Barry O'Driscoll, Regional Manager - India and South Asia for Education in Ireland

Barry O’Driscoll is the Regional Manager – India & South Asia for Education in Ireland. Enterprise Ireland manages the ‘Education in Ireland’ national brand under the authority of the Minister for Education and Skills. His work involves marketing and promoting Ireland’s offer to students from India, South Asia, Mexico and Colombia. Barry has a background in international business and languages and has a MBS in human resource management from Dublin City University. He has over ten years’ experience working with organizations in the areas of training and education as well as international business development.


Ireland has progressively emerged as a desirable study destination for Indian students. The country offers an exceptional quality of education across programmes that are job oriented and meet the needs of a competitive economy. Ireland presents students the opportunity to study diverse courses to their interest that can be a suitable fit for their future plans, thereby ensuring personal and professional growth.

Ireland’s education system consistently ranks top 10 globally for this very reason. Industry led courses in med-tech, business, digital marketing, data engineering, data analytics, life-sciences, ICT, pharma and health-care make graduates from Ireland highly employable not only across Europe, but globally.

Business programs in Ireland are usually sought after because they are designed with the purpose of honing a student’s aptitude for theoretical and practical knowledge. A degree in Business Analytics or an MBA would create job opportunities as Business Analyst, Data Analyst, Financial Analyst, Data Scientist, , Acquisitions Analyst, Quantitative Analyst, or a Statistician. Many industries, especially ICT, banking, e-commerce and telecoms, are constantly looking for business program graduates to support their operations.

Courses in Big Data and software engineering are also very popular amongst Indian students, and are taught by most Irish higher education institutions. 30% of all students in Ireland are enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses (source, IDA). These programs can be coupled with secondary subjects like artificial intelligence, machine learning and accounting, creating even more opportunity and learning. With the presence of major ICT companies in Dublin (Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon to name a few), this dynamic sector is always on the lookout for employees from a computer and engineering background.

Investment Banking and Finance is another desirable study option with numerous opportunities for students to work in prominent finance and investment banking departments. Some of the world’s leading investment banks and asset management companies are operating in Dublin, such as Barclays, Deutsche Bank, AIB, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

Ireland is more lately being recognised as an innovative technology hub, and this has led to the popularity of new age courses such as Cyber Security. It is estimated that there are roughly 1 million jobs in this field globally, and this requirement may increase to 2 million by 2022. The top 5 global companies for cyber security are located in Ireland including IBM and Integrity 360. Courses in gaming, VFX and animation are also attracting wide interest- creative jobs in Ireland are growing 23% year on year and they promise a 2.5 years return on investment post studies.

Pharmaceutical Sciences is also a field of significant interest for Indian students. Ireland is recognised as Europe’s pharmaceutical capital, and its pharma industry includes international and local companies that have manufacturing units in the country. Nine out of the ten largest pharma companies in the world are located in Ireland such as Pfizer, Novartis, and Johnson & Johnson.

As ever, Digital Marketing courses are in high demand with the rising need for digital experts following the impact of the pandemic. Courses offer skills in online advertising, social media and mobile marketing, CRM systems, Search Engine Optimization and web data analytics that help in the running and marketing of any modern business or company virtually. The tourism industry in Ireland is amongst its largest indigenous industries, and this means that hospitality and tourism is often opted by Indian students. A hospitality degree includes an internship module that provides hands-on learning while studying, and may lead to career opportunities with globally recognised chains like Four Seasons, Hilton and Ritz-Carlton.

Ireland’s stable, competitive, secure, and pro-business economy presents a perfect backdrop for students looking to grow their careers. The country is implementing a comprehensive, forward looking National Skills Strategy & Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Irish education and training the best in Europe by 2026. Ireland’s critical skills list too keeps a records of the needs of Ireland’s growing economy in terms of skills, qualifications and experience. What is noteworthy is the fact that Ireland has the fourth highest international workforce in the EU and ranks first globally for attracting and retaining international talent.

Ireland has proven itself as a successful centre for leading, well established, and upcoming multinational companies from around the world. Be it business, ICT,  pharma, humanities or the creative arts, each programme offered by an Irish higher education institution provides a comprehensive curriculum with extensive learning, foundational skills, a multi-cultural approach, and a robust understanding of the industry through practical knowledge that creates well-rounded and highly resilient students- and eventually highly sought employees in diverse industries and global regions.

Ireland is a small island nation that has re-imagined and recreated itself multiple times through the centuries, and the country’s deep-rooted culture of creativity and problem-solving has made it stand out on the global stage. And so do the graduates it produces each year who carry with them Ireland’s culture of pioneering and entrepreneurship that make them ready to not only meet the challenges of today, but prepare them for whatever the future may throw at them.

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