'There’s a feeling that the safety net is gone' - Class of 2017 reveal what the future holds for them
As this year's graduating class look to their future beyond education, what do they see?
Young employees "can be taken advantage of in some jobs", according to some of this year's graduating class.
And although some feel there are more jobs available to them in their field now than in recent years, there is still a fear of "unpaid internships".
There is definitely a mixture of opinions amongst this year's new wave of graduates about their future prospects and the opportunities open to them as they exit full-time education.
However, a common thread between them is that they have all admitted that they feel nervous about navigating the working world.
Independent.ie caught up with some of this year's graduating class.
Stephen Murphy (22) from Clontarf, Dublin 3 studied Economics, Politics and Law at Dublin City University
Now that I’ve finished, I suppose there’s a feeling that the safety net is gone. You have a security in college that you kind of lose when you leave because of this pressure to go and find a job. I’ll try to find a job that I’m passionate about and enjoy doing. I’m thinking of going to the UK to pursue a career as a journalist.
I think I did make the right decision doing my course in the end. I didn’t get my 1st or 2nd course but I think it worked very well because I ended up doing a broad degree that I think will suit me very well.
Initially, I was a bit sceptical about whether or not I’d enjoy it, or if it was for me. While it was a bit ropey at the start, I definitely did enjoy it, and I'm glad I did it.
It looks like employment possibilities have definitely improved. People who are leaving college now have a bit more optimism but it is still difficult to go out there and get a job. However, I think there are the opportunities to pursue in Ireland.
There remains an issue around the whole ‘unpaid internships’ are and it’d be nice if employers sort of took the responsibility for graduates who are trying to get a foot on the ladder
Often these graduates are not earning very much.
In some cases I’ve heard of people being exploited or feel like they’re putting a lot in but not getting much back, so that can be quite difficult.
That’s one of the main challenges I believe, finding a steady job that pays well and you can feel secure in.
Roisin O’Donovan (21) from Ballsbridge, Dublin studied Nutraceuticals for Health and Nutrition in Dublin Institute of Technology.
I’m going to miss all the college events with societies and the Students’ Union but I’ve actually been elected as the Vice President for Welfare for the DIT Student’ Union which I’m really excited to get started with so I’ll still be hanging around for another year.
After that, I hope to do further study, a postgraduate degree or get a job that’s related to my degree.
I feel confident about employment possibilities in Ireland and abroad. My course was so broad and I gained good experienced from a 3-month internship I did with a start-up company called FEED. However, a lot of places require at least two or three years of experience and that’s a bit of a worry for me.
In my opinion, the most important thing for new graduates is that they are trained correctly and treated with respect always for the work they do, no matter how much experience they have or don’t have.
I feel young employees can be taken advantage of in some jobs.
It's crucial they know their rights as an employee and they are getting paid well and fairly for their work.
Colm Mansfield (21) from Santry, Dublin 9 studied Multimedia at Dublin City University
Leaving college is kind of scary. I’m in between deciding what I want to do at the moment. I’m working with Enterprise Rent-A-Car now, so I’ve to decide whether I want to go on pursue a Master’s degree or keep doing what I’m doing now. It’s all very up in the air the moment.
The multimedia field is so broad and there are a lot of employment opportunities out there in Ireland but there’s a lot, lot more overseas. A lot of people from my course will be going abroad – a few people have already gone to places already like the US, and Taiwan.
The opportunities are here in Ireland, there’s just a lot of competition because there’s so, so many people looking for them.
The opportunities are here in Ireland, there's just a lot of competition because there's so, so many people looking for them
I was considering going on a Graduate Visa for a year to the US, but at the moment I’d be more likely to go back and do a Masters instead, and see where that takes me.
If you were to go down the internship route a lot of that is so underpaid. A lot of people I know from my course are interns now and they’re only getting travel expenses, or not getting paid at all. That might be OK on a short term basis, but when you’re in some of these internships that go on for six or more months they’re just untenable for the long term.
Jenna Clarke Molloy (22) from Tullamore, Co.Offaly studied French and Italian in Trinity College Dublin
I studied French and Italian for my degree because I really enjoyed languages in school, and was told that there were lots of job opportunities available for people who could speak other European languages. Fortunately I enjoyed my degree, however I really can't see myself pursuing teaching or translating, what the majority of my classmates are hoping to do.
Through writing for my college paper, and other bits of work experience over my four years, I've discovered that I would like to pursue a career in journalism or elsewhere in the media. As to how to go about that now, I'm not quite sure.
I'm applying for internships but there are next to no entry level jobs in the area I'm interested in, so I think I will spend the next year doing internships and getting a part-time job, and then do a Masters next year.
I'm scared about the future because it's so uncertain.
But in an age of zero hour contracts and very few full time staff positions anywhere there seems to be uncertainty in all fields of work nowadays, so I can't dwell too much.
Dearbhla Ní Fhaoilleacháin Ryan (22) from Portroe, North Tipperary studied Visual Communication in The National College of Art and Design
Right now I just want to make a living wage. I do a lot of illustration and photography work with a little bit of animation in my own time so any job where I could apply those skills would be a dream. It’s been a long time fantasy of mine to animate rap videos, I'll be pretty happy to do anything creative.
People from my area have had to emigrate to get work, and my dad has been away in Australia since I was 17 to keep us afloat.
The economic growth the Government talks about isn't for people like use
A lot of my skills are digitally based so I can work from anywhere with an internet connection, assuming I can get any kind of freelance work.
The thing that bothers me though is the fact that I am skilled, I am competent, I am hard working, I can teach myself the programs I don’t know, but the jobs aren’t there. Unless you want to work for free or do an unpaid internship for some company. My landlady doesn’t accept ‘exposure’ or ‘experience’ in place of the rent money so that’s me out.
Everyone says advertising or corporate work will destroy your soul as a designer but I’d take it right now. I’ve been running my own online store selling my work to make a few quid throughout the year since I couldn’t keep a job with college hours but it’s not going to be enough.
Laura Horgan (23) from Kerry studied Film & Television Production at Institute of Art, Design and Technology
I've realised that at this point, as much as I enjoyed my time in IADT, I am ready to move on to something new. At the moment I'm just taking stock and recovering from fourth year but I hope to apply for a Masters in Cinematography in the coming year and work on gaining experience and continue to make contacts. I have a graduate film, 'Jelly Baby', that I was cinematographer on showing at the Galway Film Fleadh so we will see if anything comes from that.
I am nervous to begin in the industry, not knowing when it will be that I can make a sustainable income is worrying but I have no regrets choosing to have a career in the film industry.
If it turns out I need to travel in order to get enough work to be able to live then that's exactly what I'll do.
Eimear Daly (22) from Celbridge, Kildare studied Early Childhood Education at Dublin Institute of Technology
I chose my course because I looked at it as the back way into primary school teaching. That was always at the forefront for me but I unfortunately didn’t get the points I needed for teaching so I decided when going for a Master’s degree in teaching, this course would stand for me. I was hoping to apply for primary school teaching this year. I’ve had my first offer but I didn’t get it. I’ve another interview soon though so Im just studying for that. It’s very hard to get into. It’s very limited places-wise.
The course has really helped me. I’d get to chat to teachers through experience. It's not just a 9am-3pm job., it’s more than that. I’ve experienced that first hand and i have had chances I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t do this degree. There are people who have done the degree in Early Childhood Education who have gone onto become teachers, and that’s given me a bit of motivation that it can be done.
I've always wanted to be a teacher.
Even in Transition Year, I did my work experience in a local primary school. I’ve never really any thought of any other career. Even in the summers of 5th and 6th year, I’d be up at my local primary school just observing in classrooms and helping out. I just get such satisfaction with working with kids. I love it, so I’ll get there eventually.
It’s hard to get into, I know that. It’s really about who you know. I know a lot of people do travel abroad but that wouldn’t be my wish, I want to stay at home. I wouldn’t mind moving around Ireland but I want to live here. You just have to get your foot in the door. You choose your own placement in your Masters, so when I do get that it’s just about building contacts, making a positive impact and just working hard.
Kevin O’Connor-Conroy (23) Santry, Dublin 9 studied Commerical Modern Music (Guitar) at BIMM Dublin
There’s a definitely a sense of freedom about being done college, considering how heavy the last year has been with all the academic work. There was a sweet sense of relief, but also a sense of sadness. I’ve met a lot of great people throughout the last four years, peers and tutors so it’s definitely sad to be leaving all of them.
There’s definitely opportunities in the music business, but I’m trying to steer clear of becoming a session musician. It’s just too saturated with older and newer musicians. No one wants to go for the business side of things so I’ll give it a shot because I enjoyed learning about marketing and digital marketing. The way the industry is going now, everything is run online.
As a musician I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
Ever since I was 12, music has always been a big part of mind. I’ve never wanted to give it up, I never will. I want to pursue it and I’ll keep pursuing it. I’ve had no regrets and I’d highly encourage any musician to check out BIMM.
Ursula McGinn (22) from Kildare studied Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin
Having come through the Samuel Beckett Centre in Trinity College, I majored in theatre directing and set design. The combination of the various modules I took over my four years, my involvement in DU Players (Trinity's drama society) and my time as a member of Dublin Youth Theatre have assured that I am graduating with a wide variety of skills in theatre and I am confident in my title as theatre maker.
I am currently working as a freelance director, stage manager and designer. I am co-founder of a company called Bombinate Theatre, which produces work for families and young audiences.
At the moment, I would not say I have solid career prospects. The nature of the theatre field means that I will be working on a project-to-project basis.
Currently, I am really excited by the Irish theatre scene. I love working in Dublin and hope to do so for the foreseeable future, however because of the limited funding available in Ireland (particularly for younger makers), leaving Ireland is always in the back of my mind. Luckily enough, I have an American passport, meaning I will be able to work between Ireland and America if necessary.
There are some great resources available to theatre makers in Dublin such as the Dublin Fringe Festival, internships, training opportunities and various residency schemes. However demand always outweighs supply. It really is necessary to have good connections, resilience, a very concise Google calendar along with talent in order to succeed long term.
My five-year plan is constantly shifting, changing and disappearing.
For now, I am basking in the uncertainty of post-graduate life.