CAO 2018: Points for arts fall amid demand for jobs-friendly courses
Engineering, teaching and nursing see some of the biggest points increases this year
In all, just over 50,000 college hopefuls are set to receive their CAO results on Monday. Photograph: Getty Images
Points for many arts and creative courses have fallen as students opt for degrees linked to areas of strong jobs growth such as engineering, teaching and nursing.
In all, just over 50,000 college hopefuls are set to receive their CAO results on Monday.
Some of the biggest points increases are for engineering, indicating that many students have been listening to industry bodies who have warned of critical skills shortage in these areas.
Points for engineering at Trinity, UCD and NUI Galway are up by more than 20, with architecture and many construction-related courses also seeing points increase.
The influence of employment prospects on students’ choices is also reflected in the strong interest in degree programmes in areas such as teaching and nursing.
Primary teaching courses have risen by up to 14 points, while most secondary teaching courses have also seen their points rise.
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Lower pay scales
This indicates that teaching remains a sought-after career despite controversy over lower pay scales for younger teachers.
Nursing – another sector hit by staff shortages – sees most courses increase by up to 10 points.
By contrast, points have fallen across most arts programmes this year.
Arts at UCC is down 46 points to 300, while Maynooth is down seven to 320.
Some of the most dramatic changes are in the creative arts, with points for a range of music courses in CIT and DIT plunging by anything between 35 and 200 points.
Similarly, points for the country’s most prestigious higher education animation course at IADT in Dún Laoghaire are down by 88 points.
UCD – which has introduced three new streams in its arts offering – has seen a mixed impact on its points.
It has dramatically reduced places on some of its new arts offerings, which has has led to a sharp increase in points in some courses.
For instance, the course which most resembles the old arts course is up by about 50 points to 381.
By contrast, points for its new social policy degree – aimed at future social workers – are just 291.
The equivalent degree it offered for students last year was about 400 points.
Applicants now have until Friday at 5:15pm to accept their round one offers online or by post.
The CAO has advised that anyone who accepts an offer in this round may still receive an offer of a course higher up on their courses list, if a place becomes available and they are deemed eligible.