Higher and Further Education Outcomes Graduation Years 2010 2016

29 August 2019 

Higher and Further Education Outcomes – Graduation Years 2010-2016

Among the 2016 graduates from Higher Education, 80% were in substantial employment in the first year after graduation, up from 66% for 2010 graduates                                                 Higher Education graduates from Information & Communication Technologies had the highest median weekly earnings five years after graduation, earning €815 per week
Among the 2016 Further Education graduates with major awards, 62% were in substantial employment up from 47% for 2010 graduates
Over 30% of graduates of Further Education in 2016 were enrolled in Higher Education one year after graduation
Among the apprentices who qualified in 2014, 80% were in substantial employment in the second year after qualification, up from 53% for those who qualified in 2010

Go to Higher Education Outcomes Release

Go to Further Education Outcomes Release

HEO  FEO

The Central Statistics Office has today published two reports on graduate outcomes in Ireland, namely Higher Education Outcomes – Graduation Years 2010-2016, and Further Education Outcomes – Graduation Years 2010-2016. These two publications analyse the destinations of graduates from Ireland’s Higher and Further Education sectors in terms of employment, re-enrolment in education, the industry sectors that graduates work in and the earnings that they receive over time. These reports represent the largest analysis ever carried out on the destinations of Irish graduates, with over 300,000 individual graduations examined. 

Commenting on the report on Higher Education, Brendan O’Dowd, Statistician, said: “Over 80% of 2016 graduates of Higher Education were in substantial employment in the first year after graduation with median earnings of €475 per week. This compares with 66% of 2010 graduates with median earnings of €420 per week.

The most popular industries for new graduates in 2016 were Wholesale and retail, Health, Professional and scientific, and Education with over 50% of graduates in substantial employment in the first year after graduation working in one of these industries.

Around one in four (26.9%) of those graduating in 2016 had re-enrolled in Higher Education the following year, down from 1 in 3 (32.5%) for the 2010 graduation class.”

Commenting on the report on Further Education, Kieran Culhane, Senior Statistician, said: “This report found that 62.2% of 2016 graduates of Further Education were in substantial employment in the first year after graduation, compared to 46.6% of 2010 graduates.

The largest industries for employment for new graduates in 2016 were Wholesale & retail trade, Accommodation & food service activities and Health & welfare with more than 60% of graduates in substantial employment in the first year after graduation working in one of these industries.

Over 30% of those graduating in 2016 had enrolled in higher education and over 38% were re-enrolled in further education one year after graduation.

There were 1,220 apprentices qualified in 2016, down from 3,295 in 2010. More than half of apprentices qualified in 2010 were in employment two years after qualification and this rose to 80% for apprentices qualified in 2014. Over 35% of 2014 qualified apprentices were working in the Construction industry two years after qualification.”

Commenting further on the reports, Kieran Culhane, Senior Statistician, said: “These reports were produced in collaboration with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Quality & Qualifications Ireland (QQI), and are examples of the policy-relevant research projects the CSO are developing as part of the CSO’s leadership role of the Irish Statistical System. Our goal is to maximise the variety and volume of data available to provide high quality information to the Government, businesses and citizens.

Under the auspices of the Statistics Act 1993, the CSO is in a unique position to gather and link administrative data sources and evaluate their potential for statistical use. This project was carried out using a statistical framework known as the 'Educational Longitudinal Database' (ELD) developed by the CSO. This framework is produced by matching datasets from the Education sector to other public sector datasets which describe graduate outcomes in subsequent years.

In this regard, the CSO treats all data with strict confidentiality and never discloses any data that could subsequently be associated with any person or business. We have compiled these new statistics using anonymised records and will only produce statistical results at an aggregate level.”

Padraig Walsh, CEO of QQI, commented on the report on Further Education Outcomes: "This significant new collaboration between QQI and the CSO allows us to better understand emerging trends in the further education sector, particularly in terms of graduate outcomes, employment destinations, pathways from further to higher education and the expansion of apprenticeships.  This on-going analysis of QQI data by the CSO will be of benefit to policy-makers, employers, educators and students throughout the country."

Paul O’Toole, CEO of the HEA, has welcomed the publication of updated higher education graduate outcomes data, “This expanded dataset demonstrates the value of the ongoing partnership between the HEA and the CSO by providing updated data in relation to graduates of 2015 and 2016.  Invaluable information on what graduates do after graduation, the sectors of the economy they work in, and what they earn, enable stakeholders in higher education to build a strong and objective evidence-base for policy making and delivery of a high quality higher education system. We look forward to continuing to work with the CSO on this and other administrative data projects in the future.”

Editor's Note:
Higher Education refers to undergraduate and postgraduate courses, usually taken at Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Technology. The graduations included here are those which were completed at institutions that are funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Higher Education courses are designated levels of 6 to 10 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Further Education covers education and training which occurs after post-primary level, but which is not part of the Higher Education system. The graduations included here are those which relate to major awards from QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland). Further Education courses are designated levels of 1 to 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications.
For further information contact:
Janice Lau (+353) 1 498 4281 or Brendan O'Dowd (+353) 1 498 4057

or email sscu@cso.ie