QS Global Employer Survey 2016 Reveals Most Desirable Graduates

The information age is upon us and the most tech-savvy graduates are reaping the benefits, the QS Global Employer Survey 2016 reveals. According to the results, the most employable graduates come from the Computer Science and Information Systems discipline. Of the 49 subject areas surveyed, 10% of employers worldwide felt this was the most employable discipline, above business, finance and law students. Below are the highlights from participating employers.

The top five disciplines that employers recruit from are:

1. Computer Science and Information Systems;

2. Business and Management Studies;

3. Accountancy and Finance;

4. Electrical and Electronic Engineering;

5. Economics and Econometrics.

The potential best recruiters for those who have graduated in these subjects, in the same order, are: 

1. IT/Computer services (24.06%);

2. Consultancy and Professional Services (17.81%);

3. Consultancy and Professional Services (17.23%);

4. Manufacturing/Engineering (21.01%);

5. Consultancy and Professional Services (21.89%).

The bottom five employable disciplines, starting with the least employable, are: 

1. Classics and Ancient History;

2. Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies;

3. Philosophy;

4. History;

5. Anthropology.

However, students seeking degrees from these subjects should not feel disheartened. The results are dependent on the kind of employers responding to the survey, i.e. industry and world region.

For instance, with the highest percentage, 29.63% of employers within the consultancy sector said they would hire Anthropology graduates above all other disciplines, demonstrating the desirability of these students. Moreover, employers from universities and research institutes did not respond to the survey, so this would account for the lower rankings among the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines.

Interestingly, Recruitment and HR services are most likely to recruit Psychology graduates and the public sector/non-profit/government favor Geography students. 

The majority of participants in the QS Global Employer Survey come from the following sectors:

1. Consultancy and professional services (14.35%);

2. Manufacturing/engineering (9.94%);

3. Public sector/government/non-profit (8.59%);

4. Financial services/banking (7.69%);

5. IT/Computer services (7.34%).

This corroborates the common view among students that these industries are likely to provide the best career prospects and financial stability. However, employers from these sectors are most probable to engage with the QS Global Employer Survey. Unlike charities and employers from the creative industry, these sectors are likely to have a budget allocated to university recruitment and engagement in order to retain the best talent.

The QS Global Employer Survey 2016 can help prospective applicants make informed decisions about what industry to go into and what degree will open the right doors to enter it. It can also help universities reach their best potential, by fostering relationships between universities and the industries that would likely recruit from them and by enabling institutions to adapt their programs to meet the demands of the employment market.

Utilizing the QS Global Employer Survey to understand which institutions employers recruit graduates from, will empower universities to rethink their position within the market and to adopt strategies to increase the prestige and marketability of their own institutions.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming White Paper which will examine both the 2017 QS Global Employer and Applicant Surveys, drawing comparisons between student and employer expectations. A critique of both of these reveals what students hope their degrees will lead to, versus what, indeed, the reality of the job market is.

More QS Insights

Building boundaries
Read more

Sign up for industry insights

Receive the latest insights, expertise and commentary on the topics which matter most in higher education, straight to your inbox.

Sign up