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Press Statement


01 February 2018

Higher Education Outcomes – Graduates of 2010-2014

  • Among 2014 graduates, 76% were in substantial employment in the first year after graduation, up from 66% for 2010 graduates
  • Among 2010 graduates, 71% of females were in substantial employment in the first year after graduation compared to 60% of males
  • Median weekly earnings for level 8 graduates with a H1 award was €745 five years after graduation, which was €175 higher than the median of €570 for graduates with a H3
  • Go to release: Higher Education Outcomes - Graduation Years 2010-2014 (PDF 1,850KB)

    The Central Statistics Office has today (1st February) published Higher Education Outcomes – Graduates of 2010-2014. This new publication analyses the outcomes of graduates in terms of employment, re-enrolment in education, the industry sectors in which graduates work and their earnings over time.

    The report is the result of a collaborative project between the CSO and the Higher Education Authority (HEA), and was carried out by matching graduation records with administrative data on employment, education and benefits. This approach enables a detailed analysis by Sex, Field of Study, NFQ Level and Degree Class.

    Commenting on the key findings Statistician Brendan O’Dowd said:
    “Among 2010 Graduates, 66% were in substantial employment in the first year after graduation, and this had increased to 76% for 2014 graduates. The largest sector for employment for 2010 graduates in the first year after graduation was Wholesale & Retail Trade which employed a fifth of all graduates but this proportion dropped to 10% after five years. Median weekly earnings for 2010 graduates rose from €420 in the first year after graduation to €640 by the fifth year.

    The findings also show that female graduates from 2010 were more likely to be in substantial employment in the first year after graduation than males, with 71% of females and 60% of males in substantial employment one year after graduation.

    Almost a quarter of female graduates from 2010 were working in Education five years after graduation compared to 12.1% of males while 17.5% of female graduates were employed in Health & Social work compared to just 4.2% of males.

    Male graduates were more likely to work in Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities, Finance & Real Estate, Industry and Information & Communication.

    In the first year after graduation, median weekly earnings were equal for men and women at €420 per week. However, after five years, median weekly earnings for men, at €655 per week, were €20 above the figure of €635 per week for women.

    The field of study with the highest median weekly earnings for 2010 graduates five years after graduation was Information & Communication Technology at €775 followed by Education at €740 and Health & Welfare at €705. Median weekly earnings for Education graduates in their first year after graduation dropped from €705 for 2010 graduates to €560 for 2014 graduates. The median for Health & Welfare also dropped, from €590 to €565, over the same time period."


    Editor's Note:

    This statistical release has been produced by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in collaboration with the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The data matching was carried out using a Protected Identifier Key which is based on PPSN. In line with CSO data protocols, identifiable information from each of the data sources, such as name, date of birth and address, is removed prior to data matching.
    This project is an example of the policy-relevant research projects the CSO are developing in partnership with Public Sector Bodies as part of the CSO’s leadership role of the Irish Statistical System (ISS). The National Data Infrastructure (NDI) is a platform for linking data across the administrative system using unique identifiers for people, businesses and locations. Regularising the collection and storage of identifiers such as PPSN and Eircode is a priority of the CSO in its leadership role of the ISS and in the development of the NDI.
    ‘Substantial Employment’ here refers to an outcome category wherein graduates reach a threshold of 12 weeks of work within the year and receive average weekly earnings of at least €100, or have substantial self-employment. Only employment within the Republic of Ireland is considered. A graduate’s weekly earnings is calculated as the total gross pay from their main employer divided by the weeks of insurable work.


    For further information contact:

    Brendan O'Dowd (+353) 1 498 4057 or Kieran Culhane (+353) 1 498 4364

    or email

    -- ENDS --