Two thirds of PhD graduates find employment in Ireland
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Two-thirds of PhD graduates find employment in Ireland

22 Feb 2018

A new factsheet published by the HEA about research graduates indicates that 67pc go on to attain work in Ireland.

Two-thirds of Irish PhD graduates go on to find employment in Ireland, figures released by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) show.

These figures are presented as part of a research graduate factsheet produced by the HEA.

The figures also show that the majority of PhD enrolments are in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, with a total of 61pc of all students studying STEM.

Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics (NMS) make up 21pc of all PhD students, while health and welfare make up 19pc. Engineering, construction and manufacturing (ECM) count for 14pc of all PhD students.

Social sciences, journalism and information comprise 12pc of PhD students, and an additional 12pc are studying arts and humanities.

In all subject areas, similar figures can be seen in the total number of research graduates in Ireland.

Another heartwarming finding of the research is that there is almost total gender parity across enrolments and graduates in both postgraduate research and PhDs. The widest gulf – if it could even be described as that – can be seen in PhD enrolments, which is split 52 to 48, female to male.

The ‘first destination’ of PhD graduates was also measured approximately nine months after graduation. It found that 67pc end up in employment in Ireland after their studies.

An additional 17pc end up in employment overseas and 8pc pursue further study or training. A total of 6pc of PhD graduates in Ireland were still seeking employment at the time the HEA’s research was carried out.

Of those in employment, 65pc of PhD graduates work in non-market services, which is defined as ‘health services, civil and public services, education, and social services’. More than 40pc of PhD graduates work in higher education, which is to be expected.

Some PhD students are more likely to end up in employment than others, however. An amazing 100pc of all agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary students end up in employment in Ireland, while the same can be said for 72pc of NMS students. As little as 1pc of health and welfare PhD graduates were still looking for employment, while 21pc of arts and humanities PhD graduates were on the hunt for a job.

In the case of STEM graduates in particular, around 30pc of ECM graduates and 28pc of NMS graduates are employed by manufacturing industries. A higher percentage – 36pc and 37pc, respectively – are employed in the aforementioned non-market services.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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