More than one third of further education students enrol in university courses after graduation - CSO

Roughly 30% re-enrolled in further education courses one year after graduation, data shows

More than a third of further education students enrolled in higher education after graduation, new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows.

On Monday, the CSO published a report on the outcomes of further education graduates from 2021. These are education courses that occur after post-primary level, but which are not part of the higher education system, such as university degrees.

More than a third of the 2021 graduates enrolled in higher education and roughly 30 per cent re-enrolled in further education courses one year after graduation.

Information and communication technologies graduates were more likely to opt for higher education one year after graduation, while agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary graduates were more likely to continue in further education one year later.


Furthermore, nearly three in four 2021 graduates were in employment in the first year after graduation, a 12 per cent increase compared to the 2016 graduates.

Close to half (43.2 per cent) of the 2021 graduates were in employment and education.

More than half of the 2021 graduates opted for employment in the wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and food service activities and health and welfare industries one year after graduation.

It is noteworthy that new graduates are more likely to seek temporary and part-time jobs, especially those re-enrolling in education.

Between 2019 and 2021, there was a sharp rise of 15 per cent in the number of new graduates going into employment.

The proportion of graduates who were in “neither employment nor education” dropped by more than a third over the same period, from 8.1 per cent for 2019 graduates, to 5.2 per cent for 2021 graduates.

In terms of income, the median weekly incomes varied with gender and employment sector.

Males graduating in 2021 earned a median weekly income of €375, while female graduates earned €345 one year after graduation.

Five years following graduation, 2016 graduates in information and communication technologies and engineering, manufacturing and construction had the highest median incomes, earning €540 per week.

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is a reporter for The Irish Times