Skills supply report points to particular graduate opportunities in science, IT and health


‘Monitoring Ireland’s Skills Supply 2015’ is the tenth in a series of reports produced by SOLAS on behalf of the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). The purpose of the report is to provide an overview of the skills profile of the population.

The main findings of the report point to the fact that there are over one million qualification holders, or a third of the population, who have studied in one of the following areas:

  • (SSBL) Social science, business & law (including commerce)
  • Accountancy
  • Marketing
  • Business management

Further to this, another 320,000 persons have post-secondary qualifications, with engineering/construction, such as craft awards, accounting for a third.

Areas of opportunity

Science: Highly-skilled professionals such as actuaries, statisticians and teachers are particularly in demand in this field.

Engineering and construction: The difference between those with post-secondary qualifications and those with third level qualifications is much smaller in these areas, with the report revealing employment rates almost as high for those with qualifications such as apprenticeships, as for graduates.

SSBL: The career paths in this sector, according to report are very much determined by the level to which the candidate has studied.  However, there are many business related occupations which have been identified as experiencing shortages and growth prospects are positive for the financial and professional services sectors.

Health/welfare: There are high levels of employment for graduates with the right qualifications in this field. Employment opportunities in the health sector are mostly in government funded organisations; although there have been limited opportunities in recent years due to restricted healthcare budgets, demand for these skills are expected to be sustained and most likely to increase.

Education: Third level graduates are very much in demand for certain posts in this area and there is a higher than average proportion of recent university graduates employed overseas in the education sector. However at home, employment opportunities depend very much on government policy and funding according to the report. Demand for educational professionals is also affected by the size of the school going age population; “these factors will impact on the demand for teachers in the coming years,” says the report.

Arts/humanities: Graduates in these fields are most likely to continue their studies, specialising in a particular area, according to the report. The report also says that arts/humanities graduates may be more flexible in meeting labour market needs “but they may also be susceptible to having to accept lower skilled employment as many arts/humanities courses do not have a vocational element.”

Services: Tourism and hospitality is a sector highlighted by the report as one which presents significant opportunities to graduates. The report adds that while graduates in this area do find employment opportunities, it is a sector particularly affected by the economic climate.

The report comes only a short time after its companion research, the National Skills Bulletin, was released. Read our article on the Bulletin here.  For more on sector based advice from graduates, visit our sector hubs.


New National Skills Bulletin 2015 shows continued improvement in the Irish labour market and identifies job sectors in demand



The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) today (17th July 2015) published the National Skills Bulletin 2015, which provides an overview of employment trends at occupational level.

The report shows that, with the economic recovery strengthening, shortages are intensifying in some of the well-known areas that we have blogged about previously (ICT, engineering, sales/customer care, logistics, health, business and finance); and gaps are also emerging in new areas such as hospitality and construction. It therefore follows that these are key areas for graduates to target for employment.

Key Findings:

Where are the skills shortages?

  • Professionals/graduate positions including:
  • ICT (software developers, cloud, databases/big data, testing, security, technical support, networking and infrastructure)
  • Engineering (production, process, quality, validation, product design/development, electronic, electrical, mechanical and chemical)
  • Science (biochemistry, biotechnology, pharma co-vigilance, product development)
  • Business & finance (risk, compliance, accounting, business intelligence, data analytics)
  • Health (doctors, nurses, radiographers, niche area specialists including prosthetists and radiation therapists, and managers)
  • Construction (surveyors)
  • Clerical (multilingual credit control/debt control and supply chain)
  • Sales (technical sales, multilingual customer support, online sales and marketing)
  • Skilled trades (chefs, tool making, welding (TIG, MIG), butchers/de-boners, steel-erector).

More detailed information on all of these sectors can be found on the gradireland Sector Pages at; and you can browse and investigate specific job descriptions and career paths at

The National Skills Bulletin 2015 is available to download from the EGFSN website, Skills Bulletin 2015.html

gradireland’s publications for 2016 taking shape!

We’re hard at work all summer here in gradireland, producing another suite of publications for the 2015/16 academic year. As always, we’ve been collaborating with students, academics, postgraduate study providers and employers to ensure our products continue to deliver comprehensive careers advice, insider tips and employer insights for students, graduates and job-seekers.


In September 2015, our flagship publication, the gradireland Directory, will be released on campuses throughout Ireland. The ‘must have’ aide for job-seekers, graduates and postgrad students; we’re focusing on providing you with all the information, practical tips and advice that you’ll need. Above is the cover for the 2016 edition, and we’ll be releasing other sneak previews of our forthcoming titles in the near future. In the meantime you can download all the current editions here.

Predict conference to connect graduates to careers in data science

Cronan McNamara, organiser of the upcoming ‘Predict’ conference, explains why data, and data science is so important in the digital age.
Cronan McNamara
As computing power increases exponentially, storage costs plummet and broadband speeds accelerate a new era for data and data analytics has been born.

Almost everything we do generates data, from Google searches to online shopping but it’s not only restricted to online. Our daily activity regime can be crunched into helpful health indicators while tailored diets can be generated from the analysis from multiple data sets.

Our data is also extremely valuable which is reflected in the platforms (and profit levels) that organisations like Facebook and Google offer.

Although access to data has now reached astronomical levels, we have always lived with more data than we could handle.  Businesses have been gathering and trying to make sense of it using spreadsheets for over 30 years since the first Excel package arrived on the scene. Most of the time this data is poorly utilised, mainly due to lack of skills sets and tools.  There is a huge difference between data and insightful decision making.

We are now exposed to a wall of data which can be overwhelming.  We need help in digging through this information, seeing trends, getting insight and turning data into knowledge.  This is the new world in which the ‘Data Scientist’ (the sexiest job of the 21st century) is king.

The world of the data scientist is not all about algorithms, statistics and advanced mathematics.  Numbers when visualised can be much more powerful and we still need people who can interpret and communicate the information to really make it meaningful.

Data science is a cross-disciplinary activity which needs input from scientists, programmers, statisticians all the way to marketing, business analysts and the humanities.

Due to the specialised nature of the data science industry, it can be hard to get a good overview of the breadth of opportunities and the interesting work being carried out in the sector across industry, research and government.

With all this in mind we have created the Predict Conference to celebrate the rise of data analytics in Ireland, to make the data science industry accessible and to connect graduates with business opportunities.

However I did not want to just create another conference, so instead we have created an experience that spans 6 months and includes webinars, articles, networking,  match-making, data clinics, data set analysis, access to a new data modelling platform and post conference eBook and revisions webinars.

All of this for the early-bird student price of the two-day event ticket where you will meet over 30 speakers from all over the world outlining their data analytics and decision making methods, engage in active discussions with stimulating panels and witness first hand the power of data on the exhibition floor.

One of the pioneers of the industry will be there; John Elder, the founder and president of Elder Research. His work is required reading on many data related courses, revealing how data and predictive analytics are transforming business in a number of surprising areas.

Look out for our upcoming free webinars and for the main event in September.

Cronan McNamara is Founder and CEO of Creme Global and organiser of Predict.
Cronan holds a BSc in Physics from University College Dublin (UCD), an MSc in High Performance Computing from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), a post graduate diploma in International Sales from the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and a certificate of completion from the CEO Accelerated Growth Programme in the Judge Business School in Cambridge University.

For more information on careers in IT, download the gradireland IT Sector Guide here.