What jobs will be in demand for graduates in 2025?
Students should be aware of job trends and skills they will need
Predicting the future jobs market is increasingly difficult. Photograph: Getty Images
What jobs will be in demand when students graduate in 2025? Predicting the future jobs market is increasingly difficult so students should also ask: what skills will be in demand? And what will the workplace look like?
Tony Donohoe, chairman of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, says prospective graduates should go into their course choice with their eyes wide open, being aware of job trends and the factors influencing the skills they will need.
“That said, we tend to be good at what we enjoy doing and the most important attribute a graduate can have is a willingness to learn,” he says. “What really matters is an appetite for learning and any good degree will inculcate this.”
Companies will seek graduates who can synthesise information from different disciplines, says Donohoe. “So you may do an arts degree [and] be able to understand and apply that information to different areas. It’s a bit of a cliche, but if you look at Apple and Steve Jobs, the genius was design and tapping into people’s aspirations and values through that design.”
Whether you end up in employment or working as an entrepreneur, a further- or higher-education degree is no longer the end point of an education and graduates can – and should – expect to keep learning throughout their lives.
In this context, “micro-credentials” and “modular learning” will see a wider number of people return to education for short, intense bursts of focused learning to help them upskill and retrain.
Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl is head of the ideas lab at the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University (DCU). The university, along with the Institute of Technology Sligo, is a leading provider of distance and blended learning and has developed pioneering teaching approaches to reach a wider number of learners.
“Micro-credentials will be assessed learning that you get a credit for, and these credits may be used towards gaining a full masters or undergraduate degree over time,” she says. “DCU ran a pilot micro-credential in fintech financial innovation, pitched at postgrads.”
Because of the pace of changes in technology and the workplace, lifelong learning is inevitable for the class of 2025 but these changes will allow busy graduates to fit learning into their lives, rather than expecting them to bend to the demands of education and training systems.
Covid-19 has also changed the workplace forever. While many jobs must be done in person in sectors such as health and retail, we’re unlikely to see a return to a job that demands workers to be present in the office for eight hours a day, five days a week.
“I think we will see blended working, dispersed workplaces and workplace hubs,” says Donohoe. “There is an acknowledgement that younger cohorts may miss out on learning and opportunities if they’re stuck at home. And a lot of the best ideas are generated through meeting different people at work.
“For graduates with a keen eye on job opportunities, the further education and training system – post-Leaving Cert courses, apprenticeships and traineeships – closely track the jobs market and offer vocational training in a range of areas such as auctioneering, information and communication technologies, and plumbing (see ThisIsFET.ie for more information).