Computer science needs to be taught at all levels, urges the head of Google’s in Ireland Ronan Harris.

Google’s Ronan Harris: data science is at the core of what we do (video)

29 Sep 2015

Data-driven careers are the future and computer science needs to be taught at all levels of the educational journey, according to the head of Google’s Irish operations Ronan Harris.

Harris, who took over the role of head of Google’s 5,000-strong Irish operations this year from John Herlihy, said that the rise of data and analytical skills will require individuals to prepare for new working realities.

For example, he said the notion of staying in one career for life is over and that the five most in-demand jobs today didn’t exist 10 years ago.

Future Human

“I think it is really important that we all think about that. Just by studying one subject today doesn’t mean that you are going to be in that field forever. We’ve got to be flexible and able to move with it.

“On the subject of data science it is at the core of what we do,” Harris said.

He said that Google is aiming to support export businesses in Ireland by identifying opportunities and new markets through data insights.

“One of the things that we’ve been specialising in the operation in Dublin is export. How do we use data to identify opportunities for businesses to enter new markets with their prodcuts or services and how can we bring that insiight to those businesses and support them on that growth journey.

“So it really is a core of what we do and I think increasingly as I am working with all of our advertising and publishing clients to create that familiarity and that ability to use data to create insights it is going to be the core of everybody’s growth.”

How to thrive in the data-driven economy

In order for future workers in the Irish economy to be part of the data-centric economy, Harris said he believes computer science should be taught all the way through the education process, not just at third level.

“Listen, I’m a big supporter of the focus that we have on higher level mathematics, I think it is adding great things to the Irish talent that is growing up and I think we’ve got to be flexible in terms of the subjects that we teach and our concept of what sort of talents and skills are going to be required in the future.

“One of the things I think that will become ever more required will be computer science and I think those skills taught to children at any age will be a good thing.”

Looking for tech jobs in Ireland? Check out our Featured Employers section for information on companies hiring right now.’s Data Science Week brings you special coverage of this rapidly growing field from 28 September to 2 October 2015. Don’t miss an entry worth your analysis by subscribing to our news alerts or following @siliconrepublic and the hashtag #DataScienceWeek on Twitter.


John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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