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How Ireland’s universities prepare students to be job-ready

With the unemployment rate in Ireland at 4.4% – its lowest level since 2005 – international students have a better chance of landing a job after graduation. According to EduCo in Ireland Senior Vice President Jacob Kestner, this rate is what economists consider “full employment” – most people who want a job can get one.

He says that students should take advantage of opportunities that can help them gain work experience during and after university. For example there are job fairs, like the one being coordinated by gradireland, which bring together hundreds of employers under one roof. “These job fairs help students understand the opportunities available and help them build their networks,” he says. “They also provide students crucial information on how they can make themselves more hireable, for example by offering workshops on improving their CV or resume,” he adds.

There are opportunities to land internships and industry-related part-time jobs during studies as well as the the opportunity to start that dream career once they graduate.

Good return on investment based on starting salaries

The recent figures released by the Central Statistics Office reveals that 92% of students found employment within nine months of graduation or pursued further education.

Of those at work, 90% found employment in Ireland on average starting salaries of €33,574. The mean salary for an honours degree graduate is about €29,600. For graduates with master’s degrees, it is €40,849. “This is a very good return on a student’s investment,” says Jacob.

He  cites sustained efforts to prepare students for the world of work. Dublin City University, for instance, is #1 in Ireland and #19 globally for graduate employment based on the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings. The university was rated by global employers as among the top 20 institutions that produce the most talented, competent and employable graduates.

Maynooth University, Dublin City University and TU Dublin jointly partnered with the organisers of the gradireland 2019 Graduate Careers Fair which was held at the RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin early this month.

IT Sligo early this year also held its postgraduate study and job fair to attract employers to their talent pool and provide students with the exposure and the opportunity to explore their career prospects.

Aside from job fairs, all four institutions also organise regular events that bring employers and students together.