Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked John Smith from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:

John Smith

Engineer - Process


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John Smith
On a personal level you need to be a good team player, good communicator and organised. From a technical viewpoint a background in physical sciences or engineering is essential. A PhD in semiconductor related field would prove extremely beneficial. The opportunities are vast within a company the size of Intel so you do have the option to change career direction if needed.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Labour Market Sector Profiles

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Science Occupations

Key points for Science occupations

  • In 2016, there were approximately 19,500 persons employed in the selected science occupations, representing 1% of national employment
  • Three quarters of employment was concentrated in three sectors: manufacturing (predominantly pharmaceuticals), professional, scientific and technical activities (mostly scientific R&D) and human health and social activities
  • Over two thirds of total employment in the selected occupations was at professional level; the remainder was at technician level
  • While the national annual average employment rate grew by 1.8% over the period 2011 to 2016, overall average growth rates for science occupations decreased by 2%; negative growth rates were observed across all science occupations over this period with employment of natural and social scientists declining by 3.4% on average annually 
  • Over the period 2015 to 2016, overall employment for science occupations decreased by 6.2%; however, employment of chemical, biological & physical scientists increased by 5.3%, above the national growth rate of 2.9%
  • 85% of science professionals were aged 25-54; the corresponding share was almost 87% for laboratory technicians
  • At 97%, the majority of science professionals had attained third level qualifications; the corresponding share was 73% for laboratory technicians
  • Females accounted for a higher share of those employed for laboratory technicians (62%) and chemical, biological and physical scientists, while there was a gender balance for other natural and social scientist
  • The vast majority of employed science professionals and technicians worked fulltime (90%) and were Irish-nationals (84%).


Shortage Indicators

Although science occupations account for a small share of overall employment (approximately 1% of national employment), these skills play a critical role in the performance and future growth of the high value added and exporting sectors of the economy, such as pharmaceuticals as well as in food processing. Although shortages have been identified in this area, they are small in number and are in niche areas.

Recruitment of scientists in 2016 was reflected in vacancy data for roles such as chemists (analytical, process, QA), microbiologists and lab technicians. There were 2,500 recent job hires in 2016 for professional scientist roles, all with thirdlevel qualifications. Nonetheless, the high rates of turnover and the lack of employment growth for these occupations suggests that much of the demand is arising due to movements of those already in employment.

In terms of supply, there were almost 4,300 science graduates at level 8 and above in 2015, of which 700 were in biochemistry or chemistry. In addition, there were over 900 science graduates at levels 6 and 7. There were also over 300 third level qualified scientists who were job ready job seekers in April 2017. Over 80 employment permits were issued in 2016, primarily for chemists.

The skills in short supply chiefly related to experienced candidates (e.g. five years or more) and niche scientific areas typically associated with the pharmaceutical, biopharma and food innovation industries. In particular, there was a demand for scientists with experience in compliance, regulatory affairs and new product development. Shortages in relation to the following job titles were identified:

chemists/analytical scientists: (especially product formulation, and analytical development for roles in biopharma)

quality control analysts: including pharma co-vigilance (i.e. drug safety) roles.

In summary, despite a lack of employment growth, these occupations are still in demand with some shortages occurring, albeit small in number.


Labour Market Research 24

These links are to well established sources of information used to review, evaluate and predict changes in our labour market.

Vacancy Overview 2016 - EGFSN 
Detailed analysis of labour market indicators, vacancy trends and difficult to fill vacancies from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (May 2017)
Addressing the Demand for Skills in the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics Sector in Ireland 2015 2020 
February 2015 EGFSN report assessing the skills and competency requirements for the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector in Ireland up to 2020
Vacancy Overview 2014 - EFGSN 
The Vacancy Overview 2014 produced May 2015 by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS on behalf of the EGFSN, draws on data from newly advertised job vacancies in the following sources: DSP Jobs Ireland and The analysis focuses
Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply 
July 2015 report on those entering and leaving the Irish education system (primary, post-primary,further education and training, and higher education) spanning the ten levels of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2015 
Annual report produced by the EGFSN which identifies variations in skills supply and demand across 8 regions (Border, Dublin, Mid East, Mid-West, Midland, South East, South West and West).
Assessment of Future Skills Requirements in the Hospitality Sector in Ireland 2015-2020 
Report from the EGFSN assessing the skills demand within the Hospitality sector in Ireland to 2020 to ensure the right supply of skills to help drive domestic hospitality sector business and employment growth.
Vacancy Overview 2015 - EGFSN May 2016 
A report produced by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs contextualising 2015 vacancy data with what is occurring in the Irish labour market
Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland August 2016 
This report reviews the supply of, and demand for, skills within the Biopharma Industry in Ireland up to 2020, with a specific focus on Biologics manufacturing as a growing sub-sector within the industry. It is estimated that 8,400 potential job openings
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin October 2016 
A Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS.
Trends in Education and Training Outputs 
Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply - A report by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs November 2016
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Current Labour Market Info 4

These sites provide news of current events that relate to our evolving labour market.

IBEC Quarterly Economic Trends 
Download publication in PDF format.
SCSI Employment Opportunities & Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying 2014-18 
New report April 2014 from SCSI outlining the Employment Opportunities and Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying projected from 2014-2018
Shortage of craft/entry level staff in the Hotel Sector 
Hotels and guesthouses are experiencing serious difficulties recruiting suitably qualified craft/entry level staff - IHF Annual Conference 24/2/14
National Skills Bulletin 2015 
The National Skills Bulletin 2015 provides an overview of the Irish labour market at occupational level, drawing on a variety of data sets, which have been systematically gathered in the National Skills Database (NSD) since 2003.

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