Graduate Outcomes & Socio-Economic Status: Earnings



This chapter explores graduate earnings based on socio-economic background.

Note: The results presented in this chapter do not control for differences in the characteristics of these graduates. For more detailed analysis on graduate earnings see the Graduate Outcomes Earnings Chapter for the class of 2020, which estimates graduates comparing like-for-like graduates. The report shows that much of the underlying differences in earnings between DIS groups can be explained by the variables included in the models.

Fig.7

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  • Undergraduate

    Overall, 47% of undergraduates earn between €25,000 to €35,000 nine months after graduation. Nine in ten graduates earn under €40,000 per annum, while only 12% earn less than €20,000 per annum.

    Looking at Disadvantaged graduates, 91% of graduates earn less than €40,000 per annum, similar to the overall average. Nonetheless, 15% earn less than €20,000 per annum (compared to 12% average).

    Looking at Affluent graduates, 86% of graduates earn less than €40,000 per annum, meaning affluent graduates are more likely to be earning more than €40,000 per annum than disadvantaged graduates. Only 11% of affluent graduates earn less than €20,000 per annum (compared to 15% for disadvantaged graduates).

  • Postgraduate

    Overall, Postgraduates tend to earn more than Undergraduates. Just over half of Postgraduates (56%) earn less than €40,000 per annum (compared to 90% of Undergraduates).

    For Disadvantaged graduates, 67% of graduates were earning less than €40,000 per annum, and 17% of graduates were earning less than €25,000 nine months after graduation.

    Looking at Affluent graduates, less than half (49%) were earning less than €40,000 per annum. This is compared to 67% of disadvantaged graduates, meaning that affluent graduates tend to earn more than disadvantaged graduates. While only 9% of affluent graduates earn less than €25,000 per annum, 17% of disadvantaged graduates earn less than €25,000.

Fig.8

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Looking across all degree levels, disadvantaged graduates tend to earn less than affluent graduates. While 85% of disadvantaged graduates earn less than €40,000, only 72% of affluent graduates earn less than €40,000. Likewise, while 27% of disadvantaged graduates earn less than €25,000, only 18% of affluent graduates earn less than €25,000.

At Undergraduate level, there is a 5 percentage point difference between disadvantaged and affluent graduates – 91% of disadvantaged graduates earn less than €40,000 per annum, compared to 86% of affluent graduates. This salary gap is much larger at Postgraduate level – 67% of disadvantaged graduates earn less than €40,000 per annum, compared to 49% of affluent graduates. This represents an 18 percentage point difference (as opposed to 5 percentage points at Undergraduate level).

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