Filling in your CAO? Consider a Career in STEM

The Central Applications Office (CAO) opens on the 5th of November for applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Before you sit down to discuss courses and career options with your kids, make sure you do your own homework. Smart Futures tells us why your child should consider a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).

Smart_Futures_logoExplore Future Careers before the CAO

While some students make career choices even before their Junior Cert, others can find the process overwhelming and end up leaving the decision until the last minute. Parents can play an important role in supporting their children when it comes to CAO applications by familiarising themselves with the variety of third-level courses available and the areas of greatest opportunity in terms of career prospects.

Consider STEM

Third-level courses in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) are unique in that they offer a gateway to almost every kind of industry and some of the country’s most promising companies. Ireland is at the heart of the global technology revolution and is now firmly established as a centre of excellence for scientific research. STEM graduates are required to fill jobs in these ever-expanding sectors and career opportunities will only continue to flourish as new industries emerge in areas such as Big Data Analytics, Robotics and Cybersecurity.

Did you know that…?

  • All of the top 10 multinational technology companies including Google, Microsoft and Intel have a significant presence in Ireland;
  • 9 of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies operate in Ireland, with 24,500 people directly employed by pharmaceutical companies and a further 24,000 who are indirectly employed providing support services;
  • The government agency, Science Foundation Ireland invests €150 million a year in science. That’s not including the money that comes from industry;
  • According to Morgan McKinley’s 2013 Salary survey, an IT graduate earns double what a financial services accounting graduate earns!

This year there was an increase in demand for Science and Business courses through the CAO, a sure sign that students and parents are seeing the potential STEM careers have to offer.

Find out more about STEM

If you’d like to find out more about STEM careers in Ireland, visit for videos, career chats, blog-posts and sector profiles to help you and your child make the best decision.

Smart Futures is a government-industry programme promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers information to second-level students in Ireland, highlighting opportunities in STEM sectors.

Is your child considering a career/embarked on a career in STEM ? Let us know your thoughts in comments below.

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