Graduate Outcomes Survey – data and results




Results from the 2018 survey (Class of 2017) can be found on this page.  The national report is available for download here.  On the sidebar you will find some useful infographics and spreadsheets which detail the main results from the 2018 survey (class of 2017).  If you want more general information on the survey, visit our main page.


Graduate Population

There was a total eligible graduate population of 58,136. Of these, 33,137 graduates came from universities, with a response rate of 57%. A total of 1,373 graduated from colleges, with a response rate of 30%. A further 23,626 graduated from institutes of technology, and the survey response rate was 44%.

Main Graduate Destination

Graduates of 2017 were asked what activities they were engaged in on 31st March 2018, and to indicate the single activity that was most important to them and all activities that they were
engaged in.

Considering the single activity that was most important to graduates across all surveyed populations and fields of study, 78% were working or due to start work (71% full-time, 6% part-time and 1% due to start); 14% were engaged in further study (13% full-time and 1% part-time), 5% were unemployed; and 4% were engaged in a range of other activities.


Graduate Destination – Honours Degree Graduates by ISCED Field of Study

For honours degree graduates, those in the “Education” ISCED field of study were most likely to be in employment or due to start a job (92%), followed by Health and Welfare (87%), ICT (84%), Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction (82%) and Services graduates (80%). The honours degree graduates most likely to be in further study were Social Sciences, Journalism and Information (30%), Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics (29%), and Arts and Humanities graduates (28%).


Occupation – Honours Degree by Institution Type

For honours degree graduates in employment, over half (52%) of such graduates were in professional occupations, with variation across sectors. In total, 15% of honours degree graduates were in associate professional and technical occupations and 9% were in sales and customer service occupations. As may be expected, only 4% of all honours degree graduates were managers, directors and senior officials, nine months after graduation.


Location of Employment – Honours Degree by Institution Type

In terms of location of employment for honours degree graduates, 91% were employed in Ireland and 9% were employed overseas, with a slight variation noted across sectors.

Sector – Honours Degree by Institution Type

In total, 16% of employed honours degree graduates were working in human health and social work activities, nine months after graduation. There is some notable variation across the sectors, with 19% of university graduates, 13% of institute of technology and 1% of college graduates working in this sector. The least popular sectors include public administration and defence and transportation and storage, with 1% of graduates employed in each, across all sectors.

Salary – Honours Degree

While 26% would rather not say, 17% of employed honours degree graduates were earning between €25,000 and €29,999 per year. A further 17% were earning between €30,000 and €34,999. This increases in 23% and 24% across both of these salary brackets when those who would prefer not to say are excluded from the analysis.

Relevance of study to job – Honours Degree

Employed graduates were asked to rate the relevance of the level of their study and the area of their study to their job. Not much variation was reported in response to the relevance questions, with ‘relevant’ and ‘very relevant’ being the most common response for both area and level of study, at 61% and 62% respectively.

More information on honours degree graduates, and other levels of study are available in the Class of 2017 report.  A salary analysis, along with detailed information for teacher education and early years graduates is also included.

The HEA is also engaged in collaboration with the Central Statistics Office on longitudinal graduate outcomes using administrative data.  Further details are available here and a report on graduation years 2010-2014 is available for download.  You can access tailor made tables using the CSO’s StatBank service.


Queries can be directed to graduatesurvey [at] hea [dot] ie.  Check out our Twitter account @gradsurveyIRL too for more details.


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