8. Barriers to Employment and Further Study

This section focuses solely on graduate responses to whether they experienced barriers to employment or further study. This concerns graduates who were “Unemployed” or “Engaged in Other Activities”. In total, 4% of graduates were Unemployed, and 3% were Engaged in Other Activities, as defined below.


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.


All responses in this section are unweighted.

Barriers to Employment and Further Study

Unemployed graduates

Excluding graduates who stated “Other” barriers, 31% considered their perceived lack of experience as a barrier to employment and further study. For example, “I feel that employers are looking for multiple years’ experience in most advertised positions. Firms advertising ‘graduate positions’ are largely confined to Dublin”.


A further 17% stated “Competitive Industry/Lack of jobs/Niche area” as a barrier. For example, “Opportunities within the industry are slim” or “Work available but not in my specific field”.


Engaged in Other Activities Graduates

Excluding graduates who stated “Other” barriers, one-fifth stated family reasons (including childcare). For example, “Balancing looking after children” or “Will start looking for work when the baby grows up a little bit more”.


A further 13% stated disability/health (including mental health) as a barrier. For example, “I am visually impaired; this is an obvious barrier for me obtaining employment. I am planning to pursue [further] study in the coming academic year” or “I have an illness that is not allowing me to physically take part in work”.

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