3. Honours Degree Graduates
Overview of Graduate Population
- In 2018, there were 31,990 graduates (up from 30,324 in 2017)
- The response rate was 54%
- More than half (54%) were female graduates
- Most studied Business, Administration & Law, followed by Arts & Humanities
Main Graduate Destination
3.1 Main Graduate Destination – Field of Study
Nine months after graduation, 74.7% of graduates were in employment and 18.6% were in further study.
Education graduates had the highest rate of employment (91.1%), followed by Health & Welfare (85.2%) and ICT (84.7%).
Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics had the highest proportion in further study (29.2%), followed by Arts & Humanities (29.1%) and Social Sciences, Journalism & Information (28.7%).
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.
3.2 Employed Graduates – Occupation/Sector
Of those in employment, more than half (51.7%) were in Professional Occupations. A further 14.7% were in Associate Professional & Technical Occupations.
Human Health & Social Work Activities (15.1%) and Financial, Insurance & Real Estate Activities (14.4%) 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 College graduates employed in Ireland, compared to 94% for IOTs.
Of the graduates working in Ireland, 46% were working in Dublin, 12% in Cork and 7% in Galway.
Of those working abroad, the most popular countries were Great Britain (25%), the United States (16%) and Canada (11%).
3.4 Employed Graduates – Salary
Nine months after graduation, 91% of graduates were employees, 6% were on work placements, and 3% were self-employed.
More than half (55%) were on permanent or open-ended contracts, 25% were on fixed-term contracts lasting 12 months, and 10% were on fixed-term contracts lasting less than 12 months. Almost one-tenth (9%) were in temporary employment.
Excluding those who refused to disclose their salaries, 49% were earning between €25,000 – €34,999.
3.5 Employed Graduates – Placement/Work Experience
In total, 55.5% of graduates took part in work placements. This differed by institute type, with Colleges having the highest rate of participation in work placements (67.6%).
In terms of the length of work placements, two-fifths (44%) were more than 6 months long, 30% between 4 to 6 months long, 19% more than 6 weeks but less than 4 months long, and only 7% being less than 6 weeks long.
3.6 Employed Graduates – Relevance and Need
Nine months after graduation, 56.9% of graduates considered their course Very Relevant or Relevant to their job.
On the need for qualification, 56.1% thought their qualification was a formal requirement for their job. A further 19.7% 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 (21%) found their job through recruitment sites, 20% through personal contacts and 17% had already worked there (this includes work placements and internships).
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.
3.8 Further Study Graduates – Field of Study
Of graduates who pursued further study, 87% were in further study in Ireland, while 13% were overseas.
Business, Administration & Law graduates were most likely to pursue further studies in the same field of study (83.6%). This was followed by Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction (74.5%) graduates.
Arts & Humanities graduates were least likely to pursue further studies in the same field of study (28.2%). This is down from 30% in 2017. Similar to 2017, Arts & Humanities graduates were more likely to opt for further study in Education (38.3%). This is up from 35% in 2017.
3.9 Further Study Graduates – Why do Further Study?
Of the graduates who pursued further study, 66% pursued Masters Taught programmes (down from 68% in 2017).
One quarter (24%) pursued further study to change or improve career options. One-fifth (22%) considered further study a requirement for finding and progressing in future employment.
Unemployment & Other Activities
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.
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.
3.10 Unemployed/Engaged in Other Activities
Overall, only 4% of graduates were unemployed and looking for work nine months after graduation. Of these graduates, 34.9% have been looking for a job since graduation. This is up from 29% in 2017. One-fifth (22.5%) 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-fifth (23%) took time out to travel.
This section relates to ALL Honours Degree Graduates surveyed.
3.11 Graduate Reflections – Study Same Course Again
Two-thirds (68.9%) of graduates considered it Very Likely or Likely that they would study the same course again.
Go to next chapter: Postgraduate Taught Graduates