Friday 17 November 2017

Graduates expect to earn €29k in first job

Accounting graduates have lowest salary expectations of all students

Pessimistic: graduates
Pessimistic: graduates
Louise McBride

Louise McBride

INVESTMENT banking students expect to be the best-paid graduates when they start their careers, while accountancy scholars assume they'll be the worst paid, according to a new survey to be published this week.

The survey, by gradireland, which offers career advice to graduates, also found that Irish employers should have no problem snapping up cheap graduates this year – almost half of today's students are willing to work for nothing to secure a good internship.

This is good news for Google, Microsoft and Apple – the three firms which most graduates consider their ideal employer, according to the survey. Kerry Group, owner of the Denny and Dairygold brands, is the ninth most popular employer for students.

The survey, which got responses from 8,000 students, also found that graduates expect to earn well below the average wage when they start working.

A typical student expects a salary of €29,000 when they start work – about a fifth less than the average Irish wage of €36,000.

With a starting salary expectation of €32,000, investment banking students assume they'll earn the most. Accountancy students expect to start on a salary of €25,379 – the lowest salary expectation of all scholars surveyed.

The number of employers paying less than €230 a week to interns has almost doubled over the last year, according to the survey. Today, about 25 per cent of bosses pay interns less than €1,000 a month – the equivalent of about €230 a week. Last year, only 13 per cent of employers paid interns less than €1,000 a month.

In the same week that a major survey on emigration found that Ireland is in the midst of a brain drain, gradireland has found there has been an increase in the number of graduates who expect to leave the country to find a job.

About one in three expects to emigrate to pursue their professional career, compared with one in four last year, according to gradireland.

"It is very concerning that so many highly qualified and educated people are leaving," said Marie Claire McAleer, senior research and policy officer with the National Youth Council of Ireland. "It represents a significant brain drain and has very serious implications for social and economic policy here."

The gradireland survey also found that graduates have become more pessimistic about their career prospects over the last year.

About six out of 10 students are worried about their future career. Those studying courses related to the public sector and retail are most concerned – while accountancy and investment banking scholars are least worried.

Anne Heraty, chief executive of the recruitment firm CPL Resources, said Ireland's job market is a particular challenge for recent graduates. "There is somewhat of a Catch 22 situation when it comes to landing your first job as a graduate," said Ms Heraty.

"They may be applying for a role that requires experience but they have no previous work experience from which to draw on. As a result, many graduates become frustrated by their inability to find employment and soon consider emigration. It is important for recent graduates to recognise that, due to current circumstances, they must discover employment opportunities in Ireland through more unconventional means."

Sunday Independent

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