UL president hails good prospects for graduates

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

The president of the University of Limerick, Professor Don Barry, has highlighted the continued growth in demand for UL graduates by employers, with most finding employment in Dublin, the UK and Middle East.

The president of the University of Limerick, Professor Don Barry, has highlighted the continued growth in demand for UL graduates by employers, with most finding employment in Dublin, the UK and Middle East.

Today is the second day of graduation ceremonies at UL and a total of 2,419 students, including 56 PhD graduates, will have graduated by the end of the week.

“Traditionally UL’s graduate employment figures trend well above the national average. Despite the challenging environment, UL’s graduate employment rate has continued to rise and our 2011 figure for primary degree-holders is now 16% higher than the HEA’s most recently-available national average figure which is 46% for 2010,” said Prof Barry.

A survey of UL’s 2011 graduates showed 88% are either employed or pursuing further study, and 86% of last year’s PhD graduates currently in employment.

“It is encouraging to see that over the next week no less that 56 doctorates will be conferred on UL graduates in recognition of their advanced research. 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,” Prof Barry told students.

“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,” he added.

The ‘First Destinations’ survey compiled by UL’s careers division also found that there was a decrease of 1.5% in the number of UL graduates seeking employment which is now at 8.5%, a figure which is considerably lower than the official labour market unemployment figure which is currently in excess of 14.8%.

In recent years the mid-west was the most popular region of employment, but this year’s results show a trend reversal for the first time since 2005. Dublin accounts for 32% of jobs, followed by the Mid-West at 28%.

The most popular overseas location was the UK at 34%, followed by the Middle East at 16%.