At the launch of Engineers 2018: Promoting STEM careers for all

Barry Bowen 28.02.2018

As the month of March begins a recent report suggests that the economic recovery is still in a upward trajectory as the opportunities for those working in engineering in Ireland are set to grow accordingly.

At the launch of Engineers 2018, members of Engineers Ireland were presented with a barometer of data collected by Dr. Richard Manton, Policy Officer Engineers Ireland, and his colleagues. 

Welcoming members of the engineering industry to Clyde road, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, highlighted some of the key findings of the report and welcomed the discussion panel which included:


Commencing the proceedings Dr MacCraith highlighted keys areas for promoting STEM in Ireland. These areas revolved around curiosity, democracy and prosperity. 

In order to promote careers such as engineering, children must be encouraged to problem solve from an early age; by nature we all have inquisitive minds and this hunger should be fed in order to stimulate further interest. Some crucial life decisions are made by children shortly after their Junior Cert when it comes to choosing Leaving Cert subjects. Greater information and support structures need to be provided to these students as they choose their subjects. Very often these subjects dictate the courses chosen on the CAO form which in turn leads to career paths that rarely veer off piste. 

During the panel discussion Trayc Keevans spoke about the positive impact her Co-op placement from DCU to Intel had through organising a ‘Shadow Day’ for young students from local schools to spend a day shadowing engineers in Intel for a day to see exactly what they do. It was agreed that greater collaboration could be promoted throughout employers and schools in Ireland in order to promote transparency of what the STEM career opportunities are in Ireland.   

Engineers in Ireland and throughout the world have a huge role to play in the coming years as we face challenges in relation to climate change, food shortage and water treatment. The percentage of female graduates is a huge worry as only 16% of engineering graduates are women. Efforts in America have proved that these challenges can be successfully overcome by making a concerted effort to promote STEM to everybody from a young age, again through greater industry collaboration. 

In addressing those present in Engineers Ireland headquarters, Morgan McKinley’s Trayc Keevans highlighted the key sectors of growth in Ireland which include: biomedical, medical devices, ICT, aerospace, energy and environment. There are currently180 foreign companies in Ireland exporting goods worth a total of €4.2 billion to the Irish economy. 42% of these companies have some form of R&D taking place within their business. There are now 210,443 people employed by foreign direct investment with a recent upsurge in employment of 9.4% by FDI companies. 

While remuneration is certainly an important factor for any engineer, the level of satisfaction they receive from seeing the results of their work is also a crucial factor in career stability. Findings in the report revealed that the median starting salary for engineer graduates is €31,000. Today’s graduate engineer can expect to start on a salary that is €3,000 higher (11%) than her/his counterpart in 2014.

Chartered engineers with 11-15 years experience are averaging salaries of €62,500. The majority of engineers with more than 30 years of experience currently earn more than €90,000. These figures tie in with our 2018 Salary Guide

Other relevant information released in Engineers 2018 revealed that:

  • 79% of engineers agree that engineering is a rewarding career choice
  • 67% of engineers agree that there are plenty of engineering jobs in Ireland
  • Engineering employers in Ireland had a good year in 2017. 63% of them revealed that their financial position greatly improved or slightly improved during those 12 months when compared to 2016
  • 78% engineering employers expect their financial position to greatly improve or slightly improve in 2018

Something that Dr Manton and his colleagues are proud of, and rightly so, is the level of trust that exists between the general public and engineers.  Findings in the report demonstrate the exceptionally high levels of trust in the engineering profession. 91% of adults surveyed think that engineers are highly competent, that they are able to apply expertise in their daily work. Furthermore, 90% adults trust engineers to tell the truth. Of the 10 professions listed, only doctors are more trusted.

In Morgan McKinley the engineering recruitment team are working with a number of globally-recognised and leading Irish companies. If you are interested in a move please feel free to contact a member of the engineering team for a confidential discussion or take a look at our latest roles available in manufacturing, process, automation, R&D, design, quality and validation.


See also: How do we attract the next generation of women into STEM careers and stem the mid-career outflow?

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