Best Universities for Job Prospects
Almost every student goes to university in the hope of improving their job prospects. So, as concerns around graduate recruitment grow, our university league table of job prospects is more important than ever.
How are the Top 20 worked out?
We’ve run the numbers on 19,323 student reviews to find the best universities for job prospects. We can now reveal our top 20 university rankings for job prospects as decided by students!
How do you measure job prospects?
There are all sorts of metrics trying to measure graduate job prospects. For example, the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data measures graduates' median earnings at 1, 3 and 5 years after finishing university.
The Graduate Outcomes data gives graduate employment rates as well as the types of employment graduates find themselves in.
So, there are pretty good measures of whether or not people on your course find a job, the types of jobs they get and how much they earn.
Possibly more important than the earnings data and types of jobs typical graduates go into, is the support a university gives its students to improve their employability. This can be through work placements, contact with employers or employability skills embedded throughout the course.
For example, the University of Nottingham’s (#11) Nottingham Advantage Award creates all sorts of opportunities to enhance skills.
Even in a difficult labour market, there is a lot universities can do to help students to thrive in the workplace. Our university reviews help you find out what students have found helpful.
Find out about the rest of StudentCrowd’s Best University Awards 2021 here.
Published: 29th July 2021
Harper Adams University
"A unique institution that prides itself on being industry focused in its course design for each subject and it really does show when you go out into the world of work and find all you've been taught is applicable!"
Harper Adams’ industry focus is unparalleled and as such their course design is centred around highly applicable teaching material. Their reputation with employers is exceptional and they have a 99.4% employment rate. The average salary five years after graduation, according to LEO data for the 201819 tax year, is £28,800, higher than the unadjusted median average graduate of £27,400. The focused course selection may help produce highly-specialised graduates with a high value to potential employers, resulting in Harper Adams being the number 1 university for job prospects.
University of Cambridge
"Studying law is an extremely rigorous course but leaves plenty of choice for you to develop in areas you are interested in and there are of course great job prospects."
Cambridge students are highly sought after in the graduate market, continually ranking highly in the annual Graduate Market survey. A combination of teaching style and extracurricular activities make Cambridge students some of the most employable graduates in the world. Cambridge regularly sits in the top 10 in the LEO data, with an average salary of £41,600 after five years of graduation.
"So many opportunities, great personal development, lots of possibilities to network with some huge companies across UK. Great job prospects."
Loughborough University is no.1 in the UK for employer-student connections and within the top 20 globally and has excellent industry links in many areas which leads to a high employment rate in graduate level roles of 84%. A supportive careers team strive to aid students with their future employment. They are always on the lookout for new employers and arrange huge careers fair events where students can learn more about a variety of roles and interact with different potential employers to expand their options.
University of Warwick
"I am having a great experience with this course... Job prospects are great and the module options are interesting and there is an abundance of options."
Students frequently report of great job prospects which is backed up by an average graduate salary of £36,100 within five years of leaving. Warwick has a respectable 93% of graduates from their first degrees in work or further study. They have skill workshops, employers’ events on campus and active volunteering programs to help students gain critical experience.
Imperial College London
"Great course with good career prospects and well taught in my opinion"
Imperial College London’s graduate average salary after 5 years of work is extremely high at £47,800 and is one of the highest in the UK. Approximately 90% of graduates find work or continue into further study after completing their first degree. Alumni frequently report of great job opportunities in engineering and medical sectors. During the third year of mechanical engineering, students have the option to include a six-month placement to gain real experience and skills.
University of Liverpool
"Best University in UK, Good lectures, teachers and labs. Recommanded for anyone who wants to fallow their dreams and future carrer!"
The University of Liverpool has a respectable average graduate salary after 5 years of leaving of £29,900. Their employment rate (including graduates who continue to study) sits at 88% and rises to 95% for UK students. They have a robust careers service – offering interview practise, career workshops and modules often containing real world activities; for example, modules which task students to set up a business with real money and suppliers. Students also seem very positive about the university helping them ‘follow their dreams and future career!’
Robert Gordon University
"super good university, I loved my time here and I’m gutted to be graduating and leaving but feel really prepared for the world of work that is ahead of me thanks to the team and tutors at RGU"
The graduate outcomes for Robert Gordon University show that six months after leaving university, 97.6% of graduates are in work or further study. The graduate salary is above the UK average at £27,400. Alumni have said they felt well prepared for world of work due to the great career team and tutors. Placements are also offered in whichever area the undergraduates wish to pursue which allows plenty of flexibility.
University of St Andrews
"The University overall is amazing, with opportunities and support provided to those who seek it. Amazing range of diverse students and fantastic career prospects"
The University of St Andrews’ graduates do notably well in the job market and after five years have an average salary of £33,900. 94.9% of graduates secure jobs or continue to study after leaving the university. Students often comment on how the great courses help to set them up for future careers and the great prospects in a diverse array of sectors.
University of East Anglia (UEA)
"...there is a focus on career prospects right from year one. We have weekly employability sessions where we explore different career paths, how we can get to them, and what we should be doing now to reach our goals."
The University of East Anglia’s average graduate salary after 5 years is £28,800 which is £2,900 above average. Their graduate job programme partners with local employers to allows undergraduates to experience full assessment centres and their CareerCentral team offers one-to-one guidance to help achieve internships/graduate jobs. Students often comment that a strong career focus is integrated into the modules from year one and weekly employability sessions help students set goals to explore and achieve a variety of different career paths.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU)
"Uni is very focused on job prospects and keep pushing you to improve yourself..."
Nottingham Trent University boasts an extremely high employment rate where 75% of graduates are in graduate-level employment or graduate-entry education/ training within fifteen months of graduating. The average salary five years after leaving NTU is £27,000, higher than the national average for graduates, which is particularly impressive considering the large number of vocational courses offered by the university. Students leaving StudentCrowd reviews frequently say that the university provides a lot of careers support and the modules are designed to provide students with the ‘essential skills, knowledge and experience for their future.
University of Nottingham
"The career service, partnered with Unitemps offers many new opportunities on campus through the year and establishes an easy to understand system for employers to connect with potential and current employees"
The graduate outcomes for the University of Nottingham show that six months after leaving university, 96.5% of graduates are in work or further study. The careers service, combined with Unitemps, offer a variety of new opportunities on campus throughout the year which establishes a simple system where employers can connect with university students. Placement opportunities and research projects in combination with the Nottingham Advantage Award programme, which offers modules to further enhance your employability, job prospects are great, with the average salary after five years being £33,200.
"Honestly I think its the best thing that could have ever happened to me for my future career - the career focus here is AMAZING! You get constant help with your CV and applications, all of the staff know what they're doing."
Aston University boasts a graduate salary after five years of £33,400 which is well above the UK average and the 20th largest median salary five years after graduation*. 83% of Aston University graduates either find work or continue with further study after leaving university. Aston University’s Careers and Placements team goes above and beyond to support undergrads and graduates through the job-hunting process. They have a particular focus on the added value of the placement year and many students benefit from a £1,000 scholarship to support their placement in the UK or abroad. Students have said that Aston’s ‘first priority is employability’, the team provide tailored guidance and enhanced curriculum input alongside broader recruitment support; CV writing, interview preparation and applications.
Glasgow Caledonian University
"They also organise a lot of guest talks from people in industry which is fantastic for networking and understanding what the job industry is like! You also get briefs from people in the industry."
Glasgow Caledonian University has a wide range of accreditations, placement opportunities and industry links which help our students achieve positive graduate outcomes. 91% of GCU’s UK first degree graduates were in sustained employment, further study, or both one year after graduation, amongst the highest rate in Scotland. At this stage, median earnings of our UK first degree graduates were also above the Scottish median in the majority of subjects offered by the University (LEO data, 2021). GCU organises many guest talks involving employers and graduates in industry which helps students network and widen their understanding of different jobs and sectors. It has an enterprise hub for students and staff and a leading Institute for University to Business Education.
University of Glasgow
“If you like maths then you'll love the course that glasgow uni offers. Lots of jobs available for future prospects looking to enter the field.”
95.9% of The University of Glasgow’s graduates either continue with further education or have a job within six months of leaving. The careers team provide a variety of training in addition to the regular courses to help improve undergraduate’s employability resulting in the average salary after five years of graduation is £29,900. Students regularly comment on the large number of prospects after graduation.
"Great course with amazing employment prospects allowing be to lay down good foundations for my future"
Newcastle University features an average graduate salary of £32,500 after five years of work and 95% of graduates find work or continue study six months after leaving. The helpful careers support offer one-to-one sessions with professional career advisors, drop-in CV clinics, unique online resources and a large range of skill development workshops which all improve employability. Students frequently write about the good prospects which the university assists with, allowing good future foundations to be laid out.
"Great course for future job prospects in the business world"
96% of Keele University's graduates are in employment or further education after their first degree, with an average salary after five years of £28,500. The careers and employability team host events where undergraduates can meet employers, they have careers consultants and information on hand and also have a database with a vast array of jobs. Some students have written that there are particularly excellent job prospects in the business and law areas.
"A lot of interesting modules and help from tutors. Great value for money considering I am doing the fast track 2-year degree making it much cheaper than a 3 year but with all the same learning benefits and job prospects."
After five years of work Staffordshire University graduates earn on average £23,000. This average salary may be lower then the national average due to the large number of vocational courses studied at Staffordshire University. The tutors are supportive and great job prospects can be achieved by either doing a standard or 2-year fast track degree.
University of Bath
"Fantastic campus atmosphere and a well respected university. Job prospects for Bath students are noticeably higher than other universities."
Bath University students are high in demand in the graduate job market and as a result 89% of graduates go into jobs of continue to study within six months of leaving. After five years of work their graduates go on to earn an average of £37,700 which is notably higher than the UK average. 65% of Bath’s undergraduates who completed their course in the 2017/18 academic year went on a placement or study year abroad. Their careers services arranges for up to 400 employers to attend the university annually during events to help their undergraduate’s jobs search.
Norwich University of the Arts
"...job prospects is really based upon how pro active you are as a person, but your given all the guidance you'll ever need from the uni."
95% of Norwich University of the Arts(NUA) students went onto employment or further their education within six months after leaving the university. Their £21,500 average salary (after 5 years of graduation) is on the lower end and less than the UK average, however this may be attributed to the vocational nature of the courses offered at NUA. Students say the creative jobs board at NUA provide all the guidance you’d ever need and also offer a useful job vacancy database.
"The course was very interesting and helped provided me with good tools for work life."
Swansea University’s careers team offers employability courses, events, skills training and virtual drop-in sessions to help provide undergraduates with experience and prepare them for the world of work. 88.7% of Leavers are in employment and/or further study, 15 months after completing a course with us and the most popular annual salary is between £24,000 and £26,999 (Graduate Outcomes Survey 17/18). Students also say that the courses provide ‘good tools for work life’ which is crucial to the employability of graduates.
Think your university deserves to be in the StudentCrowd top 20? Leave a review now for our 2022 University Awards!