No matter how in-depth and careful you are when choosing a university (and you should have been doing that by looking at today’s rankings, at least in part), there’s always a little flux involved that’s well worth considering when you’re choosing a place to study. Basically, although the university rankings today will help your generation choose what universities to apply to, the rankings of 2018 will help employers choose what students they want to invite to an interview, and which ones they want to leave behind.
Employers will do their research when it comes to new graduates just leaving university and choosing a job. They’ll look at the university rankings, the average grades, the industrial reputation of universities, and many other criteria. They’ll then consult a crystal ball, pray to various deities, dance around a crop circle naked and generally puzzle over the vast pile of applications on their collective desk before making a decision. And that decision, at least in part, will be based around the rankings of 2018 – it will be the rankings of a university the year that most of you people reading this will graduate and start looking for a job.
This is something that you really, really need to be aware of. No matter how good the rankings of a particular university are looking this year, that doesn’t mean they’ll always look that good next year or the year after that until 2018. If – poor you – your university plummets in the ratings over the time you’re studying there (and if this does happen, we’re sure it has nothing to do with you, honest) then your CV won’t be looking as great as you may have first hoped. Sorry about that, but there are a few things you can do to try and ensure this doesn’t happen.
Try to choose a university that has stable rankings – one that’s gotten steadily better over the last 5 years, say – as opposed to one that has soared through the system last year and is now smugly sitting somewhere that looks, at second glance, to be a little precarious. That’s the trick to avoiding ending up somewhere that slowly gets sucked down the wormhole towards the lower end of the ranking tables as you watch on, horrified. Just look a little deeper and try to work out if a university really deserves to be where it is on the ranking table.
Finally, we don’t want you to worry too much! Generally the ranking system is pretty accurate and it’s rare to chance upon a university that isn’t where it should be on the tables. And even if you do end up in one of these places, a degree is still a very valuable document and shouldn’t be underestimated just because it’s come from a lesser university. What will matter much, much more to employers than a university’s status is your place within the university – if you do well in your degree and engage in things like work experience and generally get involved, the employers won’t care what university you went to.
So, have another look at those ranking tables if you can, but the really important thing is to be the best you can be when you’re at university. Everything else, to be perfectly honest, is secondary.