As the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, we look at what trends are emerging from students and graduates.
Each year, up to 20,000 students from all over Ireland — north and south — take part in our student survey. The results are released each year in our publication: Ireland’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers.
The survey takes a look at which employers students want to work for and ranks them accordingly. We’ll be releasing the list in early October. The survey tells us about much more than just employers. It reveals insights into what students and graduates value in terms of career objectives.
In terms of what graduates identify as their personal values: continuous improvement and learning were the most important, followed by integrity and honesty, passion and enthusiasm and ambition and drive.
When it comes to what they expect in their graduate job; interesting work, good career prospects, training and development, work-life balance and job security were the most important elements.
Postgraduate study has rebounded strongly amidst the pandemic, as employment opportunities took a heavy hit.
Interestingly, salary was not in the top ten priorities. Status/prestige was judged to be the least important element. This feeds into the trend for students and graduates to value employers that they relate to and which align with their values. This is good news for companies that prioritise culture and collaboration.
Job or further study
After graduating, most students and graduates are looking for full-time jobs. This was the most popular choice by far, followed by a graduate scheme in second place. Postgraduate study was next, followed by taking a gap year or a year out.
Postgraduate study has rebounded strongly amidst the pandemic, as employment opportunities took a heavy hit. In terms of why students decide to take further study, most are doing it to bolster their career prospects, followed by those who view it as vital training for their chosen career.
For salary expectations, the average that graduates expect to earn now stands at just below €35,000. The average that employers expect to pay is in the region of €31,700, which highlights the gap between expectations when it comes to salary.
In our most recent gradireland Graduate Salary and Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey, less than half of employers felt that graduates were realistic with pay. Most graduate recruits expect to earn at least between €25,000 and €30,000 in their first graduate role. Moreover, 35% of them expect to earn above €35,000.