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University Grads Rated Among World’s Most Employable

International survey puts BU in top 10 U.S. schools, 17th worldwide


The power of a BU diploma was recognized last week when the employability of graduates of the University was ranked 17th in the world and 7th among U.S. schools in a survey published in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. The 2012 Global Employability Survey was conducted by Emerging, a French consulting firm, and Trendence, a German polling institute, and asked hundreds of international companies which universities were most likely to produce the ideal employee; it also asked them to list the ideal qualities of a new graduate.

Harvard was ranked number one among U.S. schools, followed by Yale, Stanford, MIT, Columbia, Princeton, and BU.

Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, says the administration is delighted that BU is so highly regarded on the global stage.

“The results are an excellent characterization of the quality of our students,” Morrison says. “BU is a global university in that our students have meaningful experiences that prepare them for the global marketplace. Given that the survey reflects the views of international CEOs, business managers, and recruiters at international companies, it’s really excellent recognition of the quality and versatility of our students.”

2012 Global Employability Survey, Top 10 U.S. Universities

The top 10 U.S. universities named in the 2012 Global Employability Survey, which asked hundreds of international companies which universities were most likely to produce the ideal employee. Graphic by Kristina Roman

Part one of the two-part survey asked more than 2,500 recruiters in 20 countries (including Britain, China, and the United States) to describe the qualities they find important in a new hire. The online survey included questions such as to what extent should a new hire be immediately effective and productive in the company, which foreign languages (other than English) are needed to succeed in a company, and which qualities are important for the long-term employability of a graduate. It also asked about “soft skills,” such as adaptability, communications, and the ability to work in a team.

Part two asked the same group, as well as CEOs and company chairs, to name their countries’ top universities. Answers from both parts of the survey, as well as consideration of last year’s results (BU ranked 51st), were used to determine the 150 global institutions whose graduates were most employable.

Kenneth Freeman, the Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of the School of Management, formerly led Quest Diagnostics and was a partner at investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and he is still a senior advisor at the company. He says that global employers often look for the “four Cs”: cultural awareness, communication skills, collaboration, and creativity. “They aspire to hire individuals who are sensitive to the impact of cultural differences across countries in the ways business is conducted; write and speak clearly and persuasively; actively participate in and lead cross functional teams; and think broadly, expanding the boundaries, and identifying new ways of doing things,” Freeman says. “Boston University prepares its students well in each of these areas.”

The survey results were published two months after BU was ranked 51st in the country, up from 53rd last year, by U.S. News & World Report, and named 64th, up 6 spots from last year, by the QS World University Rankings.

Denise Mooney, associate vice president for enrollment and student affairs, says the global perspective of many of BU’s academic and extracurricular programs lends an advantage in the international job market, one that is particularly useful when unemployment in this country hovers around 8 percent. She also believes the rigor of the University’s academic programs makes BU graduates attractive to employers.

“In the survey,” says Mooney, “employers cited factors such as the ability to work in a team and work under pressure, and those things are important aspects in many of our programs here. We also have a strong study abroad program that incorporates internships, and we have an excellent representation of international students, which means that students study, work, and live with others from around the globe, and they develop multicultural skills. ”

Last year, 6,041 international students from 140 countries were enrolled in the University, making up 17 percent of the student body, according to the International Students & Scholars Office.

Students also get help preparing for a global labor market from the University’s Center for Career Development. The center, in its new home in the Center for Student Services, at 100 Bay State Road, brings more than 100 companies to campus during its job expos and on-campus recruiting sessions, and its online job database, the BU CareerLink, works with the database Going Global to provide country career guides and international job postings for students who are interested in careers overseas.

Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

37 Comments on University Grads Rated Among World’s Most Employable

  • Jess on 11.01.2012 at 8:40 am

    so this is really talking about SMG students, right? not the rest of us? way to be misleading.

    • Morgan on 11.01.2012 at 9:38 am

      It may refer to BU students as a whole. A lot of non SMG students go into business.

      • Morgan on 11.01.2012 at 9:38 am

        BU Today should clarify that

    • Anish K on 11.01.2012 at 12:44 pm

      This survey has nothing to do with SMG. It is a ranking of the global BU population (not school specific) relative to the global population of other universities.

      Go BU, all of us!

      SMG ’11

      • Tom M on 11.08.2012 at 5:03 pm

        What is “SMG”? My son attends BU, I read article and curious about what “SMG” is?

        • Lugohst Soto on 11.17.2012 at 4:36 pm

          It means School of ManaGment.

    • Rupert Manlove on 11.01.2012 at 10:59 pm

      This comment alone pulled us down below Princeton. RTFA!

  • Amy M Laskowski on 11.01.2012 at 9:46 am

    Jess, the survey refers to all BU students.

  • Erik on 11.01.2012 at 10:47 am

    Who cares about non-smg students anyway?

    • EVA on 11.01.2012 at 12:27 pm

      are u serious? who do u think you are!!!!!

      • David on 11.01.2012 at 12:51 pm

        Thats the reason we can’t get into top 5

    • Anon on 11.02.2012 at 12:49 pm

      Last time i checked SMG students are the ones complaining how hard it is to write a memo. 80% of the people i know in SMG spend their weekends taking pictures at nightclubs and getting drunk- if anything SMG drags BU down second to CGS

  • Anonymous on 11.01.2012 at 12:33 pm

    please, we all know sargent students are the real smarties

    • i love BU on 11.01.2012 at 1:34 pm

      do u think you are smart making such comment?

    • Rafaz on 11.01.2012 at 3:45 pm

      “Does SMG have anything in it at all… I mean IQ-wise?” – Asked by an ENG student who did not sleep for the past week…

  • Eng on 11.01.2012 at 1:42 pm


  • bu1115 on 11.01.2012 at 2:38 pm

    I graduated from BU and still go to BU for graduate school. This survey really isnt a 100% reflection on students. BU having a strong international presence may be just as important. BU is known across the world and this being an international ranking is not really that surprising. Of course the students are a part of it so dont get me wrong….this crazy debate about SMG and other schools are ridiculous. We are great in business, communications, medical, dental, law, engineering, and health sciences. We all should be proud of this !

  • Anonymous on 11.01.2012 at 2:56 pm

    In the past 5 years, who has received the sexiest offer from BU? You barely send a kid or two to wall street..no one goes into consulting, big 4 accounting is bs..i’ve worked w/ kids from BU…they are not too bright

    • Anonymous on 11.01.2012 at 3:48 pm

      I got an offer from Intel, Microsoft, and Harvard medical… But again I’m an Biomed grad (ENG’11)

      • Anonymous 2 on 11.01.2012 at 10:05 pm

        ENG > SMG

    • Chip on 11.01.2012 at 3:59 pm


      Did they teach grammar at your school?

      • Anonymous 2 on 11.01.2012 at 10:09 pm

        No, sorry engineers are busy; learning: how to actually advancing society so that: people who spend their time critiquing’ peoples sentences can, have good lives.

        You are very welcome

        – Proud ENG Student

        PS: sorry for the incorrect use of punctuation, that class overlapped with my calculus class

        • Anon on 11.02.2012 at 12:51 pm

          ^ LOL- agreed. Grammar < Science

    • Emma on 11.01.2012 at 4:31 pm

      And given the heart-warming statement you just made about our student population, and your apparent lack of courage in what you wrote, considering your preference of identifying yourself as “Anonymous” as opposed to your real name, it sounds like you are not too bright yourself.

  • Carolyn on 11.01.2012 at 4:53 pm

    Justification for robbing me blind? Solid “proof” I will be employed promptly after graduation. Claims that the sea of people at BU are more desirable than a Brown Student, or basically any other student, sound like bullsh*t. If there is any real preparation, its in dealing with bureaucracy.

  • Joe on 11.01.2012 at 4:58 pm

    lets hope this compensates for the grade deflation, eh?

  • DC on 11.01.2012 at 8:22 pm

    Hey listen… at the end of the day, this all means one thing… BC still sucks! Go Terriers.

  • Grace on 11.02.2012 at 5:17 pm

    That’s great! Go BU. Love BU

  • Bain on 11.03.2012 at 8:13 pm

    wow, so much hate here. We should all be happy. this is our school. we’re no Ivy, but our products are not bad either.

  • prospie on 11.09.2012 at 9:31 pm

    Wow. As a someone interested in applying to SMG these comments are really not that encouraging. Pettiness abounds…

  • Davros on 11.13.2012 at 8:13 pm

    As the father of a BU sophomore, I’m frankly astonished at the responses to this article. Why aren’t you all celebrating the extraordinary standing that BU has in the international business community? Life doesn’t come with guarantees or automatic job offers. However, international companies have choices–read The World is Flat for pity’s sake.

    The fact that BU is recognized so highly is freakin’ unbelievable! Do you have any idea how many schools, representing how many hundreds of thousands of students, would kill to be where BU is on the list?

    I certainly don’t know enough about their criteria–?rigorous admissions screening process, ?can survive snow, ?likes baked beans and lobstas, ?enjoys hockey–who cares? The point is that these international companies, who have got the world’s graduates to choose from, think the character(istics) of a BU student are more valuable than many other schools.

    It costs thousands of dollars to hire and train new employees, so the selection process is crucial. If these companies feel that BU students are preferred, who are we to argue? They are the ones making the job offers and paying the salaries. I, for one, am proud to have a son in BU.

  • Kimmy on 11.17.2012 at 3:53 pm

    Let’s go BU<3

  • Proud Parent on 11.19.2012 at 2:37 pm

    I can’t believe that so many students who attend BU are so negative about the school. If you are one of the above who feels it necessary, shame on you. My daughter attends and works very hard to get the grades she deserves, while interning and working part time to help out financially. If you do not like and/or appreciate the opportunity you have been given to attend a great school, GO HOME! There are plenty of other students who do not get in who would appreciate the opportunity. I must say, I feel that the negative comments come from those kids who have been raised with a real sense of “Entitlement”. The kids who have worked hard to get into the school and continue to work hard to complete their education, kudos to all of you! Great Job BU – keep it up!

  • John on 12.06.2012 at 8:21 pm

    Talk to anyone who runs a successful company; where you went to school doesn’t mean a whole lot. Some of my best employees went to state. Ive hired state grads over ivy before too. Point being, BU is marketing this to jack up school cost on you kids, smarten up.

  • BME on 12.07.2012 at 7:42 pm


  • BUCompEng on 12.24.2012 at 12:10 am

    The Top 10 was simply extrapolated from the global list (i.e first 10 schools with US next to their name). I would like to see just a US ranking done.

  • Nick on 07.07.2013 at 12:50 pm

    You can’t be that surprised that “University grads are rated among the world’s most employable!”, can you?!

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