2019 HEA data: What do the graduate class of 2017 do now?

February 18th saw the release of the latest batch of data from the Higher Education Authority. The Graduate Outcomes 2019 data reveals the transitions to work or further study for the graduate class of 2017.

The data revealed that:

90% of working graduates are choosing to stay in Ireland

78% of graduates from the class of 2017 went into jobs

14% chose to pursue postgraduate study

The results are based on a survey of over 29,000 students who graduated in 2017 from Irish higher education institutions (Universites, Institutes of Technology and other colleges). It found that 78% of that class are now working while 14% are in further education or training, 5% are seeking work and up to 4% are engaged in other activities, such as travel etc.

The survey, conducted nine months after graduation, asked respondents what they were doing, where they were working, how much they were earning and their views on their course of study. This is the most comprehensive study of this kind conducted to date as it includes all universities, the institutes of technology and other colleges. This research was done before the establishment of new university structures such as Technical University of Dublin. Just over half of all 2017 graduates (51%) responded.

The survey found little difference in employment outcomes based on the institution attended – 78% of university graduates and 78% of institute of technology graduates were employed (and unemployment rates were similar at 4% versus 6%). Also, male and female employment prospects were very similar with 78% of graduates of each gender employed nine months after graduating.

An indication of the spectrum of graduate opportunities available for graduates here can be seen in the fact that 90% of those who graduate and go into work find employment in Ireland. This includes 93% of employed Irish graduates and 62% of employed international graduates.

“There is clearly a demand in Ireland for the high quality graduates that are coming out from our higher education institutions. It is also noteworthy that over two thirds of non-Irish graduates who go into employment, choose to remain in Ireland. Skilled graduates are going to continue to be essential for our talent driven economy and to help meet societal challenges,” said Paul O’Toole, CEO of the HEA, at the launch of the report.

Elsewhere in the report:

Employment outcomes were best for graduates int he field of teaching and education, with 93% working or about to start a job.

This was followed by:

Health and Welfare (87%),

Technology: (82%)

Engineering: (82%).

Arts and Humanities graduates had a more modest employment rate of 63%, however, these graduates had amongst the highest percentages in postgraduate study uptake, at 24%.

The overall weighted mean salary of those graduates working full-time was €33,574. This is slightly higher, but similar to gradireland research which pitched graduate starting salaries at a mean of €29,060, in our Graduate Salary & Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey 2019, released earlier this year. In line with this, HEA data says honours degree graduates will start on a salary somewhere between €20,000 and €35,000.

43% of working honours degree graduates in Ireland found employment in Dublin, with 14% employed in Cork.

You can download the full report from the HEA here. For more on tips and advice for graduates choosing employers and starting their careers, visit our advice section.

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