Key points for selected IT occupations
- In 2015, there were approximately 59,000 persons employed in the selected IT occupations, representing 2.5% of national employment.
- 80% of overall employment was concentrated in three sectors: just over a half in IT (mostly in computer programming and consultancy), with almost an additional one-fifth in industry (mostly in computer, electronic and optical manufacturing) and just over 10% in financial, insurance and real estate.
- Just over 50% of overall employment was concentrated in the IT sector, with almost an additional one fifth in industry (mostly computer, electronic and optical manufacturing).
- Three quarters of total employment was in professional level occupations (of which, two fifths were programmers and software developers); the remainder was at technician level (mostly IT operations technicians).
- Between 2010-2015 a net 9,500 additional jobs were created;
- The largest employment increases were for programmers & software developers (5,500) and ICT operations technicians (2,000)
- The majority of those employed in IT occupations were aged 25-54
- Just over 90% of employed IT professionals had third level qualifications; the corresponding share was 70% for technicians
- Most of those employed in IT occupations were male and worked full-time;
- One-quarter of employed ICT specialist & project managers and IT operations technicians were female
- Almost 40% of employed programmers & software developers were non-Irish nationals – over double the national average share of 15%; at 35%, the share of non-Irish IT business analysts & systems designers was also relatively high
- In Q4 2015, the overall unemployment rate (15-74 year olds) for IT occupations was well below the national rate (3.4% compared to 8.7%).
Although the number of those working in IT occupations is relatively small (2.5% of the workforce), the availability of IT skills is crucial to the Irish economy.
IT skills are playing an increasingly significant role across a variety of sectors (only just over half of all IT workers actually work in the ICT sector, with others mainly in industry, finance and the public sector).
Not only are skills for IT roles (e.g. software developer, IT manager) growing in importance, other non-IT occupations require ever more sophisticated technological competencies. This has led to the emergence of hybrid sectors such as FinTech (a convergence between ICT and financial services), MedTech (medical devices and technology) and programmatics (digital advertising/marketing and ICT) and a need for advanced skills in what have traditionally been separate disciplines (i.e. IT and industry specific skills).
Over the period 2010-2015, employment in IT occupations grew strongly, at 3.6% on average annually outpacing growth in most occupational groups. There were almost 7,300 IT jobs advertised through the PES and Irishjobs.ie portals alone in 2015.
The combined estimates of expansion demand and replacement demand are expected to result in a total annual recruitment requirement of over 6,000.
Many of the job announcements in the media in recent months relate to job creation for IT workers, both within the ICT sector, as well as for IT roles in other sectors; job announcements include those made by Amazon, Kaseya (IT management software), Zeltiq Aesthetis (med-tech), Sportlomo (sports software), Compliance and Risks (financial services), Brown Bag Films (animation studio), Qstream, Microsoft, Malwarebytes (online security), VMWare, Technopath Clinical Diagnostics (software company), Aspira, CBE (retail software), Hortonworks(software provider), Perception Consulting (data analytics), OneView (medical software), Fortuity (cloud technology and data analytics), Accenture and Boxever (data analysis software).
The situation is not unique to Ireland - there is a shortage of IT skills internationally.
Shortages of the following skills have been identified:
- Programming and software development: programming languages (Java, .net, C++, Python, PHP, Scala, AKKA, Ruby on Rails, VBA); operating systems (iOS, Linux); mobile applications development; web development (CSS, HTML)
- Cloud computing: MS Azure, AWS (amazon web services), cloud architect
- InfoSec (IT security): IoT (internet of things), BYOD (bring your own device), data/information security; IT internal audit
- Web design (niche areas only): particularly web related applications focusing on enhancing users’ online experience (UX) and supporting user interaction (UI)
- DevOps engineering (developing/testing, process re-engineering and communication skills)
- IT project management
- Networking and infrastructure: networking engineer
- IT business analysis: business intelligence and search engine optimisation
- Database administration (DBA), big data analytics, data architecture (ETL41) and data warehousing: SQL, Hadoop , Hive, Apache, PIG and Cassandra
- testing and troubleshooting: software testers; automation test developers; automated performance testers
- technical support: user support with foreign language skills (German, Nordic).