The Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, has launched STEM Careers Week as part of the Smart Futures programme.
STEM Career Week will run on the Smart Futures website, www.smartfutures.ie, from October 22 to 26, 2012, and will see a host of professionals from the technology sector engaging with the public on various aspects of their careers and advising students what they can do in order to gain employment in these areas. Professionals will hail from areas such as gaming, mobile app development, cybersecurity, computer forensics and medical devices.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, the Minister highlighted the importance of STEM subjects saying: “Most of our children’s career opportunities will be built around harnessing new and evolving technologies that are only now establishing themselves. It is critically important that we give students a window into those industries and the experiences of people working in them.”
According to a press release by the Department following the launch, the technology sector in Ireland employs over 84,000 people in both indigenous and multinational technology firms, with the indigenous software sector’s exports alone amounting to well over €1bn annually.
Thankfully, students are aware of the opportunities in these areas with the uptake of science and technology courses on the rise. As Dr Graham Love, Director of Policy and Communications for Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI), stated: “Recent CAO figures show students are increasingly selecting science and related courses at third level as they see these are the areas where job opportunities rest.”
Smart Futures is a national career campaign and website for second-level students in Ireland, which seeks to highlight the range of different career types available in science related subjects and promote the uptake of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as subject choices. The campaign, part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, is run by Discovery Science and Engineering (DSE) through SFI and supported by companies such as Microsoft, Abbott and Ericsson.