INCREASING numbers of university graduates are getting work in Ireland within months of leaving college -- although there is also a rise in those emigrating to find a job.
A new survey also confirms that those who complete a higher qualification, such as a masters degree or a PhD, are more likely to walk straight into employment in Ireland.
The steady recovery in the employment prospects of graduates is a striking feature of the annual survey carried out by the Higher Education Authority.
Of particular note is that graduates in computing are now enjoying employment rates equivalent to graduates in medicine and health sciences -- and most are working in Ireland.
The latest 'First Destination of Graduates' report tracks where the class of 2012 -- both those with primary degrees and those with a post-graduate qualifications -- were in spring 2013, about nine months after leaving university.
More than half (52pc) of those holding a primary honours degree, known as a Level 8, were in employment, up from 48pc the previous year and the highest level since the 50pc recorded in 2008.
While four in five of those with a job found work in Ireland, the figures also reveal how increasing numbers of new graduates continue to emigrate to find employment.
While 42pc of 2012 graduates had a job in Ireland last spring -- an encouraging rise from 39pc in 2011 but down from 45pc in 2008 -- 10pc were working overseas, a figure that has grown from 5pc in 2008.
Of the remainder, 37pc were in further study or training; 7pc were seeking employment; and 3pc were unavailable for work/study.
The employment picture was healthier for those with post-graduate qualifications, with 72pc in employment nine months after finishing college, up from 71pc in 2011 and 63pc in 2008.
And almost two in three of these (61pc) were working in Ireland, up from 58pc in 2011 and 54pc in 2008.
This reflects the growing demand from employers in the "smart economy" for higher qualifications.
While the chance of landing a job in Ireland was greater among this more highly qualified group, 11pc are working abroad, although that is down from 13pc the previous year.
"As the Irish economy shows some signs of recovery, post-graduate students appear best placed to access the opportunities arising from growth in employment," the report states
The survey also looks at starting salaries, with 56pc of Level 8 graduates in employment on under €25,000; 42pc receiving between €25,000 and €45,000 and 2pc in excess of €45,000.
The findings also highlight the pay dividend for those with higher qualifications, with, for instance, 47pc of those with a taught masters receiving between €25,000-€45,000, rising to 59pc for those with a research masters or PhD.
Graduates with qualifications in health, such as doctors, top the league of those getting work, followed by teachers, with computer scientists now a strong third and also the group most likely to get work in Ireland.