Careers advice and planning

Where are the jobs?

24 Feb 2023, 09:58

Graduate salaries are continuing to rise, according to the recent gradireland survey, with the mean salary coming in just below €30k. Adding to the good news story for graduates, more employers are hiring graduates because of the vibrant economic environment with 78% hiring more graduates because of an actual increase in business.

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The highest salary is in the accountancy and financial management sector, with an average of €35,048 a year. Professional roles, for example in finance, consultancy, IT or engineering, require a third level degree and further qualifications and are traditionally strong graduate recruitment sectors.

gradireland’s Graduate Salary and Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey reports that this sector also came in third place for highest proportion of graduate jobs available (31%). This was an increase on last year’s result, which showed 24% of available jobs. Engineering came in second with 34% and was also up on the previous year’s figure of 9.4%. IT and technology topped the list with 39% of jobs. This increased hugely on last year’s figure of 18%.

This data was collated before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, so next year's data will likely reflect significant changes.

Despite this, continuing growth in graduate jobs can likely be attributed to the growing number of multinational tech firms setting up in Ireland. Multinationals remain a significant source of jobs, particularly in the Republic, not only in IT, but also in life science, pharmaceuticals, digital media and international financial services.

Professional roles, such as those in finance, consultancy, engineering or IT, require a third level degree and further qualifications and are traditionally strong graduate recruitment sectors.

These global operations are consistently recruiting in several areas including IT, engineering, jobs for languages graduates across a range of roles, and sales and customer services. Northern Ireland has also seen a considerable amount of inward investment, particularly in the services sector with business finance and software operations expanding significantly, with many large players in financial services, in particular, operating in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

    Implications of Brexit

    A report this year by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs identified the possible implications of Brexit and tools employers can use to ensure the success of their business during this period. The group places an emphasis on the need for those with languages to assist in international trade as well as those with product design and development skills. Graduates with these skills will likely see an increase in opportunities as Brexit unfolds. These skills are useful across a variety of sectors, but there will likely be a large demand for these skills in multinational corporations.

    The value of experience

    The economy in both Northern Ireland and the republic is expanding, however, this brings with it new challenges meaning that it is still a demanding place for graduates. Gaining experience in the work place gives graduates a huge advantage with internships and work experience increasingly being considered a necessity.

    Opportunities to gain work experience are becoming more and more available, with 80% of employers now offering internship programmes. 95% of these programmes are paid with average salaries falling between €1,400 and €1,800 per month. Internships can also be a gateway to further employment. According to the survey, 54% of employers recruit up to 50% of their graduate programme from those who have previously interned with them.

    Working abroad

    For graduates who want to widen their job search, there are several ways to find work abroad.

    • Graduate internship/placement programmes –these include ibec’s Global Graduate Programme ( and Enterprise Ireland’s International Graduate Programme as well as large employers’ own international graduate placement initiatives.
    • Work abroad programmes – these allow you to work for a period of between 12 and 24 months as a new graduate.
    • Multinational employers – several international recruiters advertise in this directory and on, and your college careers service may also have links with international recruiters.
    • Temping – there are international temping agencies across most sectors.
    • Country specific job sites – check your careers service website for links to global job sites.

    gradireland editorial advice

    This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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