7. Earnings Analysis

The following analysis looks solely at those who reported full-time employment, and where salary data was provided. Thus, the total number of graduates included in the analysis was 12,881.



7.1 Overview of Graduate Earnings

Nine months after graduation, the average graduate salary was €33,574.

Institute Type: By institute type, Universities had the highest graduate salaries (€34,759), followed by Colleges (€32,209) and IOTs (€31,988).


Gender: Nine months after graduation, on average, males earned €35,651, while females earned €31,688 – a difference of €3,963.


NFQ Level: By NFQ Level, those who completed Level 10 programmes earned an average salary of €45,325. Graduates who completed Level 8 degrees earned the lowest nine months after graduation, at an average of €29,601.


Field of Study: Education graduates (€38,701) earned the highest salaries nine months after graduation. Meanwhile, Arts & Humanities graduates (€24,728) earned the least nine months after graduation.


Region: Graduates working in Dublin earned the most nine months after graduation (€34,153). This was followed closely by graduates working in the Mid-West (€34,070). Those working in Border regions earned the least nine months after graduation (€28,846).

Like-for-like comparisons

Like-for-like comparisons were created, taking into consideration gender, field of study (both broad and detailed, provided separately in below graphs), institution type, NACE sector, region of employment, NFQ level, age, final grade, employment type (e.g. employee, intern, self-employed), contract type (e.g. permanent, temporary), occupation group (e.g. professional occupations, administrative).

The largest category is chosen as the reference “base” category. The €0 seen in the below graphs refer to the “base” categories in each instance.

7.2 Regression: Graduate Earnings

Employment Region: Taking the base as Dublin (€0), Border regions earn the least in comparison (-€5,449, by detailed ISCED). For Younger graduates, this difference reduced to -€3,909.


Gender: Males earn €1,876 more than females, having compared by detailed fields of study. Looking at Younger graduates, this difference reduces to €1,452.


Institute Type: Taking the base as Universities (€0), IOTs had the largest salary gap, earning €2,106 less than Universities (controlling for detailed field of study). For Younger graduates, this difference reduces to IOTs earning €1,245 less than Universities.


NFQ Level: Compared to a Level 8 graduate, Level 10 graduates earn €8,474 more (having controlled for detailed field of study). For Younger graduates, this difference reduces to €6,289 more than Level 8 graduates.

7.3 Gender Pay Gap by Graduate Age

Focusing specifically on the gender pay gap, the gender pay gap seems to rise with increasing age.

At age 25, the gender pay gap is 4.4%, and rises to a peak of 10.9% at ages 50 – 55. This reduces to 9.3% by age 70. On average, the gender pay gap is 5.4% (with controls).

As noted earlier, a narrower gender pay gap is evident for younger graduates. In other words, the gender pay gap widens with age.

Go to next chapter: In-Depth: Education Graduates

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