There are a broad range of junior management, policy analyst and specialist type roles in organisations across the Public Service that are typically of interest to graduates.
We are looking for top quality people, who are bright, enthusiastic and who have, through their studies and early career experiences, developed valuable skills that can be applied and enhanced further in the Public Service.
A key feature of our campaigns and intakes is the diversity of the people we tend to attract, which typically results in a rich variety of qualifications, experiences and perspectives that people bring to the table on joining the Public Service.
This section provides a quick overview of the range, types and features of some of the main entry levels for graduates into the Civil Service and other parts of the broader Public Service.
Current opportunities & roles
Range of Opportunities in the Civil and Public Service
There are a great range of opportunities available to graduates within the Public Service. The key entry level grades for graduates in the Civil Service include the Executive Officer, the Administrative Officer and the Third Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and other professional roles such as Statistician, Economist and many more. The following chart might prove useful as it gives a good indication of the typical grade structures for the Civil Service.
Local Authorities are then interested in recruiting graduates who possess particular qualifications, skills and competencies in areas such as Business, Project Management, HR, Strategy and Change Management, and Marketing.
Here we provide an initial overview of some of the key entry grades for graduates. Please note that further information on specific grades and roles will be available at the time of specific campaigns to fill roles.
The main entry grades detailed below
- Civil Service: Administrative Officer (AO)
- Civil Service: Professional Roles (e.g. Statistician, Economist etc)
- Civil Service: Third Secretary
- Civil Service: Executive Officer (EO)
- Local Government: New Graduate Opportunities
Civil Service: Administrative Officer (AO)
The Administrative Officer (AO) is the main graduate recruitment grade for the Civil Service and provides successful candidates with the opportunity to progress to middle management. As an Administrative Officer, you would have a crucial role in policy and strategy formulation across the spectrum of economic, financial, international, environmental and social issues.
In recruiting for the Administrative Officer role, the Public Service is looking for people with the potential to take on high level responsibilities in the management of public services and the analysis of public policy issues. As the business, economic and social environment becomes more complex and demanding, there is an increasing need to ensure that a wider range of skills are available within Departments and Offices. Administrative Officers can play a crucial role in policy formulation, critical analysis, research and policy drafting for a wide range of governmental areas. Attention to detail, administration skills and the ability to think strategically are all crucial to the Administrative Officer role. If this sounds like something you would be interested in be sure to register on publicjobs.ie and set up a job alert for Graduate opportunities.
Civil Service: Professional Roles
Opportunities for almost all professional and specialist roles exist within the Public Service for graduates. These include roles for Statisticians, Economists, Trainee Auditors, Engineers, Architects, Scientists, to name just a few.
Civil Service: The Third Secretary
The Third Secretary is another graduate entry level role, but one that offers you the chance to enter upon a specifically diplomatic career. As a diplomatic officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs, you can be expected to be willing and able to travel or work abroad as required. Diplomatic Officers can be situated to work at both the headquarters in Dublin, and at one of our diplomatic missions abroad. During a career as a Third Secretary, postings to six or seven countries would not be unusual.
The work of the Third Secretary and of other diplomatic officers – both at home and abroad, is related to the main tasks of the Department of Foreign Affairs, tasks that might include: pursuing Ireland's foreign policy through the development of our bilateral relations with other States, promoting and protecting Ireland’s interests at the heart of the European Union, and promoting Ireland’s trade, investment and other interests, including its culture, in close co-operation with other Departments, State Agencies and the private sector.
Civil Service: Graduate Policy Analyst/Economist
The Graduate Policy Analyst/Economist is the typical entry level within the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service. IGEES is an integrated cross-Government service. Its purpose is to contribute to the better design and targeting of Government policy through economic analysis, evaluation, and statistical analysis. There are IGEES staff working in each Department adding their skill set to the varied expertise working on policy. IGEES offers wide ranging employment opportunities across Government Departments in analytical roles across all areas (e.g. transport, housing, education, social protection, climate action, etc), as well as macroeconomic forecasting, expenditure and fiscal policy.
We are looking for high calibre graduates with a strong interest in the wider economic, political and social environment who are motivated to want to make a contribution to a well-run economy and society. Working in IGEES will allow graduates to work on real life policy issues using your skills set, development opportunities and work life balance. IGEES graduate policy analyst/ economists have access to a tailored induction programme to introduce them to the skills needed for their role, as well as benefiting from the Civil Service graduate training programme. IGEES staff have access to a Learning & Development Programme which draws on a mix of technical courses delivered in-house (from experts within the Service) and academic courses taught in the universities.
Staff mobility is an important element of capacity building and staff development within IGEES. As part of the normal course of career and professional development, staff are expected to move on a regular basis to other IGEES units across Government Departments.
Civil Service: Trainee Auditor
The Trainee Auditor is the typical entry level within the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General for those who want to develop their skills and professional qualifications in Auditing. It is a very popular choice with business and finance related graduates, and with people interested in building their accountancy professional qualifications. As a Trainee Auditor you can expect to be working as part of audit teams which carry out the audits of public bodies, review internal control systems which are in place and participate in inspections and performance measurement reviews.
In recruiting for the Trainee Auditor, we are looking for people with strong analytical skills who take a planned and systematic approach to their work, can work under supervision or independently as required, and who give a high level of commitment including the ability to work under pressure to meet challenging deadlines. The role of a Trainee Auditor requires confidence, tact and assertiveness in dealing with others at various levels in audited bodies and you are required to adapt as it is often necessary to move from one audit body to another or from one type of work to another. If you feel this is the right position for you, make sure to keep an eye out for future campaigns.
Civil Service: The Executive Officer (EO)
The Executive Officer grade is the entry level to junior management in the Civil Service. Executive Officers are engaged in critical analysis of proposals and reports and in examining the more complex, non-routine cases on which decisions are required. Executive Officers are involved in a wide range of roles and activities, including:
- Researching and drafting proposals relating to policy issues and legislation;
- Acting as junior managers in Government Departments;
- Responsible for managing operations and, after some experience, large numbers of people and other resources;
- Dealing directly with the public in support of services provided to them by the Civil Service.
Executive Officers are employed in all Government Departments/Offices covering a wide range of functional responsibilities. If you enjoy working with people, have management skills and are detail-orientated, a position as an Executive Officer could be the ideal role for you.
Local Government: New Graduate Opportunities
Local Authorities are always looking for people with the potential to contribute to the management of public services. As the business, economic and social environment becomes more complex and demanding, there is an increasing need to ensure a wider range of skills is available. Local Authorities will be recruiting people who possess particular qualifications, skills and competencies in areas such as:
- Project management
- Strategy and Change management
- Communications and Marketing