Students can look forward to a healthy jobs market for the foreseeable future according to Ken Murphy of CareerWise Recruitment who says the market for graduates and others with qualifications has rarely been as healthy with many sectors at near full employment.
“Ireland is now home to 24 of the world’s top biotech and pharma companies and very much at the heart of ICT (Information Communications Technology) in Europe with 8 of the top 10 Global Software Companies located here.
"New life sciences players are regularly moving in while those that have been here long-term have set down roots for future growth.
"Because we have a thriving ICT sector there are wonderful opportunities for IT, computing, data analytics, software and electronic engineering graduates and scientists”.
Graduates of the more traditional career choices like medicine, dentistry and veterinary continue he said to be in high demand as are graduates of food and agri-business and financial services.
Even the construction industry, which was practically non-existent for a long while post-2008, is now he said at a peak with high demand for the likes of chemical and civil engineers, project managers and many other professionals associated with that area.
“My advice would be if you can secure a third level education then you will be in a good place going forward and you will have a huge advantage in the employment market.”
Many of us, he agreed, didn’t have a clue what we wanted to do, job-wise, when we were leaving school and many don’t have an idea for some time after that but “I would say it is wise to continue your education”.
CareerWise Recruitment was founded in 1999 and is based at East Gate in Little Island, Cork, with offices in Shannon, Galway, Dublin and Mayo and has established itself as a leading regionally-based, Irish-owned company, working in partnership with both the multi-national and the indigenous sectors. Core areas according to director Ken Murphy are life sciences, bio-pharma, ICT, food and agri-business, amongst others.
Vibrant jobs market across most categories
“We are hiring across a variety of roles at the moment,” Ken Murphy says. “We would cover finance, HR Support, engineering, quality management, supply chain management and more. It doesn’t necessarily have to be college though”.
Ken says apprenticeships and trades are routes becoming more relevant: “We have seen a huge shortfall in plumbers, electricians, mechanical technicians and car mechanics. Many are getting work now in the construction sector but they can be hired into manufacturing with the multi-nationals too.”
Of course, it is not all about academics and there’s a need for level 6 and 7 graduates to populate many of the industries which may not be so fashionable all the time — “the manufacturing sector is still very strong here in Ireland, despite what you might hear”.
And he said there continues to be great opportunities for graduates to get work placements with multi-nationals.
"Companies such as Stryker and Johnson & Johnson who originally came into Ireland to avail of our competitive manufacturing skills are now fully embracing, supply chain global services and R&D which is has been very exciting for graduates.
There have always been wonderful and a wide range of career possibilities for graduates in IT and food science for example with Kerry Foods, Dairygold and Glanbia to mention just a few.
“I would say to those starting off in college to think about their skills and about experiences that will make them marketable to employers. We would always encourage students to take on part-time jobs.
"That all builds towards giving yourself a work ethic and an appetite for what it’s like to work. And you need to be building up your CV — in terms of taking on roles and responsibilities in clubs and societies in the university environment.
“Show you have organisational skills and demonstrate you are able to deal with problems and solutions — this can set you apart from your peers. I would say have a rounded approach and be involved whether you captain a sports team, join the debating society or play chess.
"Employers like to see passion and motivation so build that CV across a wide variety of areas and develop yourself as a person”.