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Leaving Cert Students — Shape the future with a career in tech

Posted: 30 Jun 2021

Leaving Cert Students — Shape the future with a career in tech

If you enjoy solving problems, are well-organised and want an exciting and rewarding career, consider the tech sector, says Eolas Recruitment.

As the Leaving Cert exams draw to a close, now is the time to check your CAO application, make sure that you are happy with your choices, and if necessary avail of the change of mind facility. The deadline for this is 5.15 pm on 1 July.

After a long and stressful year, you now have a chance to relax for a few weeks before the first round of CAO offers on 7 September. This is a good time to find out more about the types of career that will be open to you when you graduate from third level.

One path that is definitely worth considering is a career in the tech sector, says Eolas Recruitment Principal Consultant Stephen Daly.

“Technology increasingly impacts all aspects of our lives and there are great tech roles, even at entry level, in all types of organisation— companies, public sector organisations, financial services, sporting organisations, charities and not-for-profit entities.”

Job prospects

A recent survey for SOLAS Skills and Labour Market Research Unit which gathered the views of selected recruitment agencies in Ireland found that 53% of survey respondents experience difficulty sourcing STEM skills. Currently, in the IT sector, the skills that are most in demand are software developers, analysts, designers, engineers, architects, and technical support staff.

Entry-level roles

“While a degree in computer science is the most common entry-level qualification for tech roles, relevant skills acquired at school through coding camps and various industry programmes run in collaboration with teachers and schools are also of interest to employers,” says Stephen.

If you are reading this article while still at school, the Smart Futures website provides a list of Transition Year programmes and resources that enable students to experience STEM at first hand.

When hiring, larger employers and multinationals tend to source candidates at milk rounds and/or invite applications from graduates.

“When applying for these roles, your CV should list relevant skills, experience and voluntary work remembering to highlight in particular any experience of teamwork or managing people,” Stephen advises.

Check out Eolas Recruitment’s article on how to prepare your tech CV for tips on what to include and what to leave out on your CV.

Pay is generally good for tech roles, particularly as you climb the career ladder. Entry-level salaries vary but tend to be higher in larger companies.

Girls under-represented

A big challenge in tech, and indeed in STEM generally, is that girls are under-represented both at third level and in industry.

“Companies are more aware than ever of the benefits of diversity so they want to broaden their talent pool, bringing in different voices, skills and perspectives. While scarcity of female graduates is a challenge for businesses, it creates a lot of opportunities for young women with STEM skills,” says Stephen.

At policy level, work to encourage greater take up of STEM subjects in schools is ongoing. However, recent education indicators for Ireland (December 2020) show that there are still strong differences in the percentages of girls and boys studying STEM subjects, particularly when biology is excluded. The Government’s STEM Education Policy Statement acknowledges a need to increase the uptake of these subjects and enhance STEM learning for learners of all backgrounds, abilities and gender, with a particular focus on uptake by females.

Inspiring girls to study STEM

Elsewhere, various initiatives and programmes also aim to inspire girls to pursue STEM careers. Examples include CodePlus —a Computer Science engagement project based in Trinity College Dublin which provides coding workshops, teacher support and research to encourage greater participation by girls in Computer Science and IT courses at third level and in follow-on careers.

At industry level, events like iWish, the International Girls in ICT Day and the WomenTech Global Conference showcase female role models in the tech sector.

“These events are really inspiring and a great way to show how exciting and rewarding careers in tech can be. Lots of women in tech, including many Irish women, have achieved huge success. It’s really important to find ways for them to share their career stories so that other young women can see the opportunities and learn how to support each other and thrive in our sector,” says Eolas Recruitment Senior Recruiter Nollaig Leydon.

At post-grad level, there are also incentives that target female graduates. A recent example is a new scholarship for a MSc in Quantum Science and Technology. Developed by Microsoft in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, this post-grad programme focuses on accelerating advancements in next-generation quantum technologies and attracting and training future world-leaders in the field. The scholarship is open to applications from female graduates. The closing date 31 July 2021.

If you are interested in finding out more about other measures aimed at encouraging greater female participation in STEM, check out our recent interview with Nollaig about opportunities for women in the tech sector.

Role models

Although female STEM graduates are outnumbered by their male peers at the moment, there are nevertheless numerous high profile female role models in Ireland’s tech sector including Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary, Louise Phelan former vice president of Paypal and now chief executive of Phelan Energy Group, and Sinéad McSweeney, who leads Twitter’s public policy team in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is Managing Director of Twitter in Ireland.

“Probably the single most successful influence when it comes to encouraging girls and young women to enrol on IT-related courses or pursue a tech career is having positive role models. The saying that, ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ is as true in the tech sector as in any other industry,” says Nollaig.

“Our advice for Leaving Cert students is that if you have a positive attitude, an aptitude for technology, good problem-solving skills and are well-organised you should definitely consider an exciting and rewarding career in tech.”

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I've had the pleasure in dealing with Stephen and the team at Eolas for a number of years now, both as a contractor and hiring manager. They are very professional, responsive and take time to listen and understand your role requirements. The advice and support provided by Stephen in a recent interview process really helped me secure the new role.I would highly recommend using Eolas if you're looking to change jobs or hire someone.
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Had the pleasure of working with Caroline recently in regard to a new job opportunity. Caroline was professional, attentive, responsive and always kept me up to date through out the application process. Always checking in to see if I needed anything before interviews and following up after. I never experienced this level of support from a recruiter before. It was a lovely personal touch. I highly recommend working with Caroline and Eolas.
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I have been working database related contracting jobs with Eolas for a good number of years now. All well done from their end, with no waste of time: Each single interview arranged by them always lead to the next contract - they have always picked the right jobs for what I can do, and they kept me away from what I cannot do. All paper work done immediately. All my questions have been answered straight away. Warmly recommended!
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I would highly recommend Eolas Recruitment. Sean reached out to me with a role that turned out to be a perfect fit. He knew all the right questions to ask and information to give to establish if the role was right for me at the very start. I found Sean honest, knowledgeable and professional from start to finish, making the process that bit easier. It was a pleasure dealing with Eolas and I would be more than happy to use their services again in the future.
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I was actively looking for and interviewing for a Product role and luckily I heard from Eolas recruitment on one of the product role that they were recruiting for their client. I applied for the role and I finally got it, now into the role one month, I am really enjoying my work and I am so thankful to Eolas for bringing me a right career opportunity at my door step, Eolas recruitment team worked with me at every stage of the interview process and made the experience very positive and seamlessly smooth. I definitely recommend their team and I look forward to working with them in the near future.
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I worked with Stephen and Eilis on a contract role and they both were really helpful in providing enough information about the project and the client, keeping a pulse along the way and gave blazing fast feedback. Was a breeze experience overall. Highly recommend.
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Worked with Sean Prendergast to secure a new position. Extremely professional and supportive every step of the way. Was a pleasure to work with.
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Highly recommend Eolas. Fantastic support and guidance throughout the entire recruitment process from Stephen and Ciara. Really appreciated their time and effort to ensure good role fit.
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Super prompt, effective communication, transparent and guiding, is what comes to mind while summarising my experience with Eolas Recruitment.It is rare to come by recruitment consultants with a genuine drive to ensure the candidate and the role (vacancy) are a perfect match. I had the pleasure of being guided by Peter Kirby and Caoimhe Cronin trough the hiring process for EY. I see my connection with Eolas to be a longterm and collaborative engagement.
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I have gotten my last two contract roles with Eolas. I found them to be friendly, professional and really helpful.I dealt with Stephen and Peter who both really helped during the lead up to the interview and also checked in during the bedding in process. I would highly recommend.
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I just got my job with Sean Prendergast of Eolas recruitment. Sean is very professional and helpful during the process of interview. Thanks so much again for your hard work, Sean and Eolas recruitment!
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18:12 27 Oct 21
Had a great experience working with Peter. He helped me land my first job in Ireland! Would definitely recommend to anyone who needs help finding a job. Peter was very responsive, and made sure to always check in with me if I had questions or he had any updates on jobs I had applied or interviewed for. Not all recruiters take the time or put in the effort like Peter did. 5 stars all around!
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Eolas recruitment were excellent. Caoimhe and Peter were in regular contact throughout the process and were very helpful and professional. Highly recommend them.
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Excellent recruitment process and best recruitment staff ever. Stephen and Ciara could not have been more helpful to me in getting my next IT job. The staff were extremely helpful and responsive throughout the entire process from the beginning to the end. I would highly recommend them.Thank you
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