Students urged to consider science and tech careers

13 Jan 2011

PharmaChemical Ireland (PCI), the IBEC group that represents the pharmaceutical and chemicals industry, today highlighted the importance of science and engineering courses to students attending BT’s Young Scientist and Technology exhibition.

The group encouraged students to give serious consideration to taking chemistry or physics, as science is one of the best fundamental qualifications for careers in growing sectors such as software, ICT, medicine, engineering, pharmaceuticals and medical technology.

PCI director Matt Moran said: “Ireland remains one of the leading global locations for the manufacture and development of pharmaceutical and chemical products. Despite the economic downturn, recent R&D investments and expansions by Irish and foreign-owned technology companies indicate that Ireland continues to have the strengths required to attract and support global technology and science-based businesses.”

Ireland’s PharmaChem sector

The PharmaChemical sector in Ireland employs 24,500 directly (more than 50pc of whom hold a third-level qualification) and is responsible for a further 24,500 indirect jobs. In 2009, it exported products to the value of €44.17bn – 50pc of the national total.

The replacement value (capital) of the sector is estimated to be €40bn. It pays more than €1bn in corporation taxes.

“Students need to keep this in mind when they are choosing a career for themselves. This sector is, and will remain, an excellent employer and, as it starts to move up the value chain, the demand for graduates of chemistry and life sciences is likely to increase.

“My advice to any student is to give serious consideration to taking either chemistry or physics. These subjects are fundamental to so many career choices – not just our sector, but also for medicine, engineering, the ICT sector, medical technology, software.

“In these tough times, those who are well qualified will be best equipped to benefit from the upturn – science is one of the best fundamental qualifications that you can have – it can open so many doors,” Moran said.

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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