The marketplace for graduate jobs

The GradIreland Graduate Careers Fair is a ‘must do’ for graduates interested in moving their career up a gear. This year it promises over 100 exhibitors. If you’re not in, you can’t win, writes John Holden

Graduates waste a lot of time dreaming about their ideal job. In large multinational companies with excellent career progression, one day you could become CEO right?

Then the pessimism kicks in.

You know where their headquarters is in Dublin or Cork or Galway but you wouldn’t dare enter the building. Such a life is beyond your reach.

But regardless who your dream employer is, chances are they’ll have a presence at this year’s 2014 GradIreland Graduate Careers Fair. Not only that, but over 3,000 jobs are up for grabs too between the 100-plus exhibitors.

Everyone from Abercrombie & Fitch to Vodafone will be there as well as associations and groups outside the commercial field, like the Association for Higher Education Access & Disability (AHEAD), the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) and USIT.

"The scale of the companies coming to the fair is wider than ever," explains Mark Mitchell of GradIreland.

“It is clear there are skills shortages in several areas. IT is a big one. There are a number of niches in IT that need to be filled. There are also still huge skills gaps in languages. Many companies simply cannot get the resources they need from Irish graduates and so must look abroad.

“Then you have the whole engineering space. There are many different areas that need filling – chemical, mechanical, electrical etc – with jobs here and abroad, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Canada and Australia.”

Dozens of higher education institutions – from Ireland and the UK – will also give advice to anyone thinking about improving their educational qualifications. There will even be a group hoping to recruit educators to teach in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Some nine UK educational institutions – Aberystwyth University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Edge Hill University, Liverpool John Moores University, National College for Teaching and Leadership, Queens Belfast, St Mary’s University College London, University of Birmingham and University of Greenwich – will exhibit.

“This year’s fair is bigger than it’s ever been, which reflects the growth in graduate recruitment,” says Mitchell. “There has been a rebound and we see increasing opportunities available for graduates.”

The international financial world is well represented with heavy-hitters like SIG International Group, State Street Corporation and HedgeServ.

The biopharmaceuticals sector, a huge industry in Ireland and worldwide, will also have several interested parties – such as Abbott Ireland, Innopharma Labs and the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training – looking for qualified recruits. Some bodies and institutions that may not be offering jobs directly, but which can provide other opportunities or useful support along your career path – the Washington Ireland Program, the Public Appointments Service, AIESEC etc will also be present.

The GradIreland Graduate Careers Fair is on October 8th, at RDS Simmonscourt , Dublin 4. Register for free entry at

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