From college to career

Daniel Phelan

The notable shift from the labours of university to a full-time job is a substantial transition.

Oftentimes recent graduates are expected to make this leap themselves without the third party help and reliability of their university for support.

With their exodus from university comes more responsibility, finding a job, and if living at home isn’t a tenable solution then graduates must find accommodation in a fiercely competitive and expensive property market.

Graduate programmes can be extremely competitive endeavours for students as potential employers can amass thousands of applications for relatively few positions.

It’s an industrious task for the employer having to trawl through countless applicants, and one which can put prospective students off that are looking for a job.

Management Science and Information Systems Studies graduate from Trinity College, Thomas Buckley, spoke to The College View, “I actually think it’s quite common for a lot of students to shy away from grad programmes offered by the big companies because of the competition for positions.”

“I know a lot of my friends didn’t apply for them because of that very reason, I can understand it too. Applications for some of the jobs are extremely long-winded and you might have to give yourself a whole day to complete them. It’s even more discouraging if you don’t think you have much of a chance because of the sheer amount of applicants the job will get,” said Buckley.

Buckley was in fact accepted to a graduate programme from Accenture and claims that he was one of the lucky ones, “I think for me, it was quite fortuitous because I got accepted to a programme before I had actually even finished university”, he said.

The trickiest part of the process for Buckley came with his pursuit of accommodation, “I never thought it would be as difficult as it was to find a place. I was looking with three of my friends and we were all going to be working in relatively close proximity so we didn’t think it was going to be as challenging. For the first month that I was working I had to commute from home, luckily we did eventually find somewhere,” he said.

According to, from a survey of over 29,580 students, 78 per cent of graduates from the class of 2019 had found employment within nine months of graduating.

The report that was carried out showcased an increase in employment for recent graduates and a decrease in unemployment from previous years.

DCU Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate, Rebecca Maher, found the job hunt and move away to be a stressful process.

“It can be quite hectic towards the end of the college year, particularly in such a demanding course when you’re trying to balance your studies with job applications,” she said.

“The worst is when other people in your class begin to get job offers meanwhile you’ve heard nothing back, it’s frustrating. I think it was late August before I was offered a job,” said Maher.

“The toughest transition for me was moving away from Dublin. All of my friends were still living and working there, they’d get to see each other at the weekend and socialise with each other whilst I had to move to Athlone. I didn’t really know anyone, I had to start from scratch,” she said.

While finding a job and moving out does present challenges, there is positive news for future DCU graduates as DCU has been ranked 19th in the world and first in Ireland for its graduate employment rate, according to the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

Daniel Phelan

Image credit: Pixabay