STEM Careers

Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM)

Study of STEM subjects opens doors to a range of exciting jobs, from the most complex research and development and leadership positions to production, repair, marketing, sales and other jobs that require varying levels of knowledge of science or technology.

STEM workers are driving Ireland's innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, new companies, new industries and attracting multinational investment. This is also part of a global trend. According to the European Commission, demand for STEM professionals and associate professionals is expected to grow by around 8% between now and 2025, much higher than the average 3% growth forecast for all occupations. Employment in STEM-related sectors is also expected to rise by around 6.5% between now and 2025. Research shows that there is clear need to do more to inspire young people to study STEM subjects in order to take advantage of job opportunities in these fields.  The future success of the Ireland’s economy will require increased numbers of skilled workers with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications.

Smart Futures

Smart Futures is a government-industry programme promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers to students in Ireland, highlighting opportunities in sectors such as pharma chemical, medical devices, information and communications technology (ICT) and energy.

This website aims to provides resources to students, teachers, guidance counsellors and parents, in order to stimulate an interest in STEM subjects in secondary school and at third level.

Smart Futures is coordinated and managed by Science Foundation Ireland, in partnership with over 200+ organisations from research and academia, as well as partners such as Engineers Ireland, BioPharma Ireland, the Royal Society of Chemistry, ICT Ireland, the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), the Institute of Physics, the American Chamber of Commerce and many other stakeholder groups.

Exploring STEM:

TY Opportunities - Transition Year is a great time to try out different STEM subjects and to experience what it would be like to work in science, technology, engineering and maths jobs.

STEM Festivals & Events - There are lots of really exciting and engaging STEM festivals that take place during the year. Browse the list and see if you can attend any of them!

Companies to Engage with - Have a look at some organisations who run programmes to promote STEM engagement to secondary school students. These companies provide services like career talks, workshops, competitions and lots more!

School Activities - Schools can engage with lots of STEM activities across the country, both during and outside of school hours.

Apprenticeships / Courses - If you're interested in exploring your options, the good news is that STEM degrees, courses and careers are now more accessible than ever. There are plenty of options out there from college courses, post leaving cert (PLC) courses and apprenticeships, all taking place across the country.

Resources - There are lots of resources for students, parents, teachers and volunteers available.

It is hoped, that by building awareness of the diverse and exciting careers in the STEM sector, that a greater number of students will consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths courses at third level. Parents are encouraged to get advice from Smart Futures in order to help support their children in making CAO and career decisions. Women have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields for a complex variety of reasons. Smart Futures also aims to inspire girls to discover a passion for technology, science and engineering and maths.

Smart Futures Brochures (pdfs):

Science Foundation Ireland

Science Foundation Ireland funds oriented basic and applied research in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Our research promotes and assists the development and competitiveness of industry, enterprise and employment in Ireland. Oriented basic research is research that is carried out with the expectation that it will produce a broad base of knowledge that is likely to form the background to the solution of recognised, or expected, current or future problems or possibilities.

Applied research is an original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge and is directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. The results of applied research are intended primarily to be valid for a single or limited number of products, operations, methods, or systems.

SFI also promotes and supports the study of, education in, and engagement with STEM and promotes an awareness and understanding of the value of STEM to society and, in particular, to the growth of the economy. The definition of STEM employed by SFI does not extend to the Humanities and Social Sciences, except where it may pertain to the specific mission of the Foundation – for example, through the use of targeted instruments, SFI may support the development, assessment and publication of research to assess the impact of funded research activities, STEM teaching, etc.

For Funding Opportunities go to


The Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme is a non-profit outreach programme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students in the Republic of Ireland through a portfolio of projects.

Core Programmes include:

STEPS Engineers Week promotes engineering and the importance of the profession to children in Ireland.

STEPS Engineering Your Future (STEPS EYF) is designed to inspire Transition Year students to study engineering. STEPS EYF is an engineering experience programme that gives Transition Year students a hands-on, fun and practical insight into engineering at third level and as a career.  During the programme, which is run over three to five days, students attend interactive talks and presentations; get hands-on experience with group-based activities; visit local industry and meet engineers at various stages in their careers. STEPS EYF is coordinated by the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme and is hosted by third-level institutes and industry around Ireland.

The STEPS Young Engineers Award competition encourages 3rd and 4th class pupils and their teachers to explore the world of engineering by developing an engineering project that would help improve their local community.  Schools are encouraged to invite local engineers, or to sign up for a STEPS Volunteer Engineer, to visit their class for a showcase of the projects. The engineers will also give the class an insight into the important role of engineering in the community.

STEPS Guides Engineering Badges have been developed in partnership with the Irish Girl Guides. The Guides Engineering Badges are Special Interest Badges within the Girl Guide badge structure.  There is one for the Brownies (ages 7-10) and one for the Girl Guides (ages 10 - 14). The badge aims to introduce the girls to engineering, to make them aware of engineering in the world around them and to familiarise them with the diverse world of the engineer. The girls will experience the engineering design process and gain a meaningful understanding of how engineering is an interesting and rewarding career. Ask your leader about taking part!

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