Sector Overview: Technology

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From programming to UX, data analysis to business intelligence and from coding to client accounts, the tech sector is amongst the most dynamic, and evolving, sectors, in which to work.

Without doubt, the technology, or tech, sector is one of Ireland’s largest employment sectors and is also one of the fastest growing. Latest data estimates that almost 20% of jobs in the country are located within the tech sector or associated industries and support services. There are over 40,000 people working within this broad area, which incorporates everything from global software and tech giants like Google, Intel, Apple, Facebook, HP, Workday and dozens more to smaller firms offering ancillary services and a growing number of ambitious tech start-ups who have done incredible well, such as VoxPro, Stripe and many many more. All in all, close to 1000 companies in the country would consider themselves as operating within the ‘tech’ sector and 90% of the world’s top ten tech companies have an operation here in Ireland.

Industry in growth

According to Government statistics, there is an approximate 5% increase in roles within this sector every quarter, with 75% of these jobs going to those who had a relevant third-level qualification for the tech sector. Most of those recruited were between 24 and 35 years of age, which points to a strong pipeline of talent from those wha have come from either postgraduate study or from other sectors of employment as opposed to those direct from the undergraduate population.

Roles in demand

Due to the scope of the industry, new roles are being created all the time, but many rely upon a bedrock of core skills. For students coming out of college who are considering a postgraduate course with a view to entering the tech sector, the following areas are currently particular areas of growth with roles such as these particularly in demand:

  • Technology programmers-with strong object oriented coding skills in languages like .net, SQL, C#, C++,  Java and others.
  • Database architects and administrators
  • Security analysts
  • Technical analysts
  • Mobile application developers
  • Cloud application developers
  • User-experience (UX) analysts and designers

Areas like software engineering are always in demand, with proficiency in object oriented languages a perennial area of heavy recruitment from major tech employers. There are a number of specialist courses, and of course conversion courses, tailored for this area but there is a high level of technical proficiency required and constant learning on the job is not only desirable, it is expected.

Along with the area of science and research, technology is the area that currently has the most jobs on offer with roles of a technical and specialised persuasion offering highly attractive packages to the right candidates. Gaming, in terms of conception, design, UX and support is a particularly strong area currently, for both platform games and online gaming, with gambling companies occupying a significant and growing percentage of the market. Also hugely important are the scientific and medical/biomedical interfaces within the tech sector, with roles in nano-processing and biotech hugely important, as is anything to do with AI and automation.

Changing Trends

Data, how to create it, interpret it, analyse it, action it and manage it is critical to all areas of the tech sector. Of course, since May this year it has taken on increased significance in the wake of EU GDPR regulations. Roles related to data are required by all industries of course, but in tech, those with strong data skills can find themselves working on projects with both tactical and strategic importance to the company. Roles such as data analyst have an overtly technical job description, but a data analyst will likely be working closely with a business intelligence analyst, for example, so there will likely be a business development side to the role aswell. It’s a very dynamic area and still in its relatively embryonic stages.

Future opportunities

Like the market itself, those seeking work in the tech sector will be expected to be as dynamic as the industry. Particularly in more highly remunerated roles. You’ll be expected to use your skills to drive projects and then develop new skills to enhance future projects. There are a lot of students and jobseekers with technology related degrees, so employers will be seeking those with something extra. If you have a portfolio of programming or coding or software development related work for example, an interview is a great place to showcase it. Over 30% of employers are finding it hard to fill roles within the tech sector, so it is important for those seeking to work within the industry that they show skills that are cross-disciplinary and highlight the ability to manage a project or a team in addition to just technical and programming abilities. With the connected, and international, aspect of the industry-those in very technical and specialised roles can find themselves travelling to work on client sites relatively regularly, so it’s important that this is taken into consideration by those seeking to enter the sector.


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