Graduate programmes: an investment towards the future

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Robert Curley discusses how graduate programmes ensure a smooth transition from university to the ‘working world’.

Comparable to a long-term internship, a graduate programme provides university alumni with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a corporate environment, receive ‘on the job training’, and, essentially, get paid to learn. Originally offered solely by financial institutions and considered a suitable career pathway for business and finance students alone, the stigmatised graduate schemes of the past have evolved, and are now open to students of all disciplines. Furthermore, these programmes are in constant development, offering a valuable alternative to master’s programmes in today’s corporate world.

A steady increase in bachelor’s graduates has increased the demand for master’s programmes. Graduate schemes are typically an afterthought. However, a consideration of the benefits of guidance and mentoring, networking opportunities, and a chance to acquire a taste for different sectors within a company gives heft to a graduate scheme when weighed up against other career pathways.

Supplying such a scheme requires countless resources, so these programmes are characteristically offered by medium or large sized companies. Nevertheless, there are career options in almost all industries and sectors. Fortunately for aspiring students, these companies compete to supply a high-quality programme. Grad Ireland hosts a ‘Graduate Recruitment Awards’ annually with KPMG achieving the ‘Graduate Employer of the Year Award’ for 2023.

Work-life balance and a buzzing social life is typically a priority for the companies who provide these programmes: social events, group challenges and sporting occasions can be expected when becoming part of such organisations. In comparison to other career development pathways, graduate schemes are a solid force for creating opportunities for individuals starting out on their corporate journey. A committed graduate can expect to tackle the corporate world armed with a striking CV and real-world work experience in an enterprise. 

Will you decide to indulge in the benefits of graduate programmes? Head to for more information.