Improvement in Employment Opportunities and Salaries for Graduates



By Maura O'Shea

Posted: 15 February, 2017

Employment opportunities for graduates of Irish universities and colleges of education continued to improve last year, according to a report published today by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

What Do Graduates Do?’ is published each year and provides insights into the first destination of graduates of Irish universities and colleges of education, nine months after graduation.

The latest report looks at how 2015 graduates – from Degree, Higher & Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and Doctorate courses – have fared in relation to employment and further education or training.

It shows that employment rates for Honours Bachelor Degree graduates have risen significantly in recent years: from 46 per cent in 2010 to 62 per cent in 2015.

What do Graduates Do? The Class of 2015

Other key findings include:

  • Sixty-eight per cent of all graduates are in employment, of which 57 per cent are employed in Ireland.
  • Thirty-one per cent of Honours Bachelor Degree graduates; 16 per cent of Higher and Postgraduate Diploma graduates; and 8 per cent of Masters and Doctorate graduates are engaged in further studies or training.
  • As education increases, so too does salary: over half of Honours Bachelor Degree graduates earn €25,000 or over; this increases to 85 per cent for those with Doctorates.
  • At Honours Bachelor Degree level, Computer Science/ICT graduates are the highest earners, with 57 per cent earning €29,000 or more.
  • Dublin remains the region with most employment opportunities for graduates, followed by the South-West region.

Key Trends
Commenting today, Dr. Anne Looney, Interim CEO of the HEA, said: “Once again the findings of this report show an increase in graduate employment, with over 85% of graduates finding work in Ireland. Employment opportunities in Computer Science, Health and Welfare and Education remained high in 2016.”

Dr. Looney said the ‘What Do Graduates Do?’ report provides important data on the quality of Irish higher education provision and it shows the importance of the Higher Education system for economic and social development. The inclusion of the Institutes of Technology in a pilot 2017 Graduates Outcomes survey will give us access to the full picture of the impact of graduates from all our publicly funded higher education institutions”.

The report’s findings are based on 18,526 survey responses, representing 73 per cent of Level 8-10 graduates from Ireland’s universities and colleges of education.

More: Dr. Anne Looney, Interim CEO HEA

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set these optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy page


Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.


Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone.