Jason Ward, country manager for EMC, said Ireland’s technology sector will be a major growth engine for the economy as we emerge from recession.
“The world is moving through a revolution in IT, with cloud, big data and cyber security emerging as the top trending themes that are transforming the IT and business environments, as well as how people map their own lifestyles.
“Ireland is at the leading edge of this new wave in global IT — and the opportunities for revenues, growth and jobs are immense,” said Mr Ward.
He said the spate of recent jobs announcements in technology by IDA Ireland shows that the sector is growing rapidly.
“Demand in areas like cloud, big data and cyber security is set to grow exponentially so students, whether they are in school or taking college degrees at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, should seriously consider pursuing careers that expose them to emerging career opportunities and, ultimately, high-quality jobs.
“Our higher education institutions must continue to work with industry to ensure that their programmes are future-proofed and tailored to the needs of employers,’ said Mr Ward.
The IT sector is calling for Ireland’s visa application process to be liberalised to allow more people with the correct skills to take up jobs here that can’t yet be filled by graduates from Irish universities.
IBM executive Denis Collins estimates Ireland could need 20,000 to 50,000 new visas to plug skills gaps in the employment market.
The problem is not limited to Ireland, according to a report last year by McKinsey & Company, demand for deep analytical talent in the US could be 50% to 60% greater than projected supply by 2018. That means demand could exceed supply on current trends by between 140,000 and 190,000 positions, according to the report.
“Ireland will need more cloud architects and data scientists over the coming years as more and more companies and public sector organisations embark on the IT and business transformation journey. Ireland has eight of out 10 of the largest IT companies in the world.
“Our ‘natural’ advantages of English language, geographical location and talent pool are key. Government investment in innovation, and supports for research and development initiatives, are making it easier for companies like EMC, with the help of IDA Ireland, to invest here. Ireland can create the next EMC and we need to make sure we have the capabilities to make it happen,” said Mr Ward.