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Have you a great interest in computing and want to take your career into the world of IT and computers? There are many courses available if so. If you have a mind for technology and want to work in areas from gaming to software and hardware then keep reading. 

What is computing?

Computing is the use, activity, benefit and creation of computers in carrying out specific goals. This includes the development of hardware, software, algorithms and any use of a computer in engineering, mathematics, technology and leisure such as video games. Computing is quite a broad term and covers everything a computer can do to benefit and help the user.

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas: 

  • Computing
  • Computer Science
  • Applied Computing
  • Automotive and Automation Systems – Applied Systems
  • Bachelor of Science in Computing 
  • Business and Computing 
  • Cloud and Networks 
  • Computing and Digital Media
  • Computing – Software Development 
  • Cloud Computing with Coding (PLC)
  • Computing and Business Applications (PLC)
  • Computing (PLC)

There is a large number of courses in the area of computing available in Ireland so be sure to research in great detail as the courses listed above are just a sample of those available. 

Studying computing in college

There are a number of PLC courses and undergraduate courses available in this area. PLC courses will typically last around 1 year while undergraduate courses will range from 3-4 years depending on the exact course and college. PLC courses act as a foundation and will give you a general understanding of computing and help you to move forward into an undergraduate course if you wish to do so. 

The first year of your undergraduate course will act as a foundation year where you will learn the basics of computing as well as become familiar with the work you will face in the coming years of your degree. First year material may include computational thinking, web design and development, problem solving and programming concepts and an overall introduction to programming among many others. 

In your second and third year you will be introduced to more complex and in depth areas. Areas that are focused on may include advanced databases, software quality and testing, software engineering, advanced computer networks, artificial intelligence cloud application development and IT governance, security and ethics among many more topics. Specific course content may differ from course to course and university to university. 

The majority of courses in this area will give students the opportunity to carry out work experience in order to become familiar with the working world of computing and apply the knowledge they’ve built up practically. 

Career options

The area of computing is very broad and therefore offers a wide range of roles in the field. There are examples of career options listed below. Following on from an undergraduate course in the area there are many postgraduate courses to specialise in a specific area of your interest and work in that field. There is also the option of working in the education path such as becoming a lecturer or teacher in universities and colleges. 

Roles and areas you could work in include a computer scientist, application developer, artificial Intelligence, programming, multimedia technology, software developer, computer hardware engineer, web developer and many more. 

Important skills and qualities in this area that will be both helpful and essential include strong IT skills, excellent knowledge of computers and technology, able to analyse problems and trace them to the origin of the problems, a problem solver, a critical thinker, analytical skills, organized and strong time management, attention to detail and accuracy, systematic approach to working and strong communication skills as well as technical writing skills and maths skills. 

Related Jobs

  • Computer Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Hardware engineer
  • Software/hardware developer
  • IT consultant
  • Database/Systems manager
  • Android/iOS Developer
  • Games Developer 

Further Study

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Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

The highest points required for a course at undergrad level in this area last year was 510 points to study Electronic and Computing Engineering NUI Galway. The lowest points were 106 points to study Computing in Dundalk Institute of Technology. Points are mostly between 200-350 for the majority of courses. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • The first computer weighed more than 27 tons
  • The first computer mouse was made of wood
  • The first known computer programmer was a woman



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Aedín Dunne

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IT Management


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