This article examines the ability of young Irish graduates to enact mobility as a form of personal and career development both during economic expansion and recession. Of particular interest is the observation that Irish graduates are much more mobile than those in other countries which were also badly affected by the recession. Drawing from a study of recent Irish graduate emigrants (Irish Graduate Abroad Study), the article demonstrates how Irish graduates have successfully negotiated routes into global labour markets, facilitated by the relatively straightforward recognition of their qualifications, their ability to speak English and the visa permissions that enable such movement. Irish graduates have incredible global networks generated through a family history of migration. Irish graduates also have a considerable prior culture of mobility facilitated through institutionally mediated mobility programmes. Taken together, Irish graduates have amongst the lowest barriers globally to actually enact global careers. In the context of limited opportunities in Ireland due to its size and its current economic situation, mobility is an attractive choice with far more to gain than lose for many young Irish graduates.
Source: Irish Journal of Sociology, Vol. 23 No. 2 pp.71-92.