondents of the survey with the current graduates’ level of these qualities was notably lower in every field.
- Contrary to the popular belief, it is not university reputation or international exposure of the university that is the top considered factor by employers during recruitment, but the quality of teaching staff and production of ready-to-work graduates that takes prime importance.
How did India fare?
- Of the 150 universities and institutions ranked by the list, three were Indian. While Indian Institute of Science (IISc) made it to the 29th spot this year (up from the 38th position in 2016); Indian Institute of Technology - Delhi (No. 145) and Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay (No. 148) were new additions this year, not having made it to the list in the previous edition.
- Employers in India struggle the most in finding graduates in the following domains, in decreasing order of complexity: Statistical analysis and data mining, Network and information security, HR Talent Management, Data engineering and data warehousing, and AI and Machine Learning.
- India was ranked 6th, in the list of countries ahead in the digital skills revolution, behind US, Japan, China, Germany and UK.
Global University Employability Ranking 2017
- California Institute of Technology (United States)
- Harvard University (United States)
- Columbia University (United States)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
- University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
- Boston University (United States)
- Stanford University (United States)
- Technical University of Munich (Germany)
- University of Tokyo (Japan)
- Yale University (United States)
- Princeton University (United States)
- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong)
- University of Toronto (Canada)
- Peking University (China)
- University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
- National University of Singapore (Singapore)
- Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
- McGill University (Canada)
- Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)
- University of California, Berkeley (United States)
- Australian National University (Australia )
- École Polytechnique (France)
- HEC Paris (France)
- IE University (Spain)
- King’s College London (United Kingdom)
- ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)
- EMLYON (France)
- Johns Hopkins University (United States)
- Indian Institute of Science (India)
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)
For the sake of brevity, only the top 30 universities on the list have been mentioned. You can check the entire list here.