Let’s Talk About Our Tech Talent: Is Ireland under-graduating?
It’s a sure sign of the times. Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD announced that Computer Science is set to be introduced as a Leaving Certificate optional subject from 2018.
Gone are the days when the ECDL was the height of computational sophistication. This new ‘digital learning framework’ will also see influence at primary level with coding becoming part of the standard maths curriculum. For years, Ireland has been quietly blossoming into a haven for tech companies to park their European headquarters. It’s only natural that a sustainable talent pool should be available.
Demand > Supply
Unfortunately, the demand in Ireland for qualified IT candidates completely outstrips the current supply and we’re seeing a real battle for qualified and experienced candidates.
According to a report published by Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS: “The Recruitment Agency Survey and employment permit data indicate significant shortages of persons with specific IT skills, with the analysis of job announcements in the media suggesting demand for skills in the ICT sector is expected to continue.”
Yet there’s plenty of educational avenues to pursue in Ireland. As our country teeters upon the cusp of becoming Europe’s answer to Silicon Valley, it’s time to explore our native IT educational landscape. To begin our Let’s Talk About Our Tech Talent series, we examine the standard Irish undergraduate IT degree with a bit of insight into what’s on offer in IT courses or programs across Ireland in 2018.
BA in Computer Science, Trinity College Dublin
Ranked as the 117th best college in the world, Trinners is not a shabby place to start your third-level education. This is an integrated programme: students can study for an honours degree over four years and have the option to study for a fifth year leading to a Master in Computer Science (MCS) degree. It’s a great starting point to dip your toes in the waters of robust algorithms, new programming languages, artificial intelligence, health informatics, information security, social network sites, and educational and training systems. It even covers computer animation and graphics!
BSc in Computing, Institute of Technology Tallaght
This course is just representing the many, very decent programs that are on offer at IT Tallaght. We’ve seen great talent come from the South Dublin college; this particular course is aimed at giving you the skills and knowledge necessary to work at a technical level in the computing industry. In this program you will learn the latest coding techniques but also how to specify, design and develop IT systems, for the web and how to link together computing systems.
BSc in Software Development, Cork Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computing in Digital Forensics and Cyber Security, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
As you can tell from the title of the degree, this is more targeted at the cybersecurity field but IT Blanchardstown also offers a great range of the more fundamental IT degrees too. It’s been included because of the huge demand within this area of tech. And with a good reputation for punching out great IT graduates, students on this course will understand the architecture of modern computer systems, to systems analysis, computational intelligence, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
BSc Computer Science and Information Technology, National University of Ireland, Galway
Moving across to the west of Ireland, the Galwegian program provides a solid theoretical and applied background in Computer Science and Information Technology. Graduates of this BSc program will be highly equipped to take on employment as professional engineers, designers and consultants in a range of organisations, specialising in areas such as software design and development, digital media and games, IT consultancy, telecommunications and medical informatics. Other courses in the college that is 201st world-ranked include Business Information Systems, and Software Design and Development.
BSc in Computer Science, Dublin Institute of Technology
Gain a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of computer science while you advance your software design and development skills. Areas which you can specialise in include: Enterprise Systems Development – learning how to create large, scalable, safe, secure and reliable software systems. There’s also Applied Intelligence which is advanced methods in computer science that can be applied in business e.g. predicting trends. And there’s also Digital Games Development and Simulation where you design and implement computer games and simulated environments. Note: DIT has institutional links with the likes of Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, and Datalex.
BBs (Honours) in Business Technology, Limerick Institute of Technology
We’re slightly moving away from the classic ‘Computer Science’, but this still gives you comprehensive analytical skills to solve business problems with appropriate technological and business solutions. It offers a strong grounding in both business and IT before you branch into a chosen area. Although LIT is more known for its design courses, if you are more inclined towards the UI side of things, there’s a Games Design degree, and a Computer Networks and Systems Management to boot.
This list merely scratches the surface on what this country can offer in terms of tech education. And if it’s not uncovered or encouraged, our tech talent supply will remain a growing concern.
Do you recommend another IT undergraduate program that didn’t feature on the list? We’re very interested in knowing where our tech talent is coming from and even more interested in seeing where they will go. To discuss your future IT role, contact us today.