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Top 5 high-demand courses to pursue in Ireland

Know about the best thriving courses in Ireland and their scope post studies 


It has been observed that Ireland will soon approach full employment. Given the past trends, the Irish economy has experienced an increased demand in several industries including the Financial Services, Life Sciences, Engineering, Pharmaceutical, Technology, etc. It is the success of Irish technology industry that many companies have selected Dublin to set up their regional headquarters and software development centres. It is because the corporate tax rate in Ireland is 12.5%, which is less than half of the current UK level of 28% and US 35%. It also helps them earn more profit and thus it has increased the demand for software developers and engineers.

That said, there are numerous courses which are popular in Ireland such as Data Science, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Business Analytics, Accounting and Finance, Pharmaceuticals and Digital Marketing

As per the report by “The Irish Times Top 1000” there are a number of fortune 500 companies which are headquartered in Ireland, such as Google, Apple Ireland, Johnson Controls, Facebook and Microsoft.

Let’s discuss the five most popular courses in Ireland! 

1. Business Analytics 

This course is quite popular with students as it’s a combination of Data Analytics, Business Intelligence and Computer Programming. It allows you to analyse the data of an organisation to plan strategies to profit the business. Good news – there is a demand for business analysts across industries including IT companies, banks, e-commerce and telecom, etc. as every sector is looking for people who can support and enhance their operations. 

Career scope: Business Analyst, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Financial Analyst, Software Engineer, Acquisitions Analyst, Quantitative Analyst, Statistician

Average salary: For an entry-level business analytics graduate, average salary in Ireland is €40,000 per annum, while an experienced employee can earn up to € 52,000 per annum. In fact, for three consecutive years, Glassdoor ranked data analyst and data scientist as the best job of the year in Ireland with approx. €50,000 as the salary of Business Analytics graduates. 

2. Investment Banking and Finance

Number of world’s leading investment banks and asset management companies operate in Dublin, which has increased the demand of people who can work particularly in the risk and compliance department. Given this, there are many opportunities for students to work in the finance and investment banking departments. Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are some prominent employers are based in Ireland. 

Career scope: Financial Analyst, Financial Trader, Financial Regulator, Investment or Corporate Finance Banker, Retail Banker

Average salary: The average salary of a finance graduate in Ireland depends upon the profession opted for. For example, average yearly salary of a Financial Analyst is €42,000, Investment Analyst is €34,000, Fund Accountant is €29,000, Associate - Investment Banking is €44,000, Risk Analyst is €39,000, Credit Risk Analyst is €32,000 and Financial Accountant is €49,000.*

3. Big Data / Data Science

In today’s digital world, data is everywhere. In fact, it’s said that the amount of data existing is doubling every two years. 

As per the study by Bain & Co, “Early adopters of Big Data analytics have gained a significant lead over the rest of the corporate world. Examining more than 400 large companies, we found that those with the most advanced analytics capabilities are outperforming competitors by wide margins.”

With many major IT companies being based in Dublin, it has open doors for all the international tech students who wish to work with such MNCs. This course talks about multiple areas such as statistics, mathematics, intelligent data capture techniques, data cleansing, mining and programming to prepare and align big data for intelligent analysis to extract insights and information. This structure helps the companies to work on leads and gain more profits.

Career scope: Data Analytics, Business Intelligence Analyst, Big Data Solutions Lead Engineer, Technical Product Manager, Big Data Architect, Data Analytics Consultant, Video Analytics and Data Scientist, Data Science Expert, Multimedia Systems Developer and IT Operations Manager.

Average salary: An entry-level Data Scientist with less than one-year experience can expect an average total compensation of €36,000 per annum approx. (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay). 

4. Pharmaceutical Sciences 

Ireland is recognised as a popular pharmaceutical European location. The country’s pharma industry is a balanced mix of international and local companies, wherein 120 are foreign players with manufacturing set up in Ireland. This also includes 9 out of the 10 largest pharma companies in the world.

Pharmaceutical Science degree courses comprise the study of biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, toxicology, analytical and medicinal chemistry, which develop the skills required for individual and collaborative research in various pharmaceutical areas such as drug development.

Graduates take up employment opportunities in laboratory settings across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, research and development in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, cosmetic, forensic and environmental sectors, as well in the food processing and drinks industries.  You can work in local companies such as Temmler, Kerry Group, Astellas, Metpro and Southern Scientific, as well as global companies Johnson and Johnson, Roche, Pfizer and many more.

Career scope: Development Chemist, Process Chemist, Pharmacologists, Pharmacovigilance Officer, Retail Pharmacist, Research and Teaching.

Average salary:  Pharmacovigilance Officers (graduate level) can expect average salaries that range from €28,000 to €55,000 per annum for drug safety associates. For a senior manager, the average salary is €50000 per annum (i.e., usually, after M.Sc. Pharma in Ireland). If you opt to be a Pharmacist, then the salary ranges from €31,000 to €40,000 yearly on an average. 

5. Construction  

The construction courses are designed to meet the needs of the industry to place graduates into the technical professional workforce as they will be equipped with the required principles and fundamentals of construction technology and its management, along with general management skills. 

These courses are specifically for those who want to be employed in site management, contract management, estimating and surveying in the construction industry at a technical management position. 

Career scope: Site Technicians, Estimators, Quantity Surveyors, Programmers, Planners, Contract Managers and Site Managers.

Average salary: An early-career Construction Manager in Ireland earns €43,000 per annum (approx.), whereas, the average salary for an early-career Project Manager in the Irish construction industry is €44,000 per annum (approx.). 


Updated on September 29, 2020  

IDP Study abroad insights

For students like you interested in studying in Ireland, we have a wonderful series – Study abroad Insights. This web series covers most commonly asked questions about studying in the country answered by industry experts.

Watch more!

Read more articles by our experts

Why study in Ireland

SOP- Do’s and Don’ts

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Pooja Sharma
Senior Counsellor,
UK, Ireland

Pooja has been working in the international education industry since 2013. Her passion for helping students in all aspects of overseas studies has led her to spend more than 7 years in the field of international education.  

Having worked into industry for many years, she has helped more than 300 students to pursue higher education abroad.  She has also traveled to Australia and United Kingdom to gain first hand experience by visiting the top universities and attended several seminars to strengthen the knowledge in the domain. 



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