Downturn pushes students to science
The latest CAO figures, which are published today, show that students are heeding calls to choose science and technology courses.
With Ireland attracting an unprecedented volume of new foreign investment projects we badly need to increase the number of science and technology graduates to fill the jobs being offered by the newly-arriving multinationals.
According to the CAO, there has been a 60pc increase in the number of students applying for science courses since 2008. The increase in the number of students applying to study agricultural courses has been even greater at 97pc.
Quite clearly, with the economic outlook now much bleaker and jobs much harder to find, students are opting for courses that give them the best chance of securing employment after they graduate.
At the same time as the number of students applying for science and agriculture courses is soaring, there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of students applying for construction-related courses.
The number of students applying to study architecture is down by 43pc while there has been a 70pc drop in applications for other construction-related courses.
For over a decade governments, employers and the development agencies have been beseeching more students to study science and technology courses.
For a long time their pleas fell on deaf ears.
However, with jobs now extremely hard to come by, it would appear that economic necessity has succeeded where the previous pleas so obviously failed.