Report from the frontline of careers in technology

digital worldA recent ‘Smart Futures’ seminar in Engineers Ireland, jointly organised with ICT Ireland, highlighted a trend referenced in this blog over the last few months – the breadth of jobs currently available in the IT sector and the career options available.

Some topline stats:

  • By 2025 there will be more than 8 billion inhabitants on planet earth. The demand for hydro-carbons and the youth bulge in developing countries will lead to a sustained demand for (and create great challenges for) technology.
  • 74,000 people are directly employed in the tech sector in Ireland (and up to 200,000 in associated and supply chain businesses).
  • Since the beginning of 2010 more than 5,000 jobs have been created in the technology sector in Ireland.
  • 75 per cent of tech companies in Ireland currently have vacancies.
  • 55 per cent of these companies have over 20 vacancies.

At present there is a skills shortage – the educational system is not producing enough graduates to cope with the demand for jobs in this sector. So, with graduate prospects bleak in other areas of the economy, how can today’s graduates gain entry to this world of plentiful jobs and stellar careers?

  • There are loads of jobs in tech companies for non-techies! Sales, marketing, product and project managers, finance, HR and customer service roles are booming.
  • Tech companies look for four key competencies – the Four Cs. These are communication; collaboration; critical thinking & problem solving; and creativity & innovation. So it’s not all about Java and C++. Demonstrate the Four Cs and you will get that job.
  • Tech companies love engineers, and not just software and electrical engineers. Mechanical, civil and construction graduates should look at their core competencies and consider how they can build on these to access jobs in tech companies. New conversion courses are rumoured to be on the horizon as part of the government’s jobs initiative; keep your eyes peeled.
  • Companies like Google and Facebook hire graduates from across all disciplines.
  • When assessing an individual’s creative potential, many of these companies look at a candidate’s activities outside their formal education.

The conclusion is that there will be an explosion of jobs in Irish tech companies in the next decade. Computer science graduates are in huge demand, but there are (and will continue to be) jobs in tech companies for all graduates. If you thought that tech jobs were just for nerds and not for you, think again – these companies need problem solvers, intelligent, flexible and creative individuals, and there are plenty of talented Irish students who can match these criteria.

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