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 Mary Dineen from Irish Tax Institute to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary Dineen

Tax Trainee

Irish Tax Institute

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Mary Dineen
An essential prerequisite to a career in tax is obtaining the AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification. Due to the varied and hands on nature of the work in Taxand Ireland’s office, I have found working in tax very beneficial when preparing for the AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) exams and conversely, I have found the knowledge I have acquired as part of the AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) course has assisted me massively in my day to day work with Taxand Ireland (William Fry).

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Labour Market Sector Profiles

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Business & Financial Occupations

Key points for selected business and financial occupations

  • In 2015, approximately 170,000 persons were employed in the selected business and financial occupations, representing 8.6% of Ireland’s workforce.
  • Almost 60% of overall employment was concentrated in two sectors: financial, insurance and real estate activities (35%), and professional, scientific and technical activities (23%).
  • Almost one third of overall employment was at administrative level (mostly bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks; bank and post office clerks); an additional one third was at professional level (mostly accountants and tax experts), while one quarter was at associate professional level and the remainder was at managerial level.
  • Between 2014 and 2015, overall employment expanded by 5% (a net 8,000 additional jobs were created);
  • The largest employment increases were observed for other business associate professionals; finance & investment analysts and financial institution managers & directors.
  • Over 80% of persons employed in business and financial occupations were aged 25-54; with one quarter employed aged 55 or older, financial accounting technicians had the most mature workforce.
  • Over 90% of those employed at professional level and 85% at associate professional level were third level graduates; the share was 55% for those employed in administrative occupations
  • Three quarters of those employed in financial administrative occupations and as financial accounting technicians and HR managers were female – the highest share of females among the selected occupations; those employed in the former two occupations had the highest propensity to work part-time.
  • In quarter 4 2015, the overall unemployment rate (15-74 year olds) for the selected occupations (3.3%) was below the national rate (8.7%).

Shortage Indicators

Financial and business skills are needed by almost all sectors of the economy, although many are employed directly in the financial and professional and scientific activities sectors.

In addition, the Government’s Strategy for the International Financial Services sector (IFS 2020) is expected to lead to further job creation in the IFS sector.

As Ireland continues to compete globally as a location for IFS, the skills required to develop business models and products will be shaped by technological innovation, changing regulatory environments, and the increasingly international nature of business. Business skills will be required, but will also need to be enhanced and complemented with other skills sets including IT, data analytics and business intelligence skills as well as knowledge of the relevant compliance and regulatory environments for specific industries.

Expansion demand for financial skills is expected to remain strong. This is illustrated in recent job announcements for these skills in the financial and accounting services sector (e.g. Northern Trust, Credit Suisse, Pepper Ireland, EY, Deloitte, Fidelity Insurance, Davy Stockbrokers, Mazars, and Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon). In addition, job announcements in other sectors also included roles for financial and business skills, including software development (e.g. Microsoft, Sage, and VMWare) and industry (e.g. Biomarin Manufacturing, Horizon Pharma, and GlaxoSmithKline).

Despite significant education and training output, shortages in the areas of business and finance continue to exist. There were 513 new employment permits issued to non-EEA nationals for work in financial occupations (as managers, professionals and technicians) in 2015.

Shortages have been identified in the following areas:

  • Accounting: accountants and tax analysts with experience (5 years+) in niche areas (e.g. cost, fixed assets, solvency, international and/or manufacturing settings, languages (German & Nordic))
  • Compliance & risk: experienced (5 years+) regulatory affairs and insurance compliance professionals; auditors
  • FinTech: business and financial professionals with skills in specific software packages and experience (inc. international)
  • Business intelligence & data analytics: experienced (5 years+) statisticians; entry level and experienced revenue managers (specific sectors, e.g. hospitality); financial systems analysts; economists and data scientists (big data, data visualisations and quantitative modelling)
  • Financial management/financial analysis: trustee managers; deposit managers; payroll managers 
  • HR managers and recruitment specialists
  • Fund accounting/fund administration: mostly entry level or with some experience ( (<5 years), particularly in IFS sub-sectors (e.g. international payments, funds, asset management, aircraft leasing)
  • Multilingual financial clerks: credit controllers; accounts payable/receivable; payroll specialists; fund accounting and transfer pricing specialists. 

Overall, the demand at professional and managerial level is strongest for those with a combination of varied technical skills, business skills and industry experience, although there is some evidence that a shortage of newly qualified and part-qualified accountants is beginning to emerge. While the IFS Strategy seeks to develop the industry outside of Dublin (and is reflected in the Regional Action Plans for Jobs), there is evidence that geographical mobility of skilled candidates is proving difficult in some instances.


The extent to which the demand for skills will change in light of the forthcoming Brexit is, as yet, unclear.

Exporting businesses may be negatively affected in terms of access to the UK market for their goods; at the same time, however, Dublin (along with other EU capitals, such as Paris) may benefit as some international companies relocate their operations from London to ensure access to EU markets. Should such relocations occur, the demand for financial and accounting skills, especially for EU and international transactions, may be even greater.

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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