Within a year, a pay gap emerged between male and female graduates, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.
Men who graduated from higher education here in 2012 were earning an average weekly wage of €425 the year after they graduated - €1,055 a year more than women who graduated at the same time.
Three years after their graduation, these male graduates earned €15 more on average each week than their female counterparts, taking home €780 more a year.
Five years after graduating in 2012, men were annually earning €1,820 more than women, taking home €35 more per week.
The overall median weekly earnings for all graduates increased from €420 per week for 2010 graduates to €475 per week for 2016 graduates.
However, while men and women who graduated in 2010 had identical weekly earnings, a gap emerged in the years following: Men who graduated between 2013 and 2015 earned €1,300 annually more than women on average.
This gap reduced to €780 for 2016 graduates, with men earning an average wage of €485 per week compared to €470 per week for women.
The findings are included in the latest statistics published by the CSO, examining graduate outcomes from higher-level education between 2010 and 2016.
Only income through the PAYE system was included in this analysis by the CSO, with income from self-employment activities excluded.
One reason for this gap could be due to the different sectors male and female grads found employment in; in 2016, male graduates were more likely to be employed in industry, finance and real estate, and information and communication sectors.
For women graduating in 2016, the most popular sector was health and social work. Graduates working in the education sector were found to have the highest earnings after their graduation in 2016.
The latest figures from the CSO also show that 80% of graduates from higher education in 2016 were in substantial employment in the first year after graduation, up from 66% for 2010 graduates.
Wholesale and retail, health, professional and scientific, and education were the most popular industries for new grads in 2016, with more than 50% in substantial employment after finishing higher education.