€4,000 gender disparity in new graduates’ salaries, report finds

Arts graduates are the least likely to be employed within a year of graduation

A €4,000 gap exists between men and women’s salaries among graduates who entered the workforce in 2017, a report published today by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) on the employment status of students who graduated in 2017 has found.

Male graduates in employment are reported as earning €35,650 on average, while women are reported as earning €31,670, approximately €4,000 less than their male counterparts, despite women being more likely to graduate with higher results.

The average salary of new graduates working full time in Ireland is €33,574, according to the report. The mean salary for an honours degree graduate is €29,600, while graduates with masters or doctoral degrees tend to earn between €40,849 and €45,325.

The report surveyed 29,000 graduates from the class of 2017 and involved universities, institutes of technology, and other higher education institutions in the Republic of Ireland. Responses came from just over half (51%) of all 2017 graduates.

The survey found that 90% of working graduates are staying in Ireland. 78% of the graduates are working, with the remaining 22% either engaged in further education and other activities, such as travel, or are actively seeking work.

The employment rates of institutes of technologies and universities was found to have little difference with both standing at 78%, with an unemployment rate sitting between 4% and 6%. Male and female employment opportunities were also similar with 78% of all graduates employed within nine months after graduation.

Paul O’Toole, Chief Executive of the HEA, stated: “There is clearly a demand in Ireland for the high quality graduates that are coming out from our higher education institutions. Skilled graduates are going to continue to be essential for our talent driven economy and to help meet societal challenges.”

Employment rates were highest for Education, with 93% of graduates employed. This was closely followed by Health and Welfare, which boasts 87% employment, and ICT and Engineering, both of which have employment rates of 82%. Arts and Humanities had the lowest proportion of graduates employed, with only 62% working or about to start a job. However, a further 24% of Arts graduates reported being engaged in further study.

The highest average salaries were reported by those in Dublin. 43% of graduates have found employment in the capital, with a further 14% employed in Cork.

Debra Daly

Debra Daly is a staff writer for Trinity News. She is a Junior Fresh English Literature student.