When reading about technology, and the rapid development across all areas within tech coupled with huge opportunities that advances in things like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will provide, one underlying issue seems to be constantly present - people, or more to the point, the lack of people. Each time I read a report, the number of potential unfilled roles seems to increase, so I thought it worthwhile to put my thoughts down as to what this means for Ireland and to really highlight the huge opportunity for people working in the tech industry here.
Current situation in Europe
The European Commission believes there could be as many as 756,000 unfilled jobs in the European ICT sector by 2020. This clearly is an important area to address, and the recent announcement by the likes of IBM, Apple and Google that they have now removed the need for computer science degrees highlights this point.
What does this mean for the tech industry in Ireland?
Ireland has an enviable list of tech companies based here. 16 of the top 20 global technology firms, 9 of the top 10 US ICT companies and 4 of the top 5 IT service companies are located in Ireland. In total 37,000 people work in the industry with €35 billion in exports annually.
Previously tax would have been a main reason for companies to consider Ireland as a European hub, but that has now changed, and the main driver now is people. Ireland offers high quality tech talent, often with multilingual skills. This coupled with a high quality of life is key to developing and attracting the best talent from around the globe. However, Ireland is still affected by an overall lack of people with the relevant coding or web development skills required by companies. It is estimated that there are around 12,000 unfilled roles in Ireland today.
For Ireland to remain a primary destination for all tech companies, a real focus on education and retraining/upskilling will be needed. I don’t think this is a temporary fix but the new way of learning the key skills to succeed within the tech industry. A further report by the Irish government has warned that up to 46,000 jobs are at risk from automation, highlighting the importance of retraining programmes and upskilling.
Moving from observers to players
The good news is that Ireland is perfectly placed to help people move into the tech industry. I myself have recently started at Wild Code School, a new coding school aimed at taking people from zero experience to become junior web developers within 5 months. My background was from the creative industry primarily, so no tech experience barring a personal love of all things tech. As I have become more involved within the tech community, I see a real sense of togetherness, a real desire to help people succeed, basically a real desire to help!! Everyone I have spoken with, from startups to large corporates all agree that a collective effort is required to ensure we offer options for people to learn the relevant skills to move into the tech industry.
Whether you are 18 and deciding on a potential career, a recent graduate, currently employed or maybe a stay at home Mum who wants to get back into the workplace, a career in tech can offer you some serious benefits. Starting salaries for junior web developers start around €33,000, and you would be looking to double that within 5 years. There are around 12,000 open roles today in Ireland and that need will continue to grow. There are opportunities ranging from startups right through to some of the largest companies in the world, giving some of the best career opportunities available to employees today.
About Wild Code School
Wild Code School (wildcodeschool.com) is a European network of campuses with an innovative approach that trains people to become adaptable professionals for technology jobs.
Our unique blended teaching approach is based on completing projects, working with our original online platform, personalised job coaching and teaching the key skills to ensure students continue to learn after they have finished.
Our campuses are integrated into the local digital ecosystems and are optimised to provide the best teacher to student experience.
Our community of international students and alumni continually support each other both professionally and personally.
We currently have 24 campuses across 11 European countries, offering a number of courses to help train people start their career in tech.
Wild Code School Dublin is launching its first session in January 2020.