What type of careers exist in STEM?
STEM is a fast-moving area, with multiple routes to entry and a high demand for graduates. From designing video games to medical devices, improving food science and sport, and even saving lives through cancer research, students need real insights into the many exciting and diverse STEM career opportunities in Ireland. These industries are constantly evolving, many of the many current STEM professions didn’t even exist 10 years ago and ten years from now there will almost certainly be jobs we can’t imagine now.
Science: There are many disciplines which fall into this category from the biological sciences such as biology and medicine to the physical sciences which are the study of the inorganic world through subjects such as physics and chemistry. As there is such a range of disciplines it also means there are so many exciting and diverse career opportunities available such immunology, molecular research and many more.
Technology: Topics include anything from data analytics and prototyping to machine learning and game development. The phrase ‘working in tech’ has grown to mean anything from designing and programming computer systems; to testing and maintaining those systems; to selling and marketing those systems; to training other IT professionals. So, the range of employment possibilities open to technology graduates is quite vast. This field has seen dramatic growth in recent decades and continues to redefine our daily lives. Ireland has an exciting Tech landscape with many in demand career opportunities.
- Ireland is home to 9 of the top 10 global software companies.
- The top 10 ‘born on the internet’ companies are based here.
- 9 of the top 10 US ICT companies have Irish operations.
- Ireland is one the locations for the top 3 global enterprise software companies.
- 4 of the top 5 IT services companies operate in Ireland.
Engineering: The field and scope of engineering has also seen growth in recent decades. There is a selection of diverse roles in the engineering industry from building circuit boards in electrical engineering to designing bridges in civil engineering. Engineering has been shown to be one of the ‘happiest’ professions. A survey by Engineers Ireland stated that 94 per cent of members said they were happy with their career choice. A typical day as an engineer very much depends on the type of role and sector you are in. A designer may work on one project for a long period while a mechanical or applications engineer might have several projects on the go all at the same time.
Maths: Maths incorporates concepts and exercises that can apply to all areas including those in science, technology, and engineering. Employers look for particular skills, and many students underestimate the number of skills gained on through studying maths. There are some careers for which a degree in mathematics is specified, for example teaching, statistical work, including actuarial work, some types of research and development, and some areas of computing. Employers understand that mathematics graduates can handle intellectually difficult problems and that this ability can be transferred to the work environment.
The connection between Tech and Maths continues to be in demand. The online payments company Stripe, founded by two Limerick brothers, Patrick & John Collison, has been valued at €4.5 billion. Ireland has thriving FinTech sector. Fintech, or Financial Technology, refers to technology used to make banking and financial services more efficient. Financial giants like Citigroup, Mastercard and State Street all have Research and Development (R&D) innovation labs in Ireland.
If you want to hear more about STEM careers and speak with STEM professionals working in Ireland be sure to tune into the #ThisIsSTEM webinar series. Details can be found on SmartFutures.ie.