People working in STEM in Ireland are changing the face of the world we live in everyday, whether it is by making life-saving drugs and devices, researching new cures for cancer or creating new technologies that keep us healthier and safer.
Over the past decade, Ireland has grown into a global technology hub. We are now home to 9 of the top 10 global software companies, 9 of the top 10 US technology companies and all of the top 10 born on the internet companies.
Employment in the technology sector has increased by 30% over the last ten years in Ireland and salaries are on average 29% higher than in other sectors!
There are lots of opportunities and exciting careers available in STEM; but is this the sector for you?
8 Reasons to Consider working in STEM.
- Plenty of Jobs and Career Opportunities
The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs forecasts the demand for IT skills to be strong as organisations introduce new systems and migrate from existing systems to increasingly sophisticated online and/or cloud platforms. Ireland is rapidly becoming a global leader in technology and in an effort to maintain this position the HEA has incentivised the state Higher Education Institutions to provide additional places in their computing courses across the country, to help increase the number of full-time undergraduate places on ICT courses at Level 8. Despite this move the rate of graduate output is not keeping pace with the rate of jobs being created.
In such a rapidly changing sector is it hard to plan for the future with many projected jobs for the future that haven’t been invented yet! In an effort to address this uncertainty, the government is making moves to ensure children today are being equipped with the skills they will need for the jobs of tomorrow.
Children in primary school will learn coding along with creative and computational thinking under a revised maths curriculum, while there are plans to enhance STEM teaching and assessment practices in early-years settings.
All-in-all this is a sector with exponential growth and there are so many STEM careers opportunities both at home and abroad! Currently, the highest demand is for graduates with STEM qualifications, particularly in the areas of medical devices, renewable energy and ICT.
- Career Diversity
STEM careers are not all about lab work or writing code. As the world becomes more dependent on technology we can see STEM moving into just about every industry. So if you are passionate about music you could combine music with STEM; people are analysing music behaviours and patterns to inform streaming sites such as Spotify. In the creative sector you can find designers working with software to design and create fashion items for the runway. There is an element of computing incorporated into just about every industry leading to more opportunities to use STEM.
- High Paying Salaries
Going into STEM doesn’t just provide great job opportunity; it pays well too! In fact, working in STEM can prove to be very lucrative indeed. Some of the highest paying salaries are found in STEM related jobs. Careers in Engineering, Technology, Science and Pharma, all featured in the top 5 highest paying jobs of 2017 (cpl.ie)
- Less Competition
If you work in STEM you will be in demand. There are more jobs than there are qualified applicants. This is clearly apparent in ICT and Engineering, where employees are sourced from abroad to fill positions. With high demand and fewer applicants, you have a huge advantage that will give you leverage to negotiate salaries and role responsibilities.
- Jobs that Change the World
Working in STEM can lead to great job satisfaction as you work on projects that literally have the power to change the world. Already you can find people in Ireland working to make life-saving drugs and devices, researching new cures for cancer or creating new technologies that keep us healthier and safer.
In the coming years, science and technology will be leading the way to find solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems; poverty, disease, access to clean water… STEM offers you the chance to work on the cutting edge of fields like medicine, space exploration, computers, engineering, robotics and more. If you have a need to give back to the community and make a difference in the world, being part of STEM will give you that job satisfaction.
- Always Learning Something New
The world of STEM is constantly changing and updating. There is no room for you to stagnate or get bored. The technology we are using today has drastically changed from what we used five years ago. Every year brings new changes and advancements. Throughout your career you will need to continue upskill and adapt to the new changes in your field. A big driver of motivation is feeling challenged; working in STEM will encourage you to learn new skills which keeps your mind sharp and engaged.
- Develop Transferable Skills
By choosing to study and work in STEM you will develop valuable skills that can be used in diverse sectors. You will learn skills such as: maths, problem solving and critical thinking, research methods, ICT, report writing, all of which will help you to adapt to changes in other industries. If you decide to change jobs or you can’t find just what you want, you won’t be short of opportunities with such commanding skills in your armour!
- Passionate Interest
If you are mad about technology or science then there is no better reason for venturing into a career in STEM. Employees are at their happiest when they are working in a field they enjoy and feel genuine enthusiasm for. If STEM interests then you, you are lucky that you happen to love a sector that has huge growth, job opportunity, career diversity, a chance to change the world AND it’s well paid!! What are you waiting for?
For more information on working in STEM, check out some of our industry experts: BioPharmachem, ESERO Ireland, Smart Futures, SEAI