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Summary of Recent UL Graduates Survey

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Each year, the Careers Service collects information about the 'First Destinations' of UL graduates. During the April/May period following graduation, we survey those who have completed full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses for details on their current status. This information can be a useful indication of the career opportunities available to graduates in the various disciplines.

The most recent survey, conducted in April/May of 2013, provides information on the employment and further study record of the graduating class of 2012. The survey covers over 2,875 who completed full-time programmes of study during 2012, and achieved a response rate of over 82%.

The key features of the survey findings are as follows:

Primary Degrees

  • 63% of graduates went directly into employment, 50% in Ireland and 13% overseas. This is the same level as 2011. It is not possible to make comparisons with the national employment level of graduates as that data is not yet available but the employment record of UL graduates has always been consistently higher than that national average.
  • The percentage of graduates finding employment in Ireland has remained the same level as the previous year at 50% and also the overseas figure remains constant at 13%.
  • There was a decrease in the number of graduates opting for further study or research, from 25% to 24%. This may be attributed to the general decline in disposable incomes in Irish households which makes postgraduate course fees unaffordable for many.
  • There was a 1% increase to 5% in the percentage who were 'not available' for employment or further study. There has been very little variation in this percentage over the past five years, ranging from 4% to 6%.
  • Number of graduates seeking employment has remained constant as previous year which is 8%. This is lower than the official labour market unemployment figure which is currently in excess of 13%.
  • There has been a decrease of 1000 on average in the salary levels for new graduates in the past year. The results record an average starting salary of approximately 23,346 with more than 18% of respondents earning salaries in excess of 29,000.
  • Business, Finance and Insurance sectors between them accounted for the highest proportion of graduates at 22% which is unchanged on last year. Education at 20% has decreased 2% on last year, and Health at 14% increase of 2% on last year.
  • In recent years the Mid-West was the most popular region of employment, this trend has continued at 34%. Dublin accounts for 30% of jobs, followed by the South-West, at 13%. The most popular overseas location was the UK at 43%, followed by the North America at 15%.
  • The overall employment rate for Education graduates increased by 1% to 78%, which includes 18% of these teaching overseas which has increased by 7% on last year.

Higher Degrees

  • 66% Postgraduate Diplomas in 2012 found employment. Of this, the vast majority are working in Ireland with only 5% working abroad.
  • A total of 582 graduates completed Masters Degrees in 2012 and 73% went directly into employment, 13% of these overseas. Some 8% continued with their studies primarily to PhD level.
  • The highest employment rate was recorded by PhD graduates with 81% employed. PhD graduates are also more likely to seek research opportunities overseas, and 19% are working outside of Ireland.
  • Salary levels increase in accordance with level of qualification and, for those with postgraduate qualifications, average salaries range from 27,000 to 35,500, depending on type of qualification, sector of employment and nature of job.

The detailed statistical information for each course of study is included in the survey report, copies of which are available from the Careers Service. You can also access more detailed information here.

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