Where do you see yourself in five years? These days the answer to that question is likely to be: living in Australia, Canada or America.
A recent study by researchers in NUI Galway showed that nine out of ten medical students in Ireland are considering emigrating once they finish college and get their degree.
Are these young, educated people leaving because there are no jobs or because they are being told there are no jobs? Our economy is supposedly improving again, so why is emigration still an issue?
According to the Central Statistics Office, 81,900 people emigrated from Ireland in the year from April 2013 to April 2014. The majority of these emigrants were students or were working in the country before they left.
Only one in five of the emigrants that left in that year were unemployed. This brings up an important question: are people leaving before they even attempt to look for a job?
The current batch of college students are told day after day that there are no jobs in this country and that emigration must be considered. This idea that we have to leave is instilled in us before we even finish our college education.
The children of the Celtic Tiger grew up oblivious to the idea of emigration. After all, nobody wanted to leave the country when it was in such great health.
Now emigration is a word on everyone’s lips and this has been the case for the past eight years. Enda Kenny recently said that by 2018 he wants emigrants to come home because if Fine Gael are still in government there will be full employment.
Jobs for everyone. Doesn’t that sound nice?
This current brain drain has affected families all around Ireland. Everyone seems to have a sister, brother or cousin living abroad, many of whom have no intention of returning home any time soon.
Our parents endured the same thing in the eighties, when their siblings were told that America was the place to be. So the Irish-American species increased in numbers once more.
The Irish diaspora is growing yet again. In the next twenty or thirty years there will be an abundance of Irish-Australians and Irish-Canadians on the planet.
This time around however, more of our migrants are leaving with third level degrees. So whatever jobs Ireland is providing must not be suited to the qualifications of our graduates.
It isn’t as if jobs aren’t being created in Ireland at the present time. A government minister announces 100 new jobs somewhere in the country almost every month.
It might be the case that people aren’t emigrating because of a lack of jobs, perhaps they’re leaving the Emerald Isle because they actually want to leave. And honestly, who can blame them?
After all, travelling is a great form of education, whether you’re making a fortune or not. That is reason enough to consider emigrating.
Australia, Canada, America, Ireland. Where will you end up living after college?
By Aoibheann Diver