Best Paid Graduate Jobs - Turning those points into euros: what do the best paid graduates do in college?

Date Uploaded: 22/08/2016

Salaries for construction careers have yet to rebound despite jump in demand for related courses

Want to earn €120,000 a year or €32,000? Opting for a particular course, or institution, because of the financial rewards it may bring is not a route many would advise school leavers receiving their CAO offers today to take. Nonetheless, figures from, which crowdsources market data, show the wide disparity in salary expectations certain careers - and colleges - can offer.


As a guide - and note it’s just a guide, salary figures will depend not just on the college you opt for or the course you study, but also your own aptitudes as well as the company you work for - the data offers a useful insight. But remember, as construction and architect graduates experienced so vociferously during the bust, career prospects do change and a course which may offer a stellar career path when you enter it, may look a lot different by the time you graduate.


Most financially rewarding colleges

As might be reasonably expected, universities look for higher points for entry, and therefore typically offer greater rewards than institutes of technology and other educational institutes. Someone with 15+ years of experience for example, and a degree from University College Dublin (UCD) will earn about €88,379 on average, compared with €45,000 for a graduate from the National College of Ireland.


This is also largely true at junior level, where a graduate with 1-4 years experience from University College Cork (UCC) can expect to earn about €35,500 on average, compared with €27,000 at nearby Cork Institute of Technology.


Most financially rewarding courses

Graduates of TCD who opt for courses like Business, Economic and Social Studies (510 points) or Mathematics (565) and end up working in financial services are some of the best paid graduates in the country, figures from Emolument show.


Indeed TCD graduates working in financial services earn an average of €120,000, while the figures for those working in London is even higher at €122,004.


Finance (515 points) graduates of UCC who go into related growth areas of compliance, are among the best paid in the university, attracting annual average salaries of €78,696, the data shows.


Unsurprisingly, given the breadth and depth of Ireland’s IT sector, computer science graduates from institutions all around the country tend to perform well in salary surveys.


Graduates of courses like software development (380 points) at CIT for example, earn an average €60,961, or €64,287 at University of Limerick (Computer Systems: 380).


Demand for courses related to the construction and property sector may have rocketed this year on the back of the economic recovery, but salaries don’t appear to have rebounded, as of yet. Graduates of Waterford Institute of Technology working in architecture, real estate & design jobs (Construction Mgmt & Engineering: 250 points; Quantity Surveying: 295 points) are among the lowest paid from the college, at €38,793.


Engineers however, earn an average of €49,877 in Ireland, figures from Emolument show, while engineering graduates from UCC, where the required points soared by 75 to 490, earn €65,949 .


Not so well paid are those emerging with degrees in languages, although it obviously depends on what route the graduate takes. At TCD for example, language graduates (European Studies: 535) who end up working in translation earn €32,143 on average, while the figure is €32,198 at UL (Applied Languages: 415).


And those looking to pursue a career in the media, through courses such as Journalism (420) or multimeda (450) might want to prepare for some bumps on the road however. Figures show that graduates working in media, communication & advertising are among the lowest paid from DCU, earning average salaries of €34,914.


MBA style courses, which today’s school leavers may not yet have on their horizon, are one way they could look at to boost their earnings in the future - although most attract a hefty price tag. Graduates of Executive Management & Change at DCU for example, can command an average salary of about €97,000, marginally above earning expectations for a similar course in the University of Limerick, at €96,000.


Journalist: Fiona Reddan

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