Two students sitting in a classroom working on an engineering project together, which involves robotics.
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Engineers Ireland urges students to consider university alternatives

8 Sep 2021

With CAO points increasing for many engineering courses, Engineers Ireland is urging those who missed out to consider other routes into the industry.

Following the release of the first round of CAO offers this week, Engineers Ireland has urged students to consider all available routes into engineering.

After points for a number of courses surged, many students were disappointed at having missed out on their first choice.

At University College Dublin, for example, points for engineering increased from 520 to 565. University of Limerick’s course jumped from 476 to 498 and Munster Technological University saw points for its course go from 411 to 475. Only Waterford IT’s engineering course saw a points decrease, dropping from 288 to 270 points.

Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland, sought to reassure disappointed students that there are other ways of becoming an engineer.

“We would urge students who have not obtained the required CAO points or who have not followed the traditional CAO pathway to consider all routes for a career in the sector, such as apprenticeships and other skills-based training,” she said.

Demand for skilled engineers is high at the moment in Ireland, she added, and will continue into the future.

According to a report by Engineers Ireland released in March of this year, 79pc of engineering organisations in the country were planning to recruit new staff in 2021 despite the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit.

“Engineers are at the forefront of innovation and deliver sustainable and creative solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges,” Spillane said. “From clean water supplies and safe buildings to renewable energy and sustainable transport, engineers are critical to Irish society, our environment and economy, and will play a pivotal role in our green and digital future.”

She added that apprenticeships and skills-based training courses provide students with skills that will benefit them in their future engineering careers. “These routes will also offer a real opportunity to develop professional and technical skills which are valued by employers and are now so badly needed in industry.”

Spillane congratulated those who did secure a college place to study engineering. She also encouraged students hoping to become engineers to join Engineers Ireland’s 25,000-member community. Membership for students is free.

Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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