Trinity and UCD producing highest earning graduates, HEA reports

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Trinity College Dublin graduates are statistically the highest earners in the first four years after graduating, when compared to any other educational institute in the country.

The report, which looked at graduates after they left third level education, ranked DCU as the second most successful in producing high earning graduates. UCD came in third overall for earnings, with the average weekly income of a UCD graduate coming in at €720 per week. 

TCD maintained the top spot for garnering high incomes for the first four years after graduating, with employees taking home €724 a week on year four of full-time work. For year five onwards, UCD graduates are statistically the top earners. Eight years after graduation, UCD graduates are earning approximately €1,017, with the lowest being NUI Maynooth, with a weekly wage of €758. With regard to Institutes of Technologies, DIT/now TUD (Technological University Dublin) graduates are the highest earners at €881 a week, with Letterkenny IT graduates earning the least at €615 a week.

The figures are reflective of those who have undergraduate degrees only, with income increasing for all university post graduate degree holders.

What kind of second-level education a graduate received played a role in their ability to secure higher earnings roles in the years following university. Data has shown that UCD graduates are disproportionately represented by students who attended fee-paying secondary schools - more than any other third level institution in the country. 27% of UCD students are products of a fee paying school, comparable to the 26% in Trinity College Dublin. These graduates perform best in terms of wage earning abilities post third-level, compared to the lowest attendance of fee-paying school students, Athlone IT. AIT graduates who were entering their eighth year of work could expect to earn approximately €638 a week.

Fee-paying students’ third-level choices are in direct correlation with higher income roles across the board. While statistically, there is also a correlation between a higher number of DEIS school students and somewhat lower incomes over the eight year sample. For example, the institution with the largest percentage of DEIS students was Limerick IT, who had an average income of €610 a week, eight years after graduation. 

The study also cited higher Leaving Certificate points with proportionally larger attendance at institutions with higher earning potential. UCD and TCD had the largest percentage of students who achieved between 555-600 points enrolled in courses, 10% and 16% respectively. University College Cork (UCC) also had 10% of their students accounted for achieving over 555 points. Comparatively, the bracket of students who achieved between 155 and 200 points were seen in their highest concentration in IT Tallaght (14%), Letterkenny IT (12%) and IT Blanchardstown (12%).