6. International Graduates

International Graduates: Graduates are considered to be “International Graduates” if they are non-Irish domiciled graduates of programmes at Honours Degree level and above.

Overview of Graduate Population

  • In 2017, there were 6,361 International Graduates
  • The majority graduated from universities (83%)
  • More than half (56%) were female graduates
  • Most graduates studied Business, Administration & Law, followed by Health & Welfare



Main Graduate Destination

6.1 Main Graduate Destination – Programme Type

Nine months after graduation, 76% were in employment, while one-tenth were in further study.

Postgraduate Research graduates had the highest rates of employment (94%) nine months after graduation, while Honours Degree graduates had the lowest rate (69%). Nonetheless, Honours Degrees saw the highest proportion of graduates in further study (25%).





Employment Outcomes

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”.

In Employment: Graduates are considered to be employed 9 months after graduation if they are working full-time, working part-time or due to start a job in the next 3 months.


6.2 Employed Graduates – Salary

Less than two-thirds (62%) of international graduates in employment were working in Ireland. More than half (58%) had permanent or open-ended contracts, while 36% were on fixed-term contracts.

The most common occupation was Professional Occupations (66%). The largest sectors of employment were Financial, Insurance & Real Estate (16%), Information & Communication (15%), and Education (15%).

Excluding refused responses, 27% earned between €30,000 – €34,999.

Further Study Outcomes

In Further Study: Graduates are considered to be in further study 9 months after graduation if they are enrolled in either full-time or part-time further study or training.


Overall, only 11% of International Graduates pursued further study. Two-fifths (43%) pursued further study overseas, while 57% pursued further study in Ireland. On the reasons for pursuing further study, 24% of graduates considered it a requirement for progressing and finding future employment, while 21% pursued further study to develop more skills or knowledge. Due to the low numbers, an in-depth analysis is not included.

Unemployment & Other Activities


Unemployed: Unemployed graduates consist of graduates who are unemployed and looking for a job 9 months after graduation. 


Engaged in Other Activities: Other activities include caring for family members or others, travelling, volunteering, illness, retirement, unemployed yet not seeking employment, and other.


Overall, only 7% of international graduates were Unemployed, with another 7% Engaged in Other Activities. Due to the low numbers, an in-depth analysis is not included.

Graduate Reflections

This section relates to ALL International Graduates surveyed.

Most international graduates were satisfied with their area of study and qualification, with 83% being Very Likely or Likely to study the same area of study again. Similarly, 82% considered it Very Likely or Likely that they would study the same qualification again. Due to the low numbers, an in-depth analysis is not included.

Go to next chapter: Earnings Analysis

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