Silicon Republic is looking to the future, establishing which jobs will be most in demand in Ireland in 2015. In the fourth part of this series, we look at engineering, one of the more tangible areas of the tech industry.
We recently ran a piece on microelectronics employers in Ireland and how the feeling is there simply aren’t enough highly skilled engineers to satisfy the demand to expand.
The desire for growth is there within an industry consistently driving towards innovation, however the talent pool is lacking.
A report, conducted by the Microelectronics Industry Design Association (MIDAS), called for increased spending by the Irish Government to get more graduate engineers through the system.
Micro by name, growth by nature
“We currently employ 8,000 in the sector and there’s certainly room to grow that figure,” said John Blake, chairman of MIDAS Ireland, at the time.
“It is because this field is so successful that the skills demand is so strong today, and the increasing earnings of the vast majority of those who work in microelectronics companies reflects that narrative.”
More than 75pc of companies in this sphere anticipate business growth in the next 12 months and more than two-thirds of employers reported salary increases. For those looking to choose a profession, alarm bells should be ringing – microelectronic microengineering is the way to go. Salaries in this area open up on the €30,000-€35,000 for graduates, according to MIDAS, with that rising towards €40,000 as more experience is garnered.
Elsewhere, jobs announcements as recent as this month show the variety of employers looking for talented staff. For example, diamond expert Element Six is to bring 40 engineering jobs to the Shannon region, and DPS, which operates in the science area, is to create 50 engineering roles in Dublin and Cork.
The meaning of life? Science
Of course there’s also the life-sciences industry, which shares one key attribute with the IT world in Ireland, in that it’s an environment where employees are kings and queens of the job market jungle.
Roles here include quality engineers, validation engineers, R&D engineers and process engineers.
Technology is going to play a greater role in health and life-science research, as more software-enabled appliances come into vogue. This will inevitably lead to a surge in demand for professionals with a unique skill set. R&D engineers of the future will, more than ever, require an ability to adapt to rapid change and implement innovative strategies.
“These requirements will extend to CSV and QMS engineers, as demand for candidates with strong technical skills increases over the next 12 months,” said Hays Ireland.
“Subsequently, there are positive times ahead for life-sciences professionals already working in Ireland. The demand for skilled personnel continues to outstrip supply, inevitably leading to increased competition for the best candidates.”
Indeed, a recent report from Hays found that 67pc of employers expect to increase their employees’ salaries in the next 12 months. Salaries at the moment are estimated to be €40,000-€55,000 for most of those roles, depending on experience and location – jobs in Dublin seem to yield a slightly higher pay.
The real question in this field is whether the numbers required to fill these positions are created through the college system, in Ireland or abroad. Certainly when it comes to microelectronic engineering, potential growth of a highly technical, well-paid industry is currently being stunted.