CAO deadline: Why it’s time to be an Engineer

As the normal deadline for CAO applications looms closer, the burning question within the construction industry is whether interest in the sector will continue to rise. In 2016, there was a big jump in applications in the area of architecture and engineering (+13%) compared to the previous year.

Earlier this month, January 2017, IrishJobs.ie reported a 49% increase in job advertisements in the construction, architecture and property sector in 2016, particularly in Dublin, Limerick and Carlow. Over 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2019 in the construction industry as part of the Government’s Building on Recovery investment, which includes major development of infrastructure and housing. However, according to Caroline Spillane, director-general of Engineers Ireland, only 38 civil engineers are expected to graduate in Ireland this year, despite a need for “civil, electrical, technological and construction-related engineering skills”.

Both Engineers Ireland and the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI) call for more women to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Speaking to The Journal in February of last year, ACEI secretary General Dr Sarah Ingle encouraged women to enter into what she dubs an “exciting field”, adding that it contains “a wide variety of career prospects”.

As Ireland steps out of the shadow of its economic collapse, demand for engineering-related skills continue to rise. With the anticipation of the first deadline of the CAO applications on 1st February, the construction industry will wait with baited breath to see just how many graduates will, according to Dr Sarah Ingle, “make a very real and lasting contribution to Irish and international infrastructure and buildings”.

In other words, it’s time to be an engineer.

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