Increase in Graduate Employment

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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The Graduate Outcomes Survey: Class of 2021 has been published presenting the findings of a national analysis of higher education graduate outcomes in Ireland. The survey provides an insight into the next steps taken by graduates of 2021.

Increase in Graduate Employment

The findings make for positive reading confirming an increase in graduate employment with approximately 82% of students finding work within nine months after leaving college. This figure is up from 75.9% for the Class of 2000.

91% of those with Undergraduate Honours Degrees are working in Ireland with Dublin being the most common county of employment (43.1%), followed by Cork (13.8%) and Galway (7.1%). 


Of those in employment, Tech graduates were the best paid graduates earning an average of €45,197, with Arts and humanities graduates earning the lowest, at an average €29,770.

Higher Education Authority

The survey is conducted by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), involving responses from 72,148 graduates (54% female, 46% male) from 23 third-level colleges.

The HEA leads the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system with the objective of creating a coherent system of diverse institutions with distinct missions.

Rebound in Employment

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, said: “This is a really important report, which provides key information on the outcomes for our graduates. It is very positive to see a strong rebound in employment levels among this cohort following the Covid-19 pandemic. The report also highlights the importance higher education brings to graduates and wider society, in terms of health and well-being, active citizenship and societal outcomes and this should be widely recognised.”

Employment Growth

Head of Skills, Engagement and Statistics at the Higher Education Authority, Dr Vivienne Patterson said: “The findings of this report show that there has been a strong rebound in employment from last year’s Covid-19 pandemic-affected graduate employment rates. This is in line with broader economic trends which show continued employment growth across all sectors of the economy.”

You can download the survey here

The Graduate Outcomes Survey: Class of 2021 was launched by the Higher Education Authority at its 50th anniversary conference in Dublin on 23rd November 2022.

The Graduate Outcomes Survey is a national survey distributed to all graduates of higher education institutions (HEIs), nine months after graduation.  The outputs of this nationwide survey highlight the current constraints or demands on new graduates, and give a picture of what graduates are doing in their early stage careers. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level, CAO and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses and colleges.

Steven Galvin

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