Unlocking opportunities: Exploring graduate programmes in Ireland

Finding the best graduate programme for you can be tricky, but Recruit Ireland is here to help.

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Ireland is the European hub for over 1,000 multinational giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, IBM, HP, LinkedIn and Pfizer. Along with Ireland’s own globally competitive indigenous industries, thousands of job opportunities are created each year for graduates and entry-level job seekers. 

This makes Ireland an exciting hub for some of the best graduate programmes in the world.

A poll conducted by CSO on Ireland graduates from 2019 found that around 80% were in significant employment.

Graduate programmes provide an opportunity for learners to find placements at exciting companies. They offer a pivotal step in a person’s career trajectory and are often the first step in an exciting future.

This article will provide a complete guide to navigating graduate programmes in Ireland and include best practices and tips to help you succeed in one.

What is a graduate programme in Ireland?

Graduate programmes are fixed-term roles offered by companies to recent university graduates. These programmes provide hands-on experience, mentorship, job rotation, and training.

They’re the perfect way to transition from academia to the professional world. But, only some are eligible for a graduate programme.

The requirements for becoming a graduate programme participant are:

  • Hold a degree from a higher education institution like a university
  • Finished their degree within the last few years
  • Appetite to progress and develop your career
  • Track record of success in education and previous work

Recruiters are looking for the best applicants who make for promising candidates. 

How to find a graduate programme in Ireland

Job seekers can find graduate programmes in Ireland in 2023 in several ways:

  • Career fairs: If you’re at university or are a recent alumni, you should visit a career fair. Prospective employers attend to talk about their graduate programmes.
  • Online job boards: Here at Recruit Ireland, we find the best graduate programmes in Ireland. You’ll have access to the job specs, the salary on offer, and desirable skills. Keep reading as we’ll show you how we help Lidl find top candidates for their graduate jobs.
  • Alumni networks: Join alum networks on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Go further by finding industry-specific groups in your chosen career.
  • Attend industry conferences: Many companies will be present at these conferences. You can enquire face-to-face about graduate programmes in Ireland.

Graduate programmes enjoy active recruitment. Employers make themselves visible to candidates and are happy to discuss opportunities.

Lidl works with Recruit Ireland to recruit candidates for their graduate programme, one of the most coveted in Ireland. Their graduate programmes are available each year starting in September and lasting 18 months. However, only ten places are allocated per year. Many candidates go on to full-time employment at the company. One graduate was even offered an area manager position before his graduate programme ended.

Top graduate programmes in Ireland

Let’s take a look at some of the best graduate programmes in Ireland:

Accenture Graduate Programme

Accenture offers business graduate programmes in Ireland. They are at its head office in Dublin.

Graduates can work across different projects and industries alongside Accenture’s 4,000 clients. Each graduate will be able to work towards a promotion to Consultant within three years.

Accenture graduate programme salary: €35,040 per year

Deloitte Graduate Programme

Deloitte offers finance graduate programmes in Ireland at their office in Dublin.

Graduates can apply for specific programmes to work with Deloitte’s private clients. Other programmes include GES immigration and the financial advisory programme. Programmes include specific training for your chosen role. Deloitte also supports graduates through their professional examinations.

Deloitte graduate programme salary: Not advertised

KPMG Graduate Programme

KPMG offers finance graduate programmes with Dublin, Cork, and Galway offices.

Each year, KPMG takes on 400 graduates in various finance disciplines. These include tax consultancy, audit and assurance, and deal advisory. They have a proven success rate of helping their graduates through their Chartered Accounting exams. KPMG achieved 93% success in the final tax exams.

KPMG graduate programme salary: Not advertised

ESB Graduate Programme

ESB (Electricity Supply Board) offers engineering, HR, and marketing graduate programmes in Ireland.

No matter your chosen profession, ESB has programmes to suit all kinds of graduates. Most graduate programmes revolve around engineering. Specific programmes include mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and civil engineering. Other programmes include human resources, quantity surveying, and information technology.

ESB graduate programme salary: Not advertised

AIB Graduate Programme

AIB (Allied Irish Banks) offers finance, technology, and operations graduate programmes in Ireland. They have offices in Dublin.

AIB offers many of their programmes in its finance sector. AIB also offers data and analytics, capital markets, and risk management.

AIB graduate programme salary: Not advertised

Many graduate programmes in Ireland will disclose their salary once a job offer is made. However, the average salary for a graduate programme is over €30,000 a year.

EY Graduate Programme

EY (Ernst & Young) offers finance graduate programmes with offices in Waterford, Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Dublin.

At EY, graduates can join streams in business consulting, technology consulting, assurance, tax, and many more. EY programmes benefit from flexible working options and paid study leave to help its candidates develop their skills and progress in their careers.

EY graduate programme salary: Not advertised

Bank of Ireland Graduate Programme

Bank of Ireland offers graduate programmes in business, arts, IT, science, and engineering. Its head office is based in Dublin.

Most of Bank of Ireland’s graduate programmes last two years consisting of 3 x 8-month stints in different business areas. Its accounting and finance programmes last for three years. Bank of Ireland encourages applications from graduates of any bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Bank of Ireland graduate programme salary: Above market average

PWC Graduate Programme

PWC offers economics, science, and business graduate programmes at Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny offices.

PWC graduates benefit from exposure to their international clientele spanning over 150 countries. PWC also has a hybrid working policy, so graduates have more flexibility over their schedules. The company also supports its graduates through their exams and helps with any fees.

PWC graduate programme salary: Not advertised

Vodafone Graduate Programme

Vodafone offers business, technology, marketing, and finance graduate programmes at its head office in Dublin.

Graduates selected for one of Vodafone’s streams benefit from a flexible working policy. Vodafone allows graduates to spend 60% of their time working from home. The company also offers the opportunity to spend 20 days working abroad.

Vodafone graduate programme salary: Not advertised

How to choose the right graduate programme for you

Choosing a graduate programme is a big life decision that could tie you into a programme for the next few years. However, it is worth noting that there are multiple benefits to graduate programmes, including:

  • Mentorship from experienced professionals
  • Professional development from structured training and exposure to business departments
  • Networking opportunities through the company and industry conferences
  • Potential job at the end of the programme
  • Enhance your CV with real-world experience from reputable companies

For many, seeking out a graduate programme in Ireland is a no-brainer. However, it’s still an important decision to get right. So, how do you choose the right graduate programme? 

Here’s what to consider:

  • Programme structure: Does the programme allow you to work in different departments? Does it include international travel?
  • Company values: Do the company’s values align with your own? Are they a reputable company that can boost your career?
  • Career progression: Does the company have a strong track record of alumni support? Will there be a job for you at the end of it?

How can Recruit Ireland help me find the right graduate programme?

Here at Recruit Ireland we can help you find top graduate programmes in Ireland. platform connects talented individuals and entry-level job seekers with graduate employers who value their skills and dedication. 

Our job board lists details about graduate programmes in law, pharmaceuticals, engineering, etc. Our team is also always on hand to guide you through your job search journey by providing expert tips and answers to your questions. Head to our advice centre to discover more resources designed to help you advance in your career.

How to succeed in a graduate programme

As a graduate programme is often the first step in launching your career, you’ll want to make a success of it. 

Some companies have open positions reserved for graduates after their programme ends. But these positions can be highly competitive. How do you make sure you get the offer?

  • Commit to continuous learning: Companies invest time and money into their graduates. Repay that by committing to outside knowledge about developments in your industry.
  • Seek feedback from coworkers and mentors: Ask questions. Show initiative by seeking out feedback from those training you. 
  • Be a part of the company culture: Graduate programmes often include social elements to help new hires feel a part of the company culture. Take part in training days, join social events, and network with others within the company.

How can Recruit Ireland help me succeed in a graduate programme?

In addition to helping you find the right graduate role, our team is always on hand to guide you through your job search journey by providing expert tips and answers to your questions. Head to our advice centre to discover more resources designed to help graduates and job seekers succeed in their roles. Find out about the latest recruitment news or dive into the career advice section. Let Recruit Ireland guide you while searching for the perfect graduate programme in Ireland.

Recruit Ireland: Your partner in finding the right graduate programme

Finding the best graduate programme for you can be tricky, but Recruit Ireland is here to help. With years of expertise navigating the Irish job market, Recruit Ireland is well set up to help you find the position you’re looking for. 

We can guide you every step of the way with our dedicated team of professionals and vast network of industry connections. So don’t hesitate to contact us today!


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