CAO 2016: Jump in applications for courses linked to recovery
Points increases likely for architecture, engineering, construction and business
College applicants are flocking to third-level courses linked to the economic recovery, with a big jump in CAO applications to architecture, engineering, construction and business-related courses. File photograph: Getty Images
A record 76,000 people have applied to the CAO this year, with points increases likely across a range of popular courses.
Higher degreesAmong higher degree courses, the biggest increases in applications were recorded in architecture and engineering/ technology (+13 per cent), nursing (+11 per cent), business and construction-related courses (+8 per cent).
The biggest decreases were in areas such as agriculture (-23 per cent), veterinary medicine (-7per cent) and arts/social sciences (-2 per cent).
The increase in applications to maths-related courses in areas such as technology and engineering will be greeted with relief by policymakers and industry groups, who predict skills shortages in these sectors.
Surprisingly, science courses – also tipped for significant jobs growth – dropped slightly, by less than 1 per cent.
The overall pattern is reflected among ordinary degree and higher certificate courses, with jumps in architecture and construction, and drops in agriculture.
While just over 76,000 applications were recorded as of the CAO’s February 1st closing date, the final number of applications accepted is likely to be higher as late applications will be accepted up to May 1st.
PreferencesA majority of applicants are also entitled to change their course preferences using the CAO’s “change of mind” facility, which opens on May 5th.
This may result in changes to the figures cited above.
The number of students who utilise this “change of mind” window is growing every year as students wait until they have sat their exams to make their final choice.