HEA Graduate Outcomes Report

HEA Graduate Outcomes Report

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has recently (February 2019) published the results of a survey of over 29,000 individuals who graduated in 2017 from higher education institutions. 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 (eg travel).

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. Just over half of all graduates in 2017 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% v 6%). Also, male and female employment prospects were similar with 78% of graduates of each gender employed nine months after graduating.

Of particular note is 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.

Paul O’Toole, Chief Executive of the HEA, noted,

“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.”

Among the other findings in the study –

Employment outcomes were best for Education graduates, with 93% working or about to start a job. This was followed by Health and Welfare (87%), ICT (82%) and Engineering (82%). The lowest percentages working or about to start a job were Arts and Humanities graduates (63%), however, these graduates had amongst the highest percentages in further study (24%).

The overall weighted mean salary of those graduates working full-time was €33,574. Most 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.

View the full findings of the report at