Better employment prospects (and salaries) for postgrads

Thinking of doing a postgraduate degree? There are two good reasons to do so – the better your education, the better your employment prospects and the better your salary. Research from Ireland and the EU has found that higher levels of education increase employability as well as salary.

As well as gaining a Level 9 degree with specific capabilities, a Masters teaches you a number of important skills. These include writing and presentation as well as time and self-management.

According to the latest available figures from the Higher Education Authority (HEA), 65 percent of 2014 undergraduates had found work by mid-2015. During the same period, 76 percent of postgrads were in employment.

Because the economy is recovering, fewer people are continuing on to postgraduate study. However, if you do, you can expect a higher salary. The HEA found that of 2014 graduates, 51 percent of honours bachelors graduates earn more than €25,000 a year while;  31 percent of Doctorate graduates earn over €45,000 compared to 4 per cent of Higher Diploma and 2 per cent of honours bachelor degree graduates.

Sectors with buoyant employment opportunities

Students undertake postgraduate degrees partly because they are interested in the subject matter. However, most also have an eye on employment prospects. Certain sectors have very high levels of employment. Computing and ICT has the highest proportion of graduates employed in Ireland. Education, health and welfare postgraduate programmes also have high levels of employment.

Degrees design with labour needs in mind

Irish universities as well as Institutes of Technology (ITs) consult business and industry employers to ensure that their courses are applicable to job needs. As a result, they have introduced a number of new interdisciplinary Master’s programmes.

There are a number of different interdisciplinary Master’s programmes. For example, the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, along with UCD’s School of Agriculture and Food Science, offers an MSc in food business strategy. DCU offers an interdisciplinary Master’s degree in engineering in healthcare technologies in collaboration with Maynooth University and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Emerging job trends

Postgraduate programmes increasingly respond to emerging job trends. These include areas such as data analytics, cloud computing and digital marketing. Another example is the MSc in Biomedical Diagnostics at DCU. Diagnostics are increasingly important to the healthcare, medical device and life science sectors. All of these sectors are buoyant and skilled employees are in demand.

 

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