Will there be a job for me when I graduate?

Job market looks healthy nationwide although greater opportunities lie in urban areas

The shortage of chefs and commis chefs continues to bite in Ireland. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images

The shortage of chefs and commis chefs continues to bite in Ireland. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images


The jobs market hasn’t been as good in over a decade. According to a list of in-demand jobs, compiled by career guidance website CareersPortal.ie, there are now 181 jobs where employers are struggling to find good, qualified staff.

Bernadette Walsh, a career guidance counsellor with CareersPortal.ie, says these jobs are geographically dispersed throughout the country, although there are greater employment opportunities in urban areas.

CareerPortal.ie’s analysis looked at the sectors with the most opportunities for graduate employment, and it is based on a combination of media reports, insights from career guidance experts and the latest report from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.

Walsh says that there are five key sectors where employers are reporting difficulties, including banking, finance and insurance; accounting; engineering, energy and utilities (such as waste and water); information and computer technology (ICT); and construction, architecture and property.


“There are many factors in choosing a job or career and that’s why self-assessment is important,” she says. “It is useful for people to do self-assessment around their skills and career interests, so we have a free interest profile on CareersPortal.ie to help signpost people to jobs and education courses that suit them.”

While there are five main sectors, these are not the only areas where employers are reporting skills shortages. In the business field alone, accounts administrators, accountants, business analysts, client relations managers, credit controllers, economists, export managers, financial advisers and analysts, fund accountants and supervisors, investment bankers and fund managers, logistics and supply chain managers, tax accountants and consultants are all in short supply. While few if any graduates can expect to stroll into any managerial role, there are nonetheless plenty of opportunities for them to work on teams in any of these areas.

Sales and marketing also offers significant opportunities right now, with jobs to be had for those interested in advertising and PR, sales and marketing, market research, international sales, computer and software sales assistants, media sales, and online sales and telesales. Increasingly, opportunities are opening up in human resources.

In the digital sphere, there’s a shortage of people with the right skills: web editors, designers and developers haven’t had it this good in years while it may be no surprise that there’s a shortage of app developers. When it comes to traditional trades, welders, metal fabricators and manufacturing machinists are needed, as are carpenters and joiners. Crane operators are needed too.

The global shortage of chefs and commis chefs continues to bite in Ireland.


In the science, engineering and technology field, biochemists and biomedical engineers, chemical engineers, production and process engineering, lab technicians, energy engineers, civil engineering technicians, cloud computing specialists, games programmers, industrial chemists, computer programmers and computer scientists are needed. The whole area of data analysis and data science is still growing.

Finally, we know that are shortages across the nursing profession and the health sciences.

“Don’t forget that trends change all the time,” says Walsh. “Just because a job is in demand at the moment doesn’t mean it always will be, although sectors such as ICT are predicted to grow, especially around new areas such as data analytics. From a career guidance perspective, we always encourage people to follow what they’re interested in and be happy in their career. And a career will change throughout a person’s lifetime but it’s good to have a sense of what interests you.”

It’s worth bearing in mind that many employers have graduate recruitment programmes which will train people in skills they didn’t pick up during their degree. Some companies searching for computer science graduates even take a look at music graduates, due to the crossover in critical skills that the two categories of graduates learn. The class of 2018 really is spoiled for choice.