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Survey says KTH graduates among world's most employable

Graduates at Stockholm City Hall  receive their diplomas
KTH graduates have an employment rate of 81.2 percent in the first 12 months after graduation. (Photo: David Callahan)
Published Oct 01, 2021

Graduates from KTH are among the most employable in the world, according to the newly-released QS Employability Rankings. The ranking places KTH 70th globally, which means it is 18th among all European universities (7th in the EU alone) and number one in Sweden.

portrait of Sigbritt Karlsson
Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Photo: Tobias Ohls)

“These numbers show that KTH graduates are valued where it counts—in solving societies’ needs over a wide range of sectors,” says KTH President Sigbritt Karlsson. “That demand reflects the quality and relevance of the education at KTH.”

QS reports an employment rate of 81.2 for KTH, which refers to the percentage of those hired within 12 months of graduation, according to QS’s calculations.

Employment rate is one of the five weighted indicators on which the QS rankings are based. These rely on data reported by the universities as well as a survey of 75,000 employers who were asked to identify those which produce “the most competent, innovative, effective graduates”. In response to that survey KTH appears in the upper range, with a rating of 65 out of 100.

KTH Deputy President Mikael Östling seen speaking in meeting
KTH Deputy President Mikael Östling (Photo: Håkan Lindgren)

Relationships with industry

KTH ranks in the 78th percentile in “Employer to student connections”, and it scores 57.1 percent in “Partnerships with employers”, a composite of work placement-related partnerships and a review of Elsevier’s Scopus database to identify successful industry-university research collaborations.

“Employability for KTH graduates is very important for us, and it’s encouraging to see this result,” says KTH Deputy President Mikael Östling. “We can see our achievements, and where we can do even better. We think KTH can steadily improve its position in this ranking.”

With its already extensive partnerships in industry, Östling says he sees potential for KTH to reach even higher. Another area where he says KTH is well-positioned for further improvement is in “Alumni outcomes”, in which KTH’s 56.5 percent score reflects the university’s influence in its graduates’ career development.  

“We are continuously building on our alumni network, and improving considerably with new ideas to stimulate the community and maintain strong contact with KTH,” Östling says.

Industry and alumni connections

One beneficiary of alumni connections at KTH is recent graduate Aleks Durowicz, who landed a job as a business consultant with Affingo in Stockholm within a few months of earning her MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management.

Portrait of Aleks Durowicz
Aleks Durowicz

“I was recommended by a graduate whom I knew from my programme,” Durowicz says. “This company understands that students from KTH know what they need to know to in order to do this job, so it’s very easy for them to recruit from industrial engineering students at KTH.

“There are many KTH alumni working here and it was natural for them—you’re a good fit, you have the good experience, the good knowledge base,” she says.

Degree projects with the university’s partners also contribute to the employability ranking. Alumnus Bhargav Kumar credits two industrial connections in his programme for enabling him to gain a position as project logistics site coordinator at Northvolt—a sustainable battery manufacturer.

In completing his master’s in Production Engineering and Management, he worked on quality assurance methods at Scania, and he did his master’s thesis on internal logistics at Volvo Construction Equipment.

“The collaboration my programme had with industries was definitely important,” Kumar says. “The master's programme in Production Engineering and Management at KTH is well-recognized and provided an overview of what production engineering is about. I got very good idea of the different functions in an industry, the understanding of how they interact and collaborate.” 

Appreciation for tech 

Technical universities are well-represented in the rankings—where MIT holds the top spot worldwide, and the only institutions in Sweden that made the top 100 are technical universities (KTH and Chalmers University of Technology, #83).

I think society is gaining a higher appreciation of what is going on in technical universities,” Östling says. “It’s not only tech—it’s tech combined with vital challenges.”

Östling says the rankings provide yet another sign that KTH is addressing a wider scope of priorities, namely, digitalization, sustainability, equality and internationalization.

“We need the technology, but we also need the technology people to be realizing the societal challenges, in how we communicate and how we are interacting.”

David Callahan

QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2022

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Last changed: Oct 01, 2021