3. Honours Degree Graduates
Overview of Graduate Population
- In 2017, there were 30,324 graduates
- The response rate was 54%
- More than half (54%) were female graduates
- Most studied Business, Administration & Law, followed by Arts & Humanities
3.1 Main Graduate Destination – Field of Study
Nine months after graduation, 74% of graduates were in employment and 18% were in further study.
Education graduates had the highest rate of employment (92%), followed by Health & Welfare (88%) and ICT (84%).
Social Sciences, Journalism & Information had the highest proportion of graduates in further study (30%), followed by Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics (29%) and Arts & Humanities (28%).
This section relates only to graduates who are considered “In Employment”, as defined below. Thus, all figures reflect only the cohort of graduates defined as “In Employment”.
3.2 Employed Graduates – Occupation/Sector
Of those in employment, more than half (52%) were in Professional Occupations. A further 15% were in Associate Professional & Technical Occupations.
Human Health & Social Work Activities (16%), Financial, Insurance & Real Estate Activities (14%), and Education (12%) were the most popular sectors of employment.
3.3 Employed Graduates – County of Employment
Of employed graduates, 91% were employed in Ireland, and 9% overseas. This differed by institute type, with 88% of University graduates employed in Ireland, compared to 95% for IOTs.
Of the graduates working in Ireland, 43% were working in Dublin, 14% in Cork and 7% in Galway.
Of those working abroad, the most popular countries were Great Britain (27%), the United States (14%) and Canada (8%).
3.4 Employed Graduates – Salary
Nine months after graduation, 90% of graduates were employees, 7% were on work placements, and 3% were self-employed.
More than half (54%) were on permanent or open-ended contracts, 25% were on fixed-term contracts lasting 12 months, and 11% were on fixed-term contracts lasting less than 12 months. One-tenth were in temporary employment.
Excluding those who refused to disclose their salaries, 47% were earning between €25,000 – €34,999.
3.5 Employed Graduates – Placement/Work Experience
In total, 57% of graduates took part in work placements. This differed by institute type, with Colleges having the highest rate of participation in work placements (70%).
In terms of the length of work placements, two-fifths (41%) were more than 6 months long, 31% between 4 to 6 months long, 22% more than 6 weeks but less than 4 months long, and only 6% being less than 6 weeks long.
3.6 Employed Graduates – Relevance and Need
Nine months after graduation, 61% of graduates considered their area of study Very Relevant or Relevant to their job. Similarly, 61% of graduates considered their level of study Very Relevant or Relevant to their job.
On the need for qualification, 62% thought their qualification was a formal requirement for their job. A further 14% thought that their qualification was not a formal requirement, yet gave them an advantage in attaining their job.
3.7 Employed Graduates – Source of Job
One-fifth (22%) of graduates found their job through personal contacts. Another 20% found their job through recruitment sites, and 15% had already worked in their job previously (this includes work placements and internships).
3.8 Further Study Graduates – Field of Study
Of graduates who pursued further study, 86% were in further study in Ireland, while 14% were overseas.
Business, Administration & Law graduates were most likely to pursue further studies in the same field of study (84%). This was followed by Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction (74%) graduates.
Services graduates were least likely to pursue further study in the same field of study (20%). Instead, a higher proportion of graduates opted for further studies in Business, Administration & Law (29%) and Health & Welfare (26%).
Similarly, Arts & Humanities graduates were more likely to pursue further studies in Education (35%) than further study in the same field (30%).
3.9 Further Study Graduates – Why do Further Study?
Of the graduates who pursued further study, 68% pursued Masters Taught programmes.
One quarter (25%) pursued further study to change or improve career options. Another quarter (24%) considered further study a requirement for finding and progressing in future employment.
This section relates only to graduates who are “Unemployed” or “Engaged in Other Activities”, as defined below. Thus, all figures reflect only these cohorts of graduates.
3.10 Unemployed/Engaged in Other Activities
Overall, only 4% of graduates were unemployed and looking for work nine months after graduation. Less than one-third (29%) have been looking for a job since graduation. One-fifth had held a job in the past nine months, yet was either let go, made redundant or the contract had ended.
Nine months after graduation, 3% of graduates were engaged in other activities. One-third (31%) took time out to travel, while one-fifth (22%) stated other reasons.
This section relates to ALL Honours Degree Graduates surveyed.
3.11 Graduate Reflections – Study Same Area/Qualification
Most (77%) graduates considered it Very Likely or Likely that they would study the same area of study again. Similarly, 75% of graduates considered it Very Likely or Likely that they would study the same qualification again.
Go to next chapter: Postgraduate Taught Graduates