Last week’s Dublin Web Summit, or ‘The Summit’ as it is now called, was a tremendous success. In just its fourth year, the three day event has grown to encompass 22,000 attendees. This includes 100 tech CEOs, 1,000 investors, 2,000 start-ups and 500 guest speakers, not to mention celebrities such as Eva Longoria, Bono, and Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley, to name a few. The event was reported on by as many as 800 tech journalists who covered all of the action at the RDS and its 200+ satellite events. With such an influx of people from across the tech world it was a great networking opportunity. I couldn’t believe the buzz around the lobby of the Herbert Hotel on the second day as I sat there having my morning coffee. It was like an epic version of speed dating with business cards.
In a way the rapid growth and success of the Web Summit mirrors the remarkable expansion of the tech sector in Ireland. There has been over 17,500 jobs created in the last three years and there are now over 105,000 ICT professionals working in Ireland. Demand is expected to grow at 5% per year through to 2018, and a further 44,500 job openings will be created in the sector in the next four years. This represents an incredible opportunity for Irish people to create an exciting, challenging, and financially rewarding career in this dynamic industry.
There are a range of skills in demand in the ICT sector and Ireland benefits from its involvement in many different types of activity. Everything from software engineers, to systems administrators, computer architects, and tech support operators, are much sought after. There has been a considerable investment made in ICT training to accommodate this rapid increase in demand. As a result over a 5 year period the number of graduates with computing degrees has increased by 82% and those with electronic engineering degrees has increased by 50% over the same period. The government has increased its investment in R&D and there are now numerous ICT research centres around the country. These research centres have expertise in a variety of areas from nanoelectronics (Tyndall, CRANN), to big data (Insight, CeADAR) and software development (LERO).
As the recent Web Summit demonstrates, Dublin is the epicentre of the ICT industry in Ireland, but there is plenty of activity in other parts of the country as well. Many of the most widely known names in the tech world can be found throughout Ireland. Avaya, a provider of business communications solutions, recently announced the creation of 70 new jobs, mostly in R&D, at its Galway site. The city is also home to major tech companies such as Cisco and HP, as well as many promising start-ups. Overstock is located in Sligo, Intel and Dell have operations in Limerick, and Cork is the location for EMC, Apple, VMWare, and many other notable tech companies.
The career opportunities in Ireland’s ICT sector are enormous. Job creation is growing steadily and new tech companies are setting up operations in the country every week. Anybody with an interest in ICT or electronic engineering should consider a career in ICT. You will have the world at your fingertips…and I may even see you at next year’s Summit.
Niall Murray, General Manager
Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group