Understanding the Indicators

Social/Cultural Indicator 4 – SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROUP*

* Coming from an Socio-economic Group which is Under-represented in Higher Education

To meet this indicator, you must belong to a group that is under-represented in higher education, based on the occupation and employment status of your parent(s) or guardian(s). At the moment, the groups include:

  • Non Manual
  • Semi-skilled Manual Workers
  • Unskilled Manual Workers
  • Agricultural workers

Why we use Socio-economic Group as an indicator:
The participation rate in higher education in Ireland has consistently increased over the last number of decades. However, it is not evenly spread across the socio-economic groups. Children of higher professionals, employers, managers, lower professionals, skilled manual workers and farmers are more likely to go on to college than the children of non-manual, semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers, and agricultural workers. The HEAR scheme is designed to increase the number of students from these under-represented socio-economic groups in third level education.

What is a Socio-economic Group?
A socio-economic group is a measure of your social background based on your (or your parents’ or guardian’s) occupation and employment status. The measure is used by the Central Statistics Office to analyse the social background of the Irish population. There are 11 categories in this classification:

  • A - Employers & Managers
  • B - Higher Professional
  • C - Lower Professional
  • D - Non Manual
  • E - Manual Skilled
  • F - Semi-skilled Manual Workers
  • G – Unskilled Manual Workers
  • H – Own Account Workers
  • I – Farmers
  • J - Agricultural workers
  • Z - All other gainfully occupied