THE class of 2012 are eyeing up job opportunities abroad, even as they graduate as newly qualified primary school teachers.
They're already facing a raft of cuts that will leave them earning 27pc less than their senior colleagues after tax.
But some of the latest batch of graduate teachers have done their homework on the prospect of getting a job in an Irish classroom.
"It's not looking good at the moment for any newly qualified teachers," said Ria McCarthy (29) from Ballincollig, Co Cork.
Ria was one of 350 newly qualified primary school teachers who graduated yesterday from Hibernia College in Dublin after completing an 18-month course.
As if the graduates needed to be told, Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald attended the ceremony and reminded them that they had a tough 18 months behind them and some tough years ahead.
But they would influence and shape the learning experience of future generations of children, she told them.
Annemarie O'Riordan (27) from Clonmel and Siobhan Hassett (26) from Doneraile, Co Cork, will give their job prospects two more years before deciding whether to look for work elsewhere.
Annemarie, who has a degree in early child studies and a masters in public health, said she always wanted to work with children.
"Work is hard to find but I think it has started to pick up."
Siobhan worked for more than a year teaching in private schools in Australia before returning home to try to find work in an Irish school.
"I will give it two years before considering going abroad," she said.