The economy of one of the richest countries in the world, the Republic of Ireland can be described as a knowledge economy. This basically translates to an economy that puts emphasis on the application of knowledge to generate tangible and intangible value and focuses on financial services, technology, and life sciences. Ireland has often been termed as the country with the fastest-growing economy in the EU. The country registered a 13.6 per cent growth in GDP thus establishing a strong performance in 2021 and establishing a good ground for a better 2022 and 2023. Various industries have contributed to this growth which has significantly influenced the economy of Ireland.
Ireland has over the years emerged as a leading study-abroad destination among Indian students because of its world-class education and state-of-the-art infrastructure at top universities in Ireland. Candidates are also drawn to its student-friendly policies that revolve around flexible post-study work permits, part-time work options and affordable tuition fees and cost of living in Ireland. Candidates are also drawn to its job market which provides equal opportunities to both international and national students to earn a livelihood and have a good standard of living.
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The statistics above show the distribution of employment in Ireland by the economic sector from 2009 to 2019. In 2019, 4.98 per cent of the employees in Ireland were active in the agricultural sector, 18.27 per cent in industry, and 76.75 per cent in the service sector. (Courtesy: Statista)
Popular Job Sectors in Ireland
Broadly speaking, the job sector in Ireland can be classified into the following professions.
Agriculture, mining, forestry, and fishing – the primary industries of Ireland rely on its rich natural resources and account for 5% of the country’s GDP and employ about 8% of the total labour force.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology Industries
One of the fastest-growing industries, the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry of Ireland employs nearly 50,000 people and generates about 60 billion euros of export annually. High demand, steep competition, and emerging start-ups have led to this massive rise with the medical technology and research sector employing about 25,000 people and generating 9.4 billion euros annually.
Software and ICT Industries
Ireland is home to over 200 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies including Facebook, Google, eBay, Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, PayPal, and Microsoft among others that employ over 35,000 people and generate about 35 billion euros annually. The software sector in Ireland generates over 16 billion euros annually and employs about 20,000 people.
Financial Service Industry
The Financial Service Industry sector employs nearly 35,000 people and generates an average of 2 billion euros in taxes. Bank of Ireland, AIB Bank, and Ulster Bank are leaders in the banking sector that are part of Ireland being one of the largest providers of wholesale financial services.
Export and Trade Industry
Ireland is one of the largest producers of Zinc and Lead – minerals that contribute greatly to Ireland’s export earnings. The country is also amongst the largest exporters of software-related goods, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.