The way Fujitsu Ireland CEO and the chair of ICT Ireland Regina Moran tells it, she wasn’t sure who was more horrified, the nuns or her parents, when as a final-year student she decided on a career in electronics.
It wasn’t the done thing in Ireland at the time and, as a student with high grades, the typical route would have been a ‘safe’ career in banking, teaching or the civil service. She was resolute in her choice and hasn’t looked back since.
In recent weeks, when at an Intel Open Forum on Education in Dublin, Moran said the future direction of education in Ireland will have a huge influence on the continuing growth of the ICT sector. IT employment in Ireland is up 6pc year-on-year, at a time when high unemployment is of high concern.
“The ICT industry in Ireland has 74,000 people employed with a further 200,000 supporting the sector, representing huge value to the country.
“But 75pc have vacancies and more than 50pc have at least 20 vacancies.”
At the heart of the issue, Moran pointed out, is the quality of maths and science education in Irish schools, not to mention insufficient proficiency in foreign languages. “A survey we conducted recently of teachers found that among maths educators, 48pc of respondents don’t have a qualification in maths.”