• Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

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UK among the best European country for graduate employment!

UK ranked eighth best European country to work in for graduates this year with over 86% of recent graduate employment rate. This is a 0.4% graduate employment rate increase from 2020. Please see more details below.

With graduate schemes, and jobs seeing a seasonal peak in autumn, Savoystewart.co.uk was interested in finding out which European country has the highest graduate employment rate. To do so, they collated official data for 31 countries from Eurostat and Gov.uk, revealing the best country to work in for graduates! 

Top 10 European Countries with the Highest Graduate Employment Rate

Rank Country Percentage of recent graduate employment (%)
1 Netherlands 93.1
2 Germany 91.3
3 Norway 91.0
4 Malta 89.0
5 Austria 87.7
6 Switzerland 87.4
7 Sweden 87.2
8 United Kingdom 86.7
9 Ireland 86.2
10 Hungary 85.5

Savoystewart.co.uk can reveal that the Netherlands currently has the highest graduate employment rate in Europe – at 93.1%. This is a 3.8% increase from 2020 where they positioned fourth among all European countries reviewed. As Europe’s logistic hub, the Netherlands offers plenty of graduate job opportunities in sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, and agriculture. Home to many widely known international companies, it is also an attractive place for international students who are seeking jobs in Europe.

Ranking second is Germany with an employment rate of 91.3% for recent graduates. The figure increased by 1.7% and showed a positive post-COVID employment recovery in the country. Known for being the biggest automotive market in Europe, it is not surprising to see that the most popular industries for graduates’ jobs include vehicle manufacturing, along with machinery, and electronics.

Norway came third with a 91.0% recent employment rate for graduates, 1.3% higher than the previous year. A recent survey also showed that the unemployment rate among recent master’s degree graduates dropped to the lowest since 2013. Industries such as healthcare, energy, tourism, and IT are all popular among graduates.

Bottom 5 European Countries 

Rank Country Percentage of recent graduate employment (%)
1 Italy 57.9
2 Greece 60.1
3 Serbia 65.1
4 Romania 70.1
5 Spain 72.8

At the other end is Italy with graduate employment at 57.9%, the lowest among all European countries reviewed. Despite a big improvement (5.2%) in the graduate employment rate from the previous year, Greece ranked as the second worst country for graduates. Battling economic issues, Serbia and Romania follow with 65.1% and 70.1%, respectively. With a graduate employment rate of 72.8%, Spain is the fifth worst country for graduate jobs.

Top 5 European Countries with the Biggest Graduate Employment Rate Increase

Rank Country Percentage of recent graduate employment (%) % of Increase*(from the previous year)
1 Ireland 86.2 6.7
2 Lithuania 79.9 5.4
3 Greece 60.1 5.2
4 Netherlands 93.1 3.8
5 Hungary 85.5 3.3

Ireland is the country with the highest increase (6.7%) in graduate employment rates across Europe. Their employment rate for graduates jumped from below 80% to over 86%, the biggest increase among all countries reviewed.

Receiving second and third are Lithuania at 5.4% and Greece at 5.2%. The Netherlands has seen the fourth highest increase in Europe while Hungary is fifth with 3.3%.


  1. Savoystewart.co.uk was interested to find out which country in Europe has the highest and lowest graduate employment rate。
  2. To do this, they obtained the latest data on Employment rates of recent graduates from the Eurostat website. Data for the United Kingdom was collected from gov.uk.
  3. The data was then compared with the previous year to determine the percentage of increase or decrease of graduate employment rate.
  4. The countries were then ranked by their graduate employment rate and by the percentage of increase/decrease. The full dataset could be found here on Onedrive here. 
  5. Due to the lack of data, countries such as Turkey, Albania, Iceland, North Macedonia, and Liechtenstein were excluded from the study.
  6. The data from Eurostat was updated on 27.09.2022 and the data from Gov.uk was updated on 22.06.2022.