Ireland has recently been ranked as the best country in the world for Quality and Value of Investment in IBM’s Global Location Trends Report. This is the 4th year in a row that Ireland has topped the poll and is positive news for Ireland’s ability to continue to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This inward investment will result in further job creation, particularly in the thriving ICT, Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Industries.

Certain Skills in High Demand

Within the ICT sector, Collins McNicholas has seen an increase in demand for software developers and programmers, particularly Java and .NET developers. Mobile developers are also in high demand. In Medical Devices we have seen an increase in the need for engineering skills. Requirements for electronic, mechanical, manufacturing, and polymer engineers have been the most keenly sought after. In the Pharmaceutical Sector, there has been an increase in the need for science and engineering skills as well. General biology and chemistry skills, good analytical testing skills and R&D experience are much sought after on the science side. Vacancies for process, quality and validation engineers are also increasing in this sector. Although the demand is not confined to FDI companies, with many indigenous companies prominent in these industries, foreign multinationals are driving a large portion of the high-skilled labour demand in these sectors.

New Opportunities

Many industries now require a range of technical skills. There is significant crossover in technologies occurring within single products. Combination devices in the medical device sector involve combining a pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical product with a medical device. Drug-eluting stents, antimicrobial catheters, transdermal patches, wound-care products and infusion pumps are good examples of this new type of product. Ireland has several companies operating in this area, Boston Scientific and ClearStream Technologies being two. Connected Health is another rapidly expanding sector of the medical device market. It incorporates smart technologies with medical devices to improve patient care. This can be done through implantable devices, remote monitoring tools, smartphone technologies, and advanced networking and communication technologies in hospitals. The government has invested several million euros in research facilities to support this industry. The Applied Research for Connected Health (ARCH), the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI) and INSIGHT, provide opportunities for collaborative research for companies investing in Ireland. Professionals can now look beyond their immediate domain of expertise to seek opportunities in other industries. School leavers are clearly aware of the growth in job prospects in these sectors with first preference applications for Level 8 STEM courses up 18% in the last 5 years.

Talent Supply

These interconnections between sectors are leading to exciting growth opportunities for companies. With Ireland’s excellent skills base in the medical devices, pharmaceuticals and ICT sectors we are strongly positioned to capitalise on these trends. Multinationals investing in Ireland value the talent base we provide and their continued investment will ensure a plentiful supply of job opportunities for suitably qualified professionals.

For more information on these sectors and some of the jobs available right now please follow this link.


Mark Whelan

Recruitment Consultant

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group