82% of college leavers obtain work within nine months

The proportion of graduates who are in employment nine months after leaving college has been rising in recent years according to the latest data gathered by the Higher Education Authority.

83% of those who graduated in 2022 were working 9 months later, compared to 82% for the class of 2021 and 76% for those who left college in 2020.

Those who have studied to become teachers are the most likely to be working 9 months later (94%), with Arts & Humanities graduates at 66% the least likely.

Unemployment rates are highest for ICT and Arts and Humanities graduates, at 8% and 7% respectively. The overall unemployment level for the class of 2022 was 4.4%, while 10% opted to pursue further study.

The HEA compiles this data annually as part of its yearly Graduate Outcomes Survey. Just under 71,000 graduates participated in this latest study.

The survey has found that employment rates are strongest among those coming out of the country’s technological universities. This is largely because they are less likely to opt to pursue further study.

Between 82% – 87% of undergraduate graduates from TUs are in employment nine months after graduation compared to between 64% – 85% for those coming from universities.

When asked did they believe that their course of study was relevant or very relevant to the jobs that they now had two-thirds graduates said it was.

CEO of the Higher Education Authority, Dr Alan Wall said the outcomes showed the the value of a higher education qualification. “This report adds to the graduate tracking evidence base and provides all our stakeholders with up-to-date and detailed data on early career outcomes for recent graduates”, he said.

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