Graduate programmes available to Irish college-leavers

Graduate programmes can open doors to international career opportunities. Photograph: iStock

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PwC has some 400 available roles on their graduate programme across all areas of the business. The roles are offered in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny.

The firm is seeking graduates across a wide range of disciplines including accounting, science, engineering, technology, law and others. They will be given responsibility on exciting projects, with leading global brands, and experience firsthand how business works, with support from their teams, coaches and mentors, from day one.

When graduates join the firm, they will have access to a vast global network which spans 155 countries. Gaining international experience is invaluable, and the firm encourages its employees to explore secondment opportunities abroad.

The company has a hybrid working policy. All graduates are offered a total compensation package including pay, exam fees and exam support, recognition and other perks.

Applicants complete an online application process and they will then be called for an interview. Applications are currently open.



Accenture offers graduate programmes in analytics, consulting, and technology. Along with a competitive market value salary, graduates are provided with ongoing training, mentorship, and live project experience.

The programme also offers benefits including private healthcare, paid overtime, annual leave, paid volunteering days annually, external studies support, study leave and a pension option with company contributions.

The application process is virtual and includes gamified online challenges using augmented reality, virtual assessments, collaborative project work and interviews.

Applications for the 2024 programme will open in early Autumn 2023.



There are multiple ways in which a person can enter the graduate programme with EY – coming through an undergraduate programme, as a graduate direct hire, or applying during its main graduate campaign.

Between 400 and 550 graduates will be hired by EY this year. The application process is relatively straightforward, with an online application form followed by a one-stage interview process.

The firm is in six cities across Ireland – Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Belfast, and is seeking applications from candidates in its core service areas of tax, assurance (audit), consulting, and strategy and transactions (corporate finance).

It is keen to hire students from disciplines such as health sciences, environmental sciences, engineering and technology, among others.

The company operates a hybrid model for all employees. There are also employee benefits for those joining on training contracts, including a “competitive” salary, fully paid study leave, internal lectures and continuous support.

Applications are open from August to October each year.


Irish Distillers

The Jameson international graduate programme is different from most others, due to the international aspect of the role, with participants getting the opportunity to work in a market outside of Ireland as part of the programme.

Being a brand ambassador is a field-based role, working in conjunction with local sales and marketing teams in the implementation of the Jameson brand strategy in the market they are placed. It is 80 per cent field-based and 20 per cent office-based.

The company seeks people who are creative, innovative, self-starts and entrepreneurial in nature. Recruitment focuses more on attitude than what an individual has studied.

The programme’s induction programme covers all bases, ensuring that graduates are equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to hit the ground running post-induction.

There is a two-part application process: an online written application, and a two-minute video, designed to showcase an individual’s personality.

Applications open in September and close in February 2024. Graduates receive a competitive remuneration package, including company laptop, company phone, flights to their assigned market and a company car, if required.



The firm is hiring 400 graduates for the 2024 programme, in all areas of the business. There are a variety of open roles, including in the areas of accounting and finance, tax consulting, technology, and a range of specialised areas including sustainability, cyber and legal.

The company operates a hybrid working strategy, allowing staff to have flexibility and control in how they work across client sites, the office and from home.

Following the application form, candidates can learn more about what it’s like to work at Deloitte through an untimed immersive online assessment, which also gives them a personalised strengths feedback report.

All candidates invited for an interview are also invited to a pre-interview event, where they can meet other graduates and talent in different areas of the business, ask questions and gain confidence ahead of their interviews.

Graduates will be entitled to competitive pay package, wellbeing, healthcare, pension, and annual leave benefits, as well as a programme of support for professional qualifications.

Applications open in September.



Vodafone is hiring 40 graduates this year through its seven tailored graduate streams: technology, data, business management, marketing communications, digital design, corporate security and finance.

During the 18-month placement, Vodafone graduates will experience two rotations within their chosen stream and can look forward to dedicated mentoring and real responsibility from the start/

Graduates will receive a competitive salary and can tailor their own benefits package along with a hybrid working model including 20 days working abroad, access to physical and mental wellbeing supports through onsite and virtual wellness centre facilities, birthday day off, a free phone bill, exclusive friends and family discounts and three additional charity days leave.

The company operates a hybrid model, with roughly 60 per cent of time working from home, and 40 per cent in the office.

Applications open on September 11th and close in November.


Fulbright Scholarships

The global Fulbright Program was established in 1946 and is the largest and most prestigious US international exchange programme in the world, offering opportunities in more than 165 countries worldwide.

With an emphasis on cultural immersion and building long-term academic and professional connections, the Fulbright programme selects excellent candidates from all disciplines ranging from science, health, technology, law, business, arts and culture.

The Awards are open to Irish and EU students, scholars and professionals with 5+ years relevant experience from all disciplines and backgrounds. Candidates can apply for Fulbright scholarships to undertake Masters degrees, PhDs, or part of their PhD programmes, or to undertake research and lecture in an organisation of their choice in the US Irish language teachers can also apply to teach Irish at one of Fulbright’s partner colleges or universities in the USA.

Between 35 and 40 Irish Fulbright awards are given each year, with a comparable number of awards given to US citizens.

Award grants are calculated through the US Department of State approved monthly rates and travel costs. Other costs and fees are not provided for in the award unless specifically stated. Fulbright Funding is only available for the first year of research or study.

Applications are open until October 27th 2023.


Huawei Ireland’s flagship talent programme called “seeds for the future” is returning this year and is open to third-level students studying STEM subjects, leaving cert students considering courses in this area, as well as students studying STEM on Post-Leaving Cert courses.

The 2023 programme will be limited to 30 students with the eight-day virtual programme taking place from September 25th.

Students will take a variety of online courses covering the latest innovations in smart cities, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, 5G, and the Internet of Things.

Students will complete 15 hours of live courses and take part in the company’s TECH4GOOD competition, which challenges participants to examine how to leverage technology to address social and environmental issues.

To apply for the programme, students should send their CV, a transcript of their academic records, and an essay of 400-600 words or a two to three-minute motivation video reflecting their interests and why they should be chosen to take part, to The deadline for submissions is September 20th.



An 18-month scheme, Lidl’s graduate management programme consists of several modules, enabling graduates to develop a full understanding of the business.

Participants receive a bespoke training plan designed around their career path and current skills. They will spend time in both stores and warehouses to gain a full understanding of the company, before entering their chosen department.

Successful applicants will be entitled to a salary of €40,313 per year pro rata, 20 days of annual leave, up to two days of remote working per week, as well as other benefits.

To be eligible for the scheme, individuals must expect to attain, or have already attained, a 2.1 honours level 8 degree, have a full drivers’ licence and must have the flexibility to travel or relocate within Ireland as required.

Applications for the programme open in September every year.



Aldi recruits approximately 100 area managers every year across the UK and Ireland, though the company has said this could change as the business continues to expand.

The graduate programme is a one-year programme, with candidates graduating as fully-fledged area managers by the end this time.

Eligibility is dependent on a candidate being on track to attain, or have attained, a grade of 2:1 or higher, having a full driver’s licence and having a right to work in Ireland.

The application process will consist of five stages: online application, online psychometric assessment, video application, group interview, and an individual interview. The company says that the intensive interview process is commensurate with the responsibility of the role.

The starting salary is €67,925, which will rise in increments to €111,300. Graduates also receive a fully expensed company car, as well as five weeks’ holidays per year.

Applications open in September.



One of the big four, KPMG hires around 450 graduates for its Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway offices annually.

According to the company, the core purpose of its graduate programme is to attract and recruit top graduates from all disciplines and to offer graduates personal and professional development.

Graduates from a wide range of disciplines are sought, with a particular focus on those from business (accounting, finance and commerce) and Stem. Additionally, it will be seeking graduates from sustainability and arts disciplines who have an interest in a career in business.

The programme operates on a hybrid model of working; staff in the company have a mix of home, office and client sites to work from.

Time spent with colleagues in the office can be hugely beneficial to learning and development, and of course there is a social aspect to getting to know your peers and spending time with them.

There is an online application form on the KPMG careers website, with applications opening in the autumn and interviews commencing in November. Typically, KPMG hires students who are in their last year of study, and who then join the company after graduating.



The Irish Management Institute (IMI) graduate development programme is different to others in that it is delivered on a consortium basis to a limited number of organisations – and not to individual graduates.

This allows graduates to benefit from meeting and networking with peers in other industries and companies.

The 14-month programme focuses on developing commercial acumen, leadership and people skills needed in the workplace – particularly around problem solving, critical thinking, communications, and working in teams.

Its key themes include self-awareness and leadership skills, professional skills and hands-on experience.

The learning approach of the programme is focused on assignments and individual and group work to create a learning environment with real-world applications.


Central Bank

The Central Bank’s three-year graduate programme allows participants to experience the diverse and unique work of a national central bank and financial regulator.

Over the course of the programme, graduates will undertake several rotations across a range of areas such as stakeholder engagement, risk management and business strategy. These rotations seek to build on the technical and soft skills graduates have acquired during their studies.

Applications for the programme will open in the Autumn.


A&L Goodbody

A&L Goodbody offers trainee and internship programmes for those looking to begin, develop or advance their career.

The trainee solicitor programme takes on 50 trainees in each intake, with each trainee having four rotations in the company’s main departments: Disputes & Investigations, Corporate and M&A, Finance, Commercial Property, Taxation and Pensions.

For each trainee rotation, trainees are placed on a team, led by a partner with associates and several junior lawyers. Each trainee is paired with an associate mentor throughout their traineeship, and the programme is hybrid.

Trainees undergo 10 months Professional Practice Courses (PPC) and 24 months in-office training.

Benefits include opportunity to spend up to six months working with A&L Goodbody’s international or domestic clients or an international law firm, paid law society fees including FE1s, increasing salary over three years, health insurance contributions and extra weeks holiday after PPC courses.

Applications open on September 8th and will close on October 25th.



Zurich offers an apprenticeship in insurance practice programme, which gives participants a unique opportunity to enter into the fast-paced, varied and exciting world of insurance.

The company’s three year “earn and learn” programme equips participants with the skills, knowledge, and experience to become a valuable contributor to the success of the business while developing their own career as an insurance professional.

Apprentices work full-time in a role with one day a week on average set aside for formal learning, through a distance learning module. Graduating apprentices will gain a Level 8 honours degree in insurance practice from the Atlantic Technological University, Sligo.



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