Best Universities for Job Prospects 2022
One of the most important factors for many when it comes to comparing universities in the UK is their employability outcome. With the cost of higher education continuing to rise, students want to ensure that they get a good return on their investment. The best universities in the country produce graduates who are highly sought-after in their fields.
Can we trust job prospects data?
Graduate employment data can be broken down into two primary metrics: median earnings and employment rates.
Each year, the Graduate Outcomes survey is conducted, which is the largest annual social survey in the UK. It evaluates current graduate employment rates, and also provides information on the type of employment secured by students.
For students more motivated by salaries, the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data provides an idea of what graduates can expect to earn at one, three and five years after the completion of their degree.
Through a combination of these metrics, prospective students can gain a fairly strong idea of how much obtaining a degree will impact their career.
What else can universities provide?
In addition to raw course content, many of the top institutions featured in our university reviews will help to prepare students for the graduate job market. In our top spot this year, the University of East Anglia continues to operate their highly successful “CareersCentral” scheme, unlocking the individual brilliance in each of their students.
Many of the universities on this list will provide careers coaching sessions, or one-to-one training for interviews. In a fiercely competitive graduate job market, these extra services can help elevate students above the rest.
Top ranking UK universities help to prepare their students for the world of work, not just see them through a degree course. If you’re interested in this aspect, you can look up our rankings for the Best UK University Careers Services in 2022.
How is the Top 20 worked out?
The Best Universities for Job Prospects is based on 15,871 student reviews submitted on StudentCrowd between June 2020 to May 2022 across 10 different areas of student life. The annual StudentCrowd University Awards are the only awards based entirely on authentic student reviews. At StudentCrowd, we only allow reviews verified by a valid ac.uk email address, to ensure all the opinions on our site are expressed by real students. You can read more about our authentic review process here.
We can now reveal the top 20 universities for job prospects in our league table below!
Find out more…
Check out our award for Best Universities for Careers Services 2022 to find out which unis are leading the way in helping students adequately prepare for the workplace.
Find out about the rest of StudentCrowd’s UK Universities 2022 award-winners here.
The Top 20 UK Universities for Job Prospects
“I am so glad I chose to study Law at 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.”
Through a combination of superb on-campus careers guidance service, phenomenal teaching and the option for students to add a placement year to their degrees, the University of East Anglia tops our list this year with fantastic graduate outcomes. The institution continues to run their highly successful ‘CareerCentral’ scheme, ensuring that graduates and students are supported as they begin their careers.
“Great course with good career prospects and well taught in my opinion.”
Graduates from Imperial College London continue to find success after university, with a staggering average graduate salary of £39,000 within six months of completing their degree. With a focus on producing high quality graduates in Computer Science, Medicine and Engineering, graduates from ICL can expect fantastic careers support all the way from planning to application and interview guidance.
“Very exciting course and provides me with the opportunity to go into a great job in the future”
Rounding out the top three this year is Ulster University, whose focus on securing academic placements has led to 94% of graduates either starting their careers or continuing to further study within six months of graduation. Students at Ulster praise the personable and caring careers team in their reviews, who help students to find positions where they can excel and demonstrate what they have learnt over the duration of their degree.
“The prospects look really good especially given the uni allow us to pursue our own placements (allowing us to go into our desired industries)”
As the top university in Scotland for Student Employability, Robert Gordon deserves to retain its top 10 spot on our list. Through its extensive ‘eHub’ careers portal, and supporting students through academic placements, RGU assists students in learning the real world skills required to excel post-graduation. The university has excellent links to industry, pairing graduates with companies where they can get the best possible start to their careers.
“The University overall is amazing, with opportunities and support provided to those who seek it. Amazing range of diverse students and fantastic career prospects”
Students at St Andrews continue to rate their education positively, stating that the high quality of teaching leads to excellent employment outcomes. With a typical graduate salary of between £27,000 and £30,000, and a supportive careers service, those studying at St Andrews can be confident that their time studying in Scotland is setting them up for career success.
“Great course with good prospect ! But you’ve got to put the work in”
Liverpool boasts an award-winning careers and employability service, dedicated to giving its graduates a head start in the job market through a variety of seminars, career fairs and interview practice. Impressively, 88% of all Liverpool graduates are in work or further study within six months of completing their degrees, with students singing the praises of Liverpool's careers services in their reviews.
“The degree has been extremely enjoyable with great support from support and opportunities that help with job prospects”
Graduates from the University of Cardiff can access its extensive careers advice and support for up to three years after graduation. With careers coaching sessions, trial interviews and access to graduate resources and support, students at Cardiff are set up well to succeed in their careers. Students praise the careers service offered in their reviews, citing that staff are keen to help and want students to succeed.
“...Highly recommend the course! You will be gaining valuables skills and network connections which are so important.”
Scoring above average in almost every metric of graduate employability, GCU thoroughly deserves its spot in our top 10. With 93% of students either in employment or further study within 15 months of graduating, Glasgow Caledonian University proves that their superb education programmes, coupled with an extensive careers network providing a wide range of services, produces graduates in high demand across the professional world.
“... the course is great with excellent job prospects...”
With supportive staff and great teaching, Staffordshire University graduates continue to do well after graduation. With a large focus on vocational careers, Staffordshire are able to tailor their careers advice with specific knowledge and guidance, helping to guide graduates into their dream roles. Students at Staffordshire can expect an average salary of £25,000 after graduating.
“The level of education provided is amazing and the job prospects post uni are so rich and diverse”
Rounding out the top 10 is Newcastle University, whose careers guidance service and excellent teaching has seen them feature on this list for another year. Students have praised Newcastle's careers support network in their reviews, with assistance ranging from CV help through to mock interviews. 94% of graduates from Newcastle are in employment or further study within 15 months of finishing their degrees.
“...My experience there shaped me for a successful life and career and I'm still in touch with many friends I made there.”
The University of Reading moved back into the top 20 this year, with reviews brimming with praise for their competent and proactive careers services. With 94% of students either employed or in further education within 15 months of finishing their degrees, Reading's focus on relevance within its courses leads to graduates being set up to succeed in roles across various industries.
“I personally found that it is great for job prospects [...] If you want it is really up to you to be proactive and engage a bit more than just your course and as a result find a job quite easily that is course related”
Students continue to maintain that Aston’s ‘first priority is employability’, with the institution continuing to support students with tailored career guidance and a curriculum built around relevance and industry skills. That level of commitment is reflected in salaries too, with graduates from Aston able to expect an average salary of £28,000 when they finish their degree.
“... Good course and gives great opportunities in future for job and placement.”
Loughborough University aims to ensure that graduates are equipped with all the skills and knowledge they need to tackle every aspect of their life and career. Through a well-optimised focus on placements, Loughborough allows students to develop relationships with companies before they even graduate. The university is ranked top 10 in graduate outcome across all of the major league tables.
“...The flexibility of the BSc is great and allows you to tailor your degree to whichever career you are interested in and the careers team here is amazing at helping you start your career straight after your graduate.”
With a staggering 97% of graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating, Lancaster is thoroughly deserving of a top 20 placing. The universities 'CareerAhead' service helps academic students to become more confident in their abilities, equipping them with interview, teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills. Students review the careers service as "incredible" and value the assistance that is continued after graduation.
“Great content on the course and amazing job prospects.”
Northumbria believes that hands-on experience is critical in developing the confidence, stamina and determination required to do well in life after graduation. Through providing live projects with real companies for students to work on, as well as a whole host of placement opportunities, NU provides its students with opportunities to develop these skills. The institution is ranked top 25 in the UK for graduate outcomes in highly-skilled employment.
“Great course with great scope for the future, also very practical too and had a good rating”
With fantastic links to well-regarded companies and a dedicated careers service, Cardiff Metropolitan University has managed to attain an almost 95% employment or further education status for its graduates. High praise is attributed by students to the careers network, which is staffed by people who want to see students succeed and released into spaces where they fulfil their potential.
“The course is tailor-made for students, and the job prospects look good.”
With a strategy based around drawing out and developing students' natural attributes and skills, Sheffield has elicited praise for its personable and individual approach to developing students. Through their dedicated ‘MySkills’ platform, students are encouraged to record and develop their abilities, with the aim of increasing employability. This focus on developing individuals creates highly employable and independent graduates.
“...Job prospects are great and the module options are interesting and there is an abundance of options.”
Running regular employer events on campus and plenty of volunteer opportunities seems to have worked for Warwick, who have achieved an average graduate salary of over £30,000. With an extensive careers support network, they’re able to provide in-depth support to students, helping them to target and prepare for the positions they desire after graduation.
“Good learning atmosphere, good environment, good job prospects”
Featuring in our top 20 is Liverpool Hope University, with students quick to praise their careers advice services. The institution promotes placement years amongst its students to allow them to build relationships with companies before they graduate. The careers team at LHU allows students to focus on short, medium and long-term goals, setting them up for success in the workplace.
“Course is focused on preparing students for the job market, very applicable.”
Norwich has managed to find great success in leading creative students to employment, with a strong support network of tutors and career professionals guiding applicants through a historically-tough process. The university has fantastic links to industry and has secured itself as a reputable source of creative graduates. Students at NUA are able to harness these powerful industry connections to secure competitive roles in creative workplaces.