70pc of graduates walking straight into jobs
MORE graduates are walking straight into jobs after leaving college, according to figures from the University of Limerick (UL).
Seven in 10 students who completed their undergraduate studies at the mid-west university last summer went directly into employment, most of them in Ireland.
The 70pc employment rate for the class of 2013 was up 7pc on 2012, in a clear reflection of the growing buoyancy of the labour market.
As many as 49pc of 2013 graduates found work in Ireland.
However, many continue to emigrate in search of work, and 21pc of the class of 2013 were employed overseas.
A further 24pc went on to post-graduate study and the number "seeking employment" within a year of leaving college shrunk to 5pc, from 8pc the previous year.
While the career focus of University of Limerick degree programmes means their graduate employment figures tend to trend above the national average, the year-on-year jump points to a significant recovery in job prospects for third-level students.
The last published figures from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on employment rates for graduates from all third-level colleges related to those who graduated a year earlier, in 2012.
The figures showed that, nationally, 52pc of those receiving a Level 8 "honours" degree had work within nine months of leaving college, up from 48pc the previous year and the highest level since the 50pc recorded in 2008.
The latest figures from UL also indicate that not only are more graduates getting work, but more of them are getting work in Ireland.
The 49pc of UL graduates working at home within a year of leaving college compares with 42pc of 2012 graduates, nationally, who had a job in Ireland in spring 2013. And that was a significant rise from 39pc in 2011.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the mid-west was the most popular region for employment for the Limerick 2013 graduates, accounting for 35pc of jobs, followed by Dublin at 32pc.
For those who emigrated to find work, the most popular overseas location was the UK, at 39pc, followed by North America, at 18pc.
The UL figures also confirm that the higher the qualification, the better the chance of getting a job.
UL president Professor Don Barry told a graduation ceremony yesterday that 90pc of last year's PhD graduates were currently in employment - an increase of 9pc on 2012 figures.
The UL survey represents a comprehensive picture of what happened the class of 2013, with a 78pc response rate from among over 3,000 graduates from full-time undergraduate and post-graduate programmes.