Working in Computers & ICT places you on the frontier of society, as a result it attracts innovators and those who love working with computers. The tech sector is dynamic and vibrant, but it can be demanding with the most appealing jobs requiring high skill levels in coding, hardware and data analysis. Tech companies often have informal work cultures but demand hard work and dedication in return. With technology driving change throughout society computer skills are now essential assets in any career.
The ICT sector is thriving and continues to experience skills shortages. The developments outlined here drive demand for a wide range of cross-sector ICT skills, in particular:
Reports consistently highlight difficulties in finding the right talent for the thousands of ICT vacancies in the sector, and the need for more students to undertake IT-related college programmes. All of the top 10 global ICT companies maintain a presence in Ireland and employers are interested in applicants who can display a wide range of transferable skills including flexibility, adaptability and motivation.
Computer science is in demand not just by technology companies, but by all companies whose success in the digital age increasingly relies on technological innovation, and across all departments within these companies, including operations, marketing, finance, and research.
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. (EGFSN, Guidance for Higher Education providers on current and future skills needs of enterprise - Springboard 2014/ICT Level 8 Conversion Programme, February 2014).
The EGFSN study says that Ireland is likely to face an average increase in demand for high-level ICT skills of around 5% a year out to 2018 with the employment of ICT professionals anticipated to rise to just over 91,000.
Demand is confirmed by the wave of recent job announcements from IDA and Enterprise Ireland including:
It is estimated that there will be more than 44,500 potential job openings for ICT professionals over the period to 2018, arising from expansion and replacement demand over the next six years. A key factor for Ireland will be to ensure an adequate supply of ICT talent and skills from the domestic supply pool and global talent, to meet the needs of both foreign-owned and indigenous enterprises.
Manufacturing computer hardware requires the input of engineers, scientists and manufacturing operatives, working together to produce the devices that power modern life.
Software is the name of a program that directs computers how to perform tasks, for example Microsoft Windows for desktop computers.
Designing a video game is a complex enterprise, with many specialities needing to work in concert to deliver an appealing and successful experience for the player.
Instead of saving your file to your own computer, cloud computing allows you to use a computer or data centre elsewhere, away from the users own premises, meaning as long as you have internet access the file is available.
What we do online is tracked and increasingly what we do in real life can be tracked. For companies and governments this creates immense possibilities to understand society, customers or technology.
If you want to know more about working in the in the sector, hear what the experts have to say.
Studying STEM subjects gives you a set of skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity and innovation, design and communications, all of which are highly valued by many different types of employers.