2. Level 6 & 7 Graduates
Overview of Graduate Population
- 8,753 graduates of Level 6 & 7 programmes (44.1% female; 55.9% male)
- The most common area of study is Business, Administration & Law (24.4%), followed by Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction (22.1%) and Health & Welfare (15.3%)
- 66.6% pursued further study
66.6% of graduates in further study 9 months after graduation
The proportion of graduates in employment nine months after graduation increased to 30.7% in 2021, up from 26.8% in 2020 and in line with 30.0% in 2018. The proportion of graduates pursuing further study remains high and steady, with two-thirds of graduates opting for further study (66.6% in 2021; 67.6% in 2020: 66.4% in 2018). Unemployment has decreased very significantly to 1.6% in 2021, compared with 4.5% in 2020 and 2.2% in 2018.
This section relates only to graduates who are in employment nine months after graduation (30.7%). Most pursue employment in Ireland (95.1%).
Contract Type and Employment Type
Most graduates are on permanent or open-ended contracts (83.6%). A further 11% are on fixed-term contracts, and 5.2% are on temporary or unpaid contracts.
Moreover, most graduates are employees (96.2%), with only a small proportion being self-employed (3.2%). A further 0.6% are on graduate internships or placements.
Occupation and Sector
The most common occupations for Level 6 & 7 graduates are Professional Occupations (31.9%), Associate Professional & Technical Occupations (15.1%), and Administrative & Secretarial Occupations (14.3%).
By sector, gender differences are observed. The most common sector of employment for females is Human Health & Social Work Activities (20.7%), while for males, Industry is the most common sector of employment (20.8%).
22.1% working in Dublin in 2021, down from 26.2% in 2020
Combined, Dublin (22.1%), Kildare (14.0%) and Cork (12.7%) account for almost half of all Level 6 & 7 graduate employment in Ireland.
16.4% earn less than €25,000 per annum; 16.5% earn more than €50,000 per annum.
Of the graduates who disclosed their salary (70%), more than a quarter (27.3%) of female Level 6 & 7 graduates earn less than €25,000 per annum. In contrast, only 9.8% of male Level 6 & 7 graduates earn less than €25,000 per annum. This is likely related to sectoral differences outlined above, and the proportion of graduates in part-time or full-time work.
Part-time employment is more common amongst females. Note that at the lower salary bands, there is a higher proportion of graduates in part-time employment.
Did Level 6 & 7 graduates do Internships?
More than half did not complete internships as part of their course (56.1%). This is particularly low in Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics, with only 20% of graduates having done internships.
Internship participation is most common amongst Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary graduates (88.9%), and Services graduates (75.1%).
Are courses relevant to graduate jobs?
64.4% of Level 6 & 7 graduates considered their course Very Relevant or Relevant to their job. Just under one in five graduates considered their course Very Irrelevant or Irrelevant to their job (19.6%). This is particularly high amongst Arts & Humanities graduates, with 51.2% considering their course Very Irrelevant or Irrelevant to their job.
On the need for qualification, 37.4% of graduates state that the qualification was a formal requirement. A further 23.5% state that while the qualification was not a formal requirement, it gave them an advantage. Nonetheless, 19.9% are already in the job when they received their qualification, and 18.0% state that their qualification was not required.
30.3% were already working in the job
Looking at the source of employment, 30.3% of graduates are already working in their job. A further 23.3% found employment through Personal Contacts, and 15.5% found employment through Recruitment Sites.
Pursuing further study is the most common outcome for Level 6 & 7 graduates. Two-thirds (66.6%) of Level 6 & 7 graduates pursued further study, with 70% of these graduates pursuing Undergraduate Honours Degree programmes, and 20% pursuing Undergraduate Ordinary Degrees. As the focus of this chapter is on Level 6 & 7 graduates who opted for employment instead of further study, no further analysis is provided. For a detailed analysis of Undergraduate Honours Degree graduate outcomes, see 3. Undergraduate Honours Degree Graduates.
Only 1.0% of all Level 6 & 7 graduates are Engaged in Other Activities, and 1.6% are Unemployed. The number of graduates in these cohorts are too low to conduct a meaningful analysis.
This section consists of all Level 6 & 7 graduates surveyed.
70.8% likely to study the same course again
Over 7 in 10 Level 6 & 7 graduates (70.8%) say that they are Very Likely or Likely to study the same course again. Only 14.4% are Very Unlikely or Unlikely to study the same course again. This is highest amongst Arts & Humanities graduates (25%).
Looking for more information?
Note: filtering can result in a low number of graduates that fit specific criteria. Any criteria that result in less than five graduates being represented are excluded from the graphs in this report. Nonetheless, the Total provided will be inclusive of any excluded fields.