• Learning for LifeandWork

Future Job Opportunities in Northern Ireland

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

Information taken from: www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/skills-demand


The following areas are extremely important to the Northern Ireland economy:


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths)

As the world becomes increasingly technology dependent, it is anticipated that the range of businesses emerging around the STEM areas will grow significantly. This will require people to get a good education in STEM subjects. Jobs opportunities in the STEM areas include:


- Laboratory Technicians

- Food Scientists

- Biotech

- Machine Operatives

- Butchers

- Supply Chain Managers




ICT (Information and Communications Technology)

ICT is at the heart of every organisation and is central to our daily lives like mobile communication, computer games, touch screen technology, satellite navigation devices.

Therefore there is a demand for and jobs in internet specialist skills, such as:

- Software development

- Database development

- Systems architecture





Creative and Digital Media

This area underpins growth through both the development of new technologies and the provision of services to businesses and consumers. It is expected that because of this, there is a demand for and jobs in key areas such as:

- Cloud computing

- Mobile technologies

- Mobile applications

- Computer games

- Digital entertainment

- Cyber-security products and services

- Green/low carbon IT products


Agri-food sector

Food and drink manufacturing includes the processing of meat and poultry, dairy, fish and shellfish, fruit and vegetables and the production of bakery and drinks products amongst others. Areas of work include bakery, distillery, creamery and ready meals production. Jobs in this key area include:

- Laboratory technicians

- Food scientists

- Biotech

- Machine operatives

- Butcher supply chain manager

- Design and development engineers

- Biological scientists and biochemists


Business and financial services

There are many different industries within the finance, accountancy and financial services. Jobs in this area vary from:

- Accountants

- Bank officials

- Underwriters

- Insurance and investment

- Brokers

- Actuaries and pensions advisers







Advanced manufacturing and engineering

This includes careers requiring:

- CAD skills (Computer Aided Design)

- CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machine operatives

- Mechanical and electrical engineering


Renewable energies and recycling

European and global agreements on more energy efficient technology are creating demand for new engineering solutions.  Mechanical engineers are at the forefront of designing everything from better forms of green energy and zero emission engines to the latest breed of nuclear power stations.

It’s a highly skilled profession but has multiple entry routes and jobs in this sector include:

- Mechanical engineers

- Research and development managers

- Physical scientists

- Design and development engineers

- Biological scientists and biochemists






Health and life sciences

The Health and Life sciences sector is one of Northern Ireland’s most important sectors. The sector combines all elements of science and technology that contribute to the discovery and development of products for the healthcare and well-being of humans and animals.

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