UL graduates score high in employment stakes

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2-the_ul_arena1 AS THE University of Limerick celebrates four days of conferring ceremonies this week, the college revealed that 94 per cent of its 2013 graduates are either employed or pursuing further study.

Around 70 per cent of UL’s 2013 primary degree holders are employed, which is 18 per cent higher than the Higher Education Authority’s most recent national average figure of 52 per cent for 2012.

Altogether 2,634 students will graduate from UL this week, including 48 PhD graduates.

“Our doctorate students are also very much in demand, with 90 per cent of last year’s PhD graduates currently in employment – an increase of nine per cent on 2012 figures,” commented UL president, Professor Don Barry.

‘Additionally, the growing number of employers actively recruiting UL graduates through our careers fair is testament to the high esteem in which our graduates are held. UL graduates have shown themselves to be ready for the workplace, highly-skilled and more employable than their peers from other Irish universities.”

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Professor Barry added that it was “encouraging” to see that 48 doctorates will be conferred on UL graduates this week.

“It is essential that we continue to exceed international benchmarks in the delivery of high quality, relevant research that will support Irish innovators and continue to attract foreign direct investment.

‘More innovation and discovery and an improved response to commercial and industrial needs will mean more employment opportunities for our graduates and increased growth in Ireland’s knowledge economy,” said Professor Barry.

The ‘First Destinations’ survey compiled by UL’s Cooperative Education and Careers Division also found that the number of UL graduates seeking employment is now five per cent, down from eight per cent in 2012.

This figure is considerably lower than the official labour market unemployment figure, which is currently in excess of 11 per cent.

Some 70 per cent of graduates went directly into employment, 49 per cent in Ireland and 21 per cent overseas – a seven per cent increase in employment levels on 2012.

The most popular overseas location was the UK at 39 per cent, followed by North America at 18 per cent.

Around 23 per cent enrolled in postgraduate studies, a drop of one per cent on last year’s figure.

More than 93 per cent of UL graduates who completed a postgraduate diploma in 2013 found employment or proceeded to further study.