Once you finish your undergraduate degree it can be hard to figure out what to do next. There are so many options available, further study and travel being just two. Conor O’ Doherty, a DCU graduate, chose to combine those two options and set off to the Netherlands to pursue a postgrad degree in New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).
There are hundreds of options when it comes to going onto further education, and each have their benefits and drawbacks. Moving abroad can be a more expensive and sometimes a stressful option, but it can also provide an invaluable experience.
Conor chose to study abroad for a number of reasons, including cost and a desire to travel.
“I wanted to leave Ireland for a while, although it’s a great place to grow up, I didn’t want to live there for the rest of my life without living anywhere else,” Conor said. “The other reason is that the price difference is huge when it comes to the cost of postgraduate study”.
Fees for a year in the UvA will cost Conor around €2000, whereas the equivalent course in Ireland would cost up to €6,800 per year.
“Although I’ll pay more for accommodation and moving expenses, Irish courses usually cost a lot more and they’re generally a lot longer”.
Having lived away from home during his undergraduate degree, Conor is used to managing finances himself. While in Amsterdam he plans to find a place to live and use savings for the first while, but then try and find part-time work.
He found the process of applying for the course “relatively simple” but had some problems getting documentation together, as he hadn’t finished his course before the application deadline.
“My application was a bit of a mess to be honest because I hadn’t finished my course so I had to go to different bodies in the university, both here and in the Netherlands, to organise workarounds,” he said. “The University expects plenty of people not to have their degree yet though, so sending on predicted grades was acceptable.”.
Finding accommodation is something Conor is still trying to finalise before his move in August. Much like the accommodation crisis in Ireland, students looking for somewhere to live in Amsterdam face the same problems.
“I’m using a variety of sites to search like Volta and Pararius, but because they’re for Dutch people mostly, I might need to go through an agency,” he said. “Failing that, there’s very expensive emergency accommodation like The Student Hotel, but I’d rather not have to use that option”.
Conor advises anyone who is interested in a postgrad abroad to take the risk and go for it, but to really think it through before starting the process.
“It’s a huge leap of faith, but the only thing worse than not trying it is wishing you had,” he said. “I haven’t even started the hard part of mine yet and honestly, as stressful as it has been, I’m still very glad I made the decision and followed it through.”
For more information on studying in Europe, including information about various universities to which you can apply, visit the EUNiCAS website.
In the second of a series of articles, we continue to look at where the graduate class of 2015 are, based upon the HEA’s recently released ‘What do graduates do? The class of 2015’.
This survey, the 25th of its kind, was published on February 15th and, mostly, points to an optimistic prognosis when it comes to graduate careers in Ireland. However, when it comes to the relevance of qualifications, there are quite differing views depending on the level of qualification and the sector of employment.
Graduates and qualifications
For graduates of 2015, 62% of Honours Bachelor Degree holders rated the relevance of their qualifications as relevant or most relevant to their current area of employment. Meanwhile, 76% of graduates with Higher Diplomas and Postgraduate Diplomas found their qualifications more relevant or most relevant to their work. 70% of Masters and Doctorate graduates rate their qualification as relevant or most relevant to their work, while interestingly, 11% rate it as irrelevant or most irrelevant.
62% of graduate with Honours Bachelor Degrees found that their educational qualification was relevant/most relevant to the area of employment, compared to 59% with a Masters or Doctorate qualification. This compares to Higher and Postgraduate Diploma graduates who have the lowest level of satisfaction, with just 53% viewing their qualification to be relevant/most relevant to their area of employment.
Employed in Ireland and Overseas
Agriculture, Forestries, Fisheries & Veterinary, Helath and Welfare and Education Honours Bachelor Degree graduates reported the highest levels of relevance between their employment and education, at 86%, 84% and 82% respectively.
The majority of Masters and Doctorate graduates, as would be expected, reported high levels of relevance between their educational qualification and their employment. Fields that rated their education particularly relevant included Health and Welfare (86%), Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction (82%) and Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary (80%).
Interestingly, high proportions of Arts & Humanities graduates rated their education as irrelevant/most irrelevant to their employment, with 51% of Honours Degree holders, 26% of Higher or Postgraduate Diploma holders and 29% of Masters and Doctorate holders of this opinion.
In our next article, we’ll look at graduate salaries for the graduates surveyed for the report. The entire report can be downloaded here. For further analysis of trends in different sectors, download the 2017 edition of gradireland’s Ireland’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers, the largest independent student survey of final year students in Irish universities, north and south.
In the first of a series of articles, we’ll be taking a look at where the graduate class of 2015 are, based upon the HEA’s recently released ‘What do graduates do? The class of 2015’.
This survey, the 25th of its kind, was published on February 15th and, mostly, points to an optimistic prognosis when it comes to graduate careers in Ireland.
There were 18,526 students surveyed, with qualifications between levels 8-10.
Overall, 68% are in employment, with 57% employed in Ireland and a further 11% are working overseas. Only 6% of all graduates surveyed are still seeking employment nine months after graduation.
Those with Honours Bachelor Degrees
From the class of 2014, nine months after graduation, 58% were in employment. This has risen to 62% for the class of 2015, with the vast majority (85%) of them working in Ireland. Only one in ten graduates are going overseas to seek their first job, with the UK still viewed as the most favourable destination.
In terms of where the jobs are in different sectors, there is still a huge demand for teachers, and graduates in this area have the highest rates of employment. After education, IT has the highest proportion of employed graduates, at 70%, which reflects the consistent growth in this area.
One of the stranger results of the study was that graduates who were awarded a pass degree demonstrated the highest levels of employment (74%) while those who received a first-class Honours degree had the lowest, at 57%. The reverse is true in terms of progression into further study. While this finding is unusual, it is perhaps attributable to the fact that a higher award is necessary for acceptance into postgraduate study, with those who obtain first class honours more likely to pursue further study.
Those with Higher & Postgraduate Diplomas
78% of those with these Diplomas are in employment, up from 76% from the class of 2014, with 75% employed in Ireland, compared to 68% from the class of 2014. This has led to only 3% seeking employment overseas, down from 8% in the previous year’s research.
Those with Masters/Doctorates
80% of Masters and PhD graduates are in employment, with 64% finding work in Ireland and the remainder overseas, with the UK the most popular. The sectors with the highest rates of employment for Masters and doctoral students were Business, Administration & Law and Education students at 87% and 86% respectively.
In our next article, we’ll look at the relevance of each qualification for the graduates surveyed for the report. The entire report can be downloaded here. For further analysis of trends in different sectors, download the 2017 edition of gradireland’s Ireland’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers, the largest independent student survey of final year students in Irish universities, north and south.
February 15th 2016 saw hundreds of students and over 60 exhibitors at the gradireland Further Study Fair at the RDS to explore the massive range of opportunities available within the world of postgraduate study.
It is estimated that around 35% of students go on to further study after earning their degree, with last year seeing more than 19,000 students making to decision to pursue further study, according to data from the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
Director of gradireland, Mark Mitchell, says that the best way for students to make the most of further study is to have a firm objective as to why they are studying for a further qualification:
“If you’re going to pursue postgraduate study, make sure you understand the commitment involved. Research the employability benefits that certain postgraduate courses can bring, a postgrad qualification can be hugely attractive to employers and can also greatly enhance your earning potential in certain sectors. We were delighted with the event and the amount of information which we were able to present to students and graduates.”
The most recent edition of gradireland’s Graduate Salary & Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey found that 60% of employers viewed postgraduate qualifications as being important when assessing an application. This correlates with research into employment rates straight after college, which reveal that 78% of postgraduate graduates are in employment, compared to 58%of undergraduates.
The Irish, UK and mainland European postgraduate providers at the RDS showcased a host of courses on offer, and attendees also found out what financial supports are available for them. Seminars ran throughout the event, exploring themes such as: Postgraduate funding, conversion courses, studying Master’s programmes in Europe, how to write the dreaded personal statement and what are the best routes into teaching.
The Irish Research Council also attended the fair, promoting the unique and growing focus which dedicated research presents for postgraduate students, in 2016 alone the Irish Research Council awarded €30 million in funding, to 373 new researchers. Over half of this was awarded to the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme. This scheme funded 206 researchers in total, with an average award of just over €75,000.
Search for the right postgraduate course for you, and get all the advice you need in our dedicated further study section. We have completely updated and curated our funding section, with the issue of finance one of the primary concerns when it comes to considering postgraduate study.
Every year, a wide variety of reasons attract students to make the choice to study overseas. The accessibility and relatively low cost of travel, particularly within Europe, has made the logistics of studying away from home a lot simpler. When you couple this with what many European universities have to offer; affordable fees, reasonable entry requirements and prestigious courses taught in English, it’s little wonder that an increasing amount of students are finding it an attractive option, particularly for postgraduate study.
The increasing attraction of universities on mainland Europe, particularly Germany, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands, has gathered pace with the continuing uncertainty over the Brexit scenario.
In addition to affordability, and the attraction of a new and diverse culture, eligible students studying within the EU can avail of their Irish state awarded grant and are also allowed work part time. According to a recent article in the Irish Times, about 1,500 third-level Irish students in receipt of state funded grants are studying in colleges abroad.
Guy Flouch, head of the European University Central Application Support Service (EUNICAS), will be speaking at this year’s gradireland Further Study Fair on February 15th at the RDS. In the Irish Times he said that Irish students were broadening their options when it came to pursuing study overseas, and were no longer primarily focused on UK institutions, a trend which has increased in the wake of the Brexit vote.
According to the article, almost 900 degree programmes across all disciplines are taught through English in Europe, many of them at far cheaper fees than would be applicable in Ireland. For example, no fees apply in Germany, Scandinavia, Sweden and Finland. In Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, fees are usually less than €1,000 per year. In the Netherlands, fees of €1,984 apply, but students can get a loan to cover this. Repayable over a term of 35 years. Which seems more than reasonable! More than 40% of the EUNICAS programmes on offer are done through Dutch institutions.
Within many European countries, points are not a barrier to college entry. The requirements are lower and there is a strong cultural focus on third-level education being available to all, however many of the universities are very high-ranking institutions and while they may be accessible-they also demand high standards from their students. “These are some of the best universities in Europe. There is no repeating of years. You’re expected to get 45 out of 60 credits, take part in problem based learning and show up for all your lectures and tutorials,” Guy Flouch added.
While there are obviously challenges in settling in and studying abroad, the evidence seems to suggest that Irish students flourish in a variety of ways while abroad, according to Mr Flouch. “The levels of self-confidence and self-esteem and independence they get is a skill set which employers really see. They are self-sufficient and living abroad-meeting challenges and succeeding. It impacts positively for the rest of their lives,” he said.
See what’s involved with studying abroad and find out everything you need to know about EUNICAS at the gradireland Further Study Fair on February 15th at the RDS Industries Hall. Click here to register for free entry.
It’s less than two weeks away from the most anticipated event in the gradireland events calendar, the 14th annual Graduate Careers Fair. This event will see 120 of Ireland’s leading graduate employers, start-up companies and further study providers showcasing what they have to offer in a range of different sectors. Ahead of this event we have put together a list of four things that you probably didn’t know about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair.
Top employers will be there-it’s all about jobs!
We have over 100 of Ireland’s leading employers attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair. The exhibitor list to date is made up of 58 of the Irish Times Top 1000 companies as well as 15 international Fortune 500 companies! The best part, all of these organisations are actively recruiting for students and graduates in a range of sectors, there are interviews happening on the day itself, so come prepared!
CV Advice to beat all other
Have you hit the wall when it comes to getting your CV or application ready to send to employers? Worry not! The Graduate Careers Fair has not only a dedicated CV Clinic with over 50 hours of free careers advice but also a rolling CV Seminar with specialised advice for both international and Irish students. This is the perfect opportunity to perfect your CV and get ahead of the competition.
Opportunities with NGOs
Ever considered working as part of a non-for-profit organisation? We are excited to announce that this year’s Graduate Careers Fair will welcome some nationally and internationally established NGOs, including Oxfam Ireland and The Peter McVerry Trust . Chat to representatives about any opportunities available with these organisations.
Introducing Start-Up City
Not sure if you want to go down the traditional career route or apply for a graduate programme? This year’s gradireland Graduate Careers Fair will host our very first Start-Up Zone, which will see some of Ireland’s emerging tech talent exhibiting. Pop over to Start-Up City at the Graduate Careers Fair and find out what it’s like to be part of a high growth, fast paced start up team! Exhibitors include Gamex, Huggnote, Aromatrix and many more.
So there you have it! Four things that you might not have known about the Graduate Careers Fair, all the more reason to register now and we’ll see you in the RDS on October 5th.
Register for free entry at www.graduatecareersfair.com
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
You might be weighing up the pros and cons of spending the time to enter the gradireland Higher Education Awards but it’s definitely time well spent and we’ve put together five reasons why it makes sense to enter.
- Marketing & PR
Awards may not spring to mind when thinking about marketing opportunities but just being short-listed can greatly enhance the awareness of your course and your institution as a progressive place to study. Being associated with awards can provide great PR opportunities to be recognised both nationally and internationally. Awards celebrate hard work and success and it is a great opportunity to put your course in the spotlight.
- Third Party Endorsement
Winning an award or even being short-listed can act as a third party endorsement for your course and institution. Having your course judged and endorsed by an independent panel of respected leaders gives your institution increased credibility. Receiving an award acknowledges your excellence in a category and provides a distinct competitive advantage over rivals.
- The Process –for now and for the future.
The application process will not only allow you to identify your successes but it can also highlight some areas that may need improvement when comparing yourself to the competition. Submitting an entry to the Higher Education Awards is also a good opportunity to really promote what your College or University does really well and also show how and where you’re looking to progress your institution in the near future.
- Building team morale
Succeeding requires a team effort and an award gives recognition to your lecturers and department heads, recognising the invaluable contribution they make to your institution. This is invaluable in terms of boosting morale and bringing your team to the awards ceremony is a great way of celebrating your achievements as a team and also provides great networking opportunities.
- Competitive Advantage
Winning an award not only provides a great sense of achievement, it also provides a competitive advantage going forward for your school or department, in terms of attracting new students and driving applications to a course. It can provide that distinguishing factor in a crowded marketplace and best of all, these awards are FREE to enter!
To find out more about the inaugural Higher Education Awards contact Ailbhe Lee on 01-6451500 or email email@example.com . Further details available at www.highereducationawards.com