Three quarters of engineers would recommend engineering as a career path to leaving certificate stud

Three quarters of engineers would recommend engineering as a career path to leaving certificate students

01 March 2013 at 14:17

Three quarters of engineers would recommend engineering as a career path to leaving certificate students according to a HRM Recruit survey, it has been revealed on ‘Open Day’, the latest day of Engineers Week 2013. 

The day was the climax of 80 organised tours of offices and plants taking place across the week in Ireland, and featured large employers like Crospon, Dell, EMC and SAP opening their doors to the public to showcase their engineering activities.

The T├ínaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD, supporting ‘Open Day’, said: “With so much foreign direct investment and trade within Ireland concentrated on strands of our economy that require skilled and capable engineers, it is clear the vital role the engineering sector will play in Ireland’s economic renewal.  So I am delighted to offer my support to Engineers Week and its worthwhile programme of nationwide events to enthuse the young about the world of engineering in Ireland

John Power, Engineers Ireland Director General, said that engineers, unlike many other professions, continue to have real career options despite the difficult economic climate.  “Engineering roles have changed beyond recognition in the last 25 years but they still offer career variety and opportunity.  There was a time when engineering careers were split along traditional mechanical, electrical and civil engineering paths. The advent of foreign multinational manufacturers in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s has changed the landscape utterly.” 

“Many of the firms supporting ‘Open Day’ today are seeking the traditional problem-solving attributes of engineering,” said Power, “but allied to expertise in areas such as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, software, data storage and medical devices.  There continues to be numerous engineering vacancies across different sectors of our economy and with nearly 75% of engineers in our survey saying they would recommend the profession to students despite the difficult economic conditions, it is clear where graduates have scope to forge dynamic and exciting careers,” said Power. 

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) said: “SFI is pleased to support Engineers Week through its partnership with Engineers Ireland.  It is vital that we engage and encourage our young people to consider careers in engineering.  The need for a ready supply of technical graduates coming out of our third level institutions cannot be over-stated.  There remains a challenge in ensuring students fully appreciate the real-life applications of key subjects such as maths.  Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme directly supports the education and outreach element of SFI’s new strategy – Agenda 2020 by clearly communicating the broad spectrum of careers available within the engineering disciplines and their relevance to Ireland’s economic recovery.” 

The Engineers Ireland STEPS team, a strategic partner of the national Discover Science and Engineering programme, has developed a range of support materials which are available on its website (STEPS.ie) to assist maths teachers.  This includes online video tutorials for junior and senior cycle as well as worksheets. Engineers Ireland also provide free maths tutorials for students across Ireland and a volunteer programme whereby engineers enter schools and talk how maths is used in an engineering career.  The body has also worked with the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science at the University of Limerick to develop Continuous Professional Development (CPD) materials for teachers as part of the delivery of the national programme for the up-skilling of maths teachers.

Engineers Week 2013 continues on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 which will both feature family-oriented engineering shows in many regions to conclude the week. An estimated 497 events are taking place nationwide over the course of the week.