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 Andrew Dunne from Irish Tax Institute to give some advice for people considering this job:

Andrew Dunne

Senior Tax Manager

Irish Tax Institute

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Andrew Dunne
This is a great career for challenging and strategic work, and also allows you a great opportunity to travel if that interests you.

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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Related Career Sectors

Education Education

Education Occupations

The Education sector expanded by just 1% between 2011 and 2016, indicating a high level of stability in the sector. Secondary teachers saw mild negative growth of 0.4%. Educational support assistant roles, a category which includes classroom assistants, educational support assistants and learning support assistants, grew by 5.6%.

Between 2015 and 2016 it appears these trends are accelerating, secondary teachers declined by 8.3% while 3000 additional educational support assistant roles were created, representing a growth of 22.4%.

Data from National Skills Bulletin, 2017. SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit Figure 1: Data from National Skills Bulletin, 2017. SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit.

Demand for education related skills can be linked to the number of school age people in the population. As a result primary school enrolments will hit a high in 2018 and second level in 2025, before tapering off. Currently replacement of retired staff is the primary reason for the recruitment of teachers. There are no pressing shortages, but at second and third level there are reports of moderate difficulty sourcing teachers with expertise in science and mathematics.


Following from the National Skills Bulletin, 2017.
Key points for selected education occupations

  • In 2016, there were approximately 122,000 persons employed in the selected education occupations, representing 6% of national employment
  • Almost four fifths of overall employment was at professional level (mostly in primary/nursery and secondary school teaching) 
  • Between 2011 and 2016, overall employment expanded very modestly (1% on average annually) with changes in employment varying by occupation; the highest growth was observed for educational support assistants (5.6%) while negative growth was recorded for secondary teachers as well as teaching and other educational professionals (0.4% and 0.3% respectively)
  • Over the same five-year period, there were a net 6,200 additional jobs created; the largest employment increases were observed for educational support assistants
  • Between 2015 and 2016, overall employment expanded by 2%, with a net 2,400 additional jobs; the largest increase was observed for educational support assistants (22.4% or 3,000 jobs), however a decline occurred for those employed as secondary teachers (8.3% or 2,500 less jobs)
  • At least one quarter of employed higher and further education teaching professionals were aged 55 or older ─ slightly above the national average
  • Almost 90% of persons employed in professional occupations were third level graduates; the share was 49% for educational support assistants and 71% for associate professionals (i.e. vocational and industrial trainers/instructors) ▪ Females accounted for the highest share in all educational occupations, excluding higher and further education teaching professionals as well as vocational and industrial trainers/instructors (47% and 46% female respectively)
  • Approximately one third of educational support assistants and teaching and other educational professionals worked parttime.

Shortage Indicators

The recent growth in the number of primary school enrolments are expected to peak in 2018 and to fall thereafter due to declining number of births, while enrolments at second level are expected to continue to increase through to 2025. Growth in the number of teachers employed has been modest, with replacement demand being the main driver of the recruitment of teachers. In 2016, almost 3,500 transitions to economic inactivity (i.e. retirement, home duty etc.) were identified for primary and secondary teachers.

No overall shortages have been identified for teachers, with 480 relevant job ready job seekers with third level qualifications in April 2017. In 2015, graduate output from education courses at NFQ levels 8 and above was 4,700 (including private colleges). However, issues continue to exist in relation to sourcing teachers (in both second and third level) with a high level of expertise in specific fields, such as science and mathematics. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has recently added experienced academics who hold a qualification equivalent to NFQ Level 10 to their employment permits highly skilled list.

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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