The Next Generation: Course Application, Graduation and your next move – Career Creation!

Although some of the courses are known to be a top choice for may across year on year, we have investigated the latest trends and the impact this could potentially have on the contracting industry in the future. Let's explore the top fields of study and delve into the contracting prospects that could develop from them.

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In the ever-evolving landscape of Irish education and employment, it's crucial to understand the most sought-after courses and emerging career opportunities following this of the young professionals in Ireland. Although some of the courses are known to be a top choice for may across year on year, we have investigated the latest trends and the impact this could potentially have on the contracting industry in the future. Let's explore the top fields of study and delve into the contracting prospects that could develop from them, drawing insights from data provided by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Central Applications Office (CAO).

1. Business and Administration

At the heart of Ireland's economic engine, business and administration courses continue to attract a significant number of students. These programs equip graduates with leadership and strategic skills, preparing them for diverse roles in the corporate world. It provides graduates the opportunity to specialize in a field of their choice, whether it be finance, marketing, human resources, or operations management.

According to reports, the business and administration courses consistently sees the highest level of graduates, comprising over 25% year on year. Moreover, it boasts the highest level of employment rates for graduates upon course completion, reflecting the strong demand for professionals with a business degree background. For the contracting market, we consider many of business professional are only beginning to explore contracting as a career choice, with now numerous companies are seeking guidance from experts in various fields on a consultancy basis. This presents a unique opportunity for graduates to leverage their specialized knowledge and skills in areas such as HR, marketing, and project management. While breaking into contracting may require graduates to accumulate a few years of experience, it's increasingly becoming a career path on the radar for their future.

2. Health and Welfare

In 2024, there is a notable surge in college applications to courses in healthcare, surpassing even the high number of applications seen for business courses. For graduates entering the workforce, healthcare remains a top choice, consistently ranking second year on year with the level of graduates now seeking to start their professional careers. Within the healthcare industry, contracting has emerged as a popular choice for many professionals. Locum work, in particular, has gained traction across various healthcare professions, offering practitioners the flexibility to work on a temporary basis across different healthcare settings. We do consider that with an expected increase and demand for healthcare workers in Ireland, we will continue to see a pool of contracting opportunities in medicine, nursing or pharmacy for graduates of our future.

4. Engineering:

Ireland's engineering sector is experiencing significant growth, particularly in areas such as manufacturing and renewable energy. Engineering courses continue to attract a higher number of graduates and students entering third-level education compared to the IT industry, as reported by the CAO and HEA. This trend underscores the strong demand for skilled engineers in the country.

Graduates equipped with technical and problem-solving skills are highly sought after across industries. With the sector's continued growth, contracting offers young professionals a dynamic and rewarding career path to explore. Our latest survey indicate the strongest level of young professionals in the engineering industry across different sectors from our latest report. And for future career paths to explore? This could include roles covering mechanical design engineers, structural engineers, BIM Specialists, and electrical engineers.

5. Mathematics

In an era driven by technological advancement and data-driven decision-making, graduates in mathematics will play a pivotal role. The expertise in analysis provided by natural sciences and mathematics graduates is indispensable across various sectors, spanning from healthcare to finance. From analysing complex data sets to exploring scientific frontiers, these courses open doors to a myriad of opportunities which will include contracting careers. One of the key roles we consistently see for contractors is that of Data Analysts. These professionals are responsible for deciphering vast amounts of data, identifying patterns, and extracting actionable insights. Likewise with experience, actuaries are also a key career path for young professionals to explore with experience.

6. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Ireland's reputation as a tech hub ensures a steady demand for graduates skilled in software development, cybersecurity, and AI specialists. Despite the steady stream of graduates entering the IT field each year, there has been a surprising drop of 6% in applications to ICT courses compared to 2023. This could be due to the developments in the IT space over the past year. However, despite this decline in applications, the demand for skilled ICT professionals remains strong. Contract opportunities in the IT industry are expected to continue to remain steady, providing a viable entry path for young professionals to launch their careers. Many multinational companies operating in Ireland rely on contractors to meet project demands and stay ahead in technological advancements. This reliance on contractors ensures that there will continue to be a range of opportunities in the future for IT graduates seeking contracting roles.


Has this made you rethink your career path as a young professional? Considering the diverse range of contracting opportunities, we've explored across various industries; it becomes evident that contracting offers a compelling path for the next generation of professionals. It provides them with the chance to embrace flexibility, diversity, and innovation in their career journeys. Whether they aim to explore new industries, undertake exciting projects, or gain invaluable experience, contracting unlocks limitless possibilities in the ever-evolving landscape of Ireland's economy and beyond.

For more specific information on becoming a contractor or for more advice why not contact one of our team members today? We work with the first-time contractors across all of Ireland’s professional sectors and can be sure to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible when you are starting your professional career!

Shauna McEntee

Shauna McEntee


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