Reputation and market demand for engineers factor into high employability ranking

KTH ranks 58th worldwide in graduate employability according to a survey published by Times Higher Education. Pictured: Students and recruiters meet face-to-face at the Armada career fair at KTH. (Photo: David Callahan)
Published Nov 26, 2019

KTH now ranks 58th worldwide in graduate employability, according to a survey published this week by Times Higher Education. KTH's ranking expert, Per-Anders Östling, provides some insight into this latest survey.

The Global University Employability Ranking 2019 was conducted by HR consultancy Emerging, with support from research company Trendence, and published exclusively by Times Higher Education. According to KTH’s ranking expert, Per-Anders Östling, the ranking is based in part on a questionnaire answered by 3,300 staff recruiters from 23 countries in 2019. The evaluation also takes into account previous survey results, and ultimately combines responses from 8,000 people.

Östling says the survey shows that KTH has a strong international brand in terms of its reputation among companies worldwide. Nevertheless, he believes the approach of such surveys is usually flawed.

“The quality of this type of measurement usually leaves some things to be desired – as it does in this case,” he says. The vast majority of votes are concentrated among a small number of universities at the top of the list, so even slight variations in answers can have an outsized effect on the positions of remaining universities, he says.

“This ranking should be taken with a grain of salt, even if it demonstrates KTH’s strong reputation.”

Among issues the ranking survey addresses are challenges for a changing market, skills needed and gaps, decisive factors for choosing a university and satisfaction with the local higher education system.

Of all the universities in Sweden, KTH ranked highest, which Östling attributes to the international reputation KTH has carved out among technical universities, as well its large proportion of international students.

Östling also points out that graduates from technical universities have an advantage in terms of labor market demand. “Engineers are much more in demand in the international labor market than, for example, humanists and social scientists,” he says. “Most likely, the survey goes to representatives from large multinational companies who are happy to recruit engineers.”

Utsav Khan found he could be selective with his engineering degree from KTH.

KTH alumnus Utsav Khan is one engineer who says he found his KTH training in Vehicle Engineering to fit with a high number of job openings at consultancies and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) soon after receiving his credits one year ago. But Khan says that he was able to hold out for a position which suited his personal interest.

“It was important for me to find a job I really am interested in,” Khan says.

“Vehicle Engineering at KTH is a mix of such courses which are future proof and industry-oriented so it is highly appreciated everywhere,” he says. Today he is a software and control system simulation engineer at NEVS in Trollhättan.  

“As a graduate student from a university like KTH, and having studied Vehicle Engineering, all automotive companies were quite interested, so all credit goes to KTH.”

David Callahan
 

Best universities for graduate jobs: Global University Employability Ranking 2019​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​

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Last changed: Nov 26, 2019