Wednesday, September 14, 2022

High earnings and job security top the list for both male and female third-level students across Ireland when considering their future career.

This is according to new research published this week by Universum, part of the hiring platform

These factors are followed by a friendly work environment and work-life balance.

Flexible working rises two places this year, up from number 10 in 2021.

The research found that females place higher value on ethics and purpose in their career search, whereas male students place a greater value on competitive remuneration and innovation.

Indicating a growing concern amongst students around the impact of inflation and the associated rise in the cost of living, high earnings and job security rank in first and second place.


Meanwhile, men and women have different expectations when it comes to what this base salary will be. While male students expect to earn €40,827 in their first full-time job after graduation, female students say they expect to earn €37,097, a pay gap of 9 per cent.

Although a gap between men and women is evident within all the study fields included in the survey, it is highest amongst Natural Science students, with females in this field of study expecting to earn on average €4,344 less on an annual basis than their male counterparts.

Graduate roles

According to, the number of roles advertised for graduates grew by 94 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

Quarter-on-quarter, the number of graduate roles grew by 13 per cent, with jobs up 30 per cent on pre-Covid (2019) levels.

Companies posting the most jobs for graduates include food, engineering, financial services, and professional services firms.

Steve Ward, UK and Ireland Business Director, Universum said: “There is a whole new cohort of Gen Z and Millennial students who will be looking to enter the workplace from this month.

“Employers that want to attract and retain this latest generation of talent need to ensure their recruitment and attraction strategies reflect what graduates are looking for in their employer.”

The research, conducted as part of The Most Attractive Employers Index Ireland 2022, was conducted amongst 8,199 third-level students across Business/Economics, Engineering, IT, Natural Science, Humanities, Law, and Health/Medicine in Ireland, and provides a snapshot of the key attributes that today’s students are looking for in their future employer.

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