Assistant Editor, gradireland
Recent graduate recruitment research documents the opinions of students on a range of issues and offers a reflection of their concerns, ambitions and aspirations. It provides useful insights for students, graduates and anyone interested in the early career landscape.
Every year, along with our research partner Cibyl, gradireland conducts the largest student survey on the island of Ireland. The survey captures a broad spectrum of interests and aspirations from Ireland’s student population.
It provides valuable insights on issues such as student values, salary expectations, work-life balance and willingness to relocate or emigrate. Students are also asked about the jobs they would like to work in and what they value in an employer.
Student survey reveals aspirations
When asked about their plans after they graduate, the majority of respondents indicated their intentions to go into full-time employment directly after completing their degree. About 40% said they aim to find a full-time job, and 26% were looking to get into a graduate scheme. Another 12% intend to pursue further education, while 7% plan to take a gap year or go travelling.
In terms of the jobs that interest respondents, roles in engineering were the most common preference (9%) for students and graduates, followed closely by roles in healthcare, research, data analysis and design.
Many (52%) think that it will be
difficult to get a graduate job.
Work location and support needs
When asked where they would like to work, 48% said they would be willing to start their career anywhere in Ireland; 34% said they would like to work close to home or their place of study; 18% said they planned to start their graduate career abroad.
Students and graduates were also asked about what support they expected from employers. Training, mentorship and relocation support were the most popular answers. The results of the survey also indicate that students highly value a good work-life balance, career progression and interesting work, while they give relatively little value to job prestige.
Ireland’s students and graduates hold strong entrepreneurial ambitions, with almost a quarter (23%) saying that they were considering setting up their own business either during or straight after their studies.
What graduates are cautious about
Perhaps due to the instability of the past few years and the recent economic turbulence, graduates are cautious when it comes to assessing their prospects. Many (52%) think that it will be difficult to get a graduate job. This is down from 56% in last year’s survey but is still up from 40% the previous year.