Future for the Irish Economy?

Hey there.

I posted a few months back about how I was tearing myself to pieces about whether i should be getting on the property ‘ladder’ or going back to college. I was living in dublin for about 6 years with a good enough job, but I had also had enough of all the traffic etc etc. so I move home to the west for a year to save up for Uni. Every second vehicle i passed was either a van crammed with loadsa dudes with yellow hi-vis vests or a 4x4 with a trailer and cement mixer being dragged along behind it. It sorta facinated me… watching all these massive houses popping up all over connaught in the middle of nowhere… i really mean the middle of nowhere. I was convering the whole of galway & mayo & roscommon with my job and everywhere i went it was hi-vis vests, hi-aces, builders yards & diy shops and deli’s popping up all over the place. But take away all of this… what have we got (esp in connaught?)

What really got me worried is the fact that one of my lecturers mentioned to me that only FOUR people are coming into the degree i am finishing this year (Information Technology & Telecomms) and that there is only ONE person who applied for Electronic Systems. When I started my course in 95 (i left in 99 for personal reasons) there were 60 in it… in 1999… there were 140 people in first year. Now only 4 are interested!. This is the sort of degree that would actually add something TANGIBLE to the irish economy via exports & expertise but I am i right in assuming that young people nowadays are not even bothering with college and jumping on the property bandwagon/building trade (much to their own detriment and the country as a whole).

I just find this all a bit mad. all the techy courses in my University have seen a massive slump in numbers over the last couple of years. I think we will be doubly shafted if the market does crash.We are gonna need these types of skills to kickstart the economy again (based on exports).


I see the following areas as likely to thrive

**Network Security and Messaging **- as much of the high street fall back due to the high operating cost and high margins, people will increasingly conduct their business online, especially if they can obtain better value for money.

**Telecommunications & networking **- somebody has to keep the pipes open.

Geology Mineral/Oil exploration - Most people in this industry are over 40, having gone through a recession for the last 20 years, as peak oil hits the demand to find neew sources will be insatiable.

**Nuclear technicians **- Make no mistake about it the world is going nuclear with new powerplants on the roadmap, but again there are skills shortages as the old timers are heading towards retirement after the cutbacks of the last 20 years.

All areas will see downsizing in the upcoming recession (no idea on timing), but you are especially exposed in the following areas. Most of the job agencies will disappear or rebrand themselves as rightsizing consultants.

  1. Unskilled labour. (this is highly volatile anyway)
  2. Middle management. (Corporations always cull this area when times are lean)
  3. Advertising.
  4. Retail in luxury goods.

The best thing you can do is carry as little personal debt as possible, invest in yourself and gain new skills, don’t think because you have learned about a subject five years ago, that those skills are any good today, if you do not understand the current technology or business, you are generally bypasssed.
If you carry little or no debt you are under less stress in a crises and can even accept a pay cut, remember employers will have the upper hand and they will use it. In extreme cases, if you do manage to hold your job, you may find yourself working overtime at normal rates to make up lost production from the redundancies (i.e. "Michael, you’ve got a €300,000 mortgage, you’re working this weekend, or, you won’t be working on Monday!).


Im starting to feel like one of the lucky ones already. No mortgage, zero debt, & doing a FYP on subject which will revolutionize data access/security & the way we interact with technology.

A piece by Marc Coleman the Irish Times Economics Editor on the threats facing the economy reproduced by Findfacts. (fourth article on the page)