During this session, I took our webinar audience through:

  • the supply of CAO places in Ireland
  • the demand function
  • the changes in demand for degree, diploma and cert courses
  • the fastest growing job categories in Ireland
  • the three tools in Excel to quickly analyse data
  • the single resource to find the right information about a job


Key takeaways:

  1. According to the CAO, 78,184 applicants for the next academic year by 1st February 2023. The Irish Times noted "college applications for traditional universities are, on average, down by 5-6 per cent and up by an equivalent proportion for technological universities" and "academics believe the decline is linked to factors like higher rents, travel costs and greater competition from technological universities".
  2. In Positive Economics, we talk about the demand function consisting of the price of the good itself, the price of other goods, consumer income, consumers' expectations concerning future prices, consumer tastes of preferences, unplanned factors and government regulations.


3. According to CAO Media Stats, in 2022 57,296 people received an offer in Round One. 4 out of 5 people who applied for Level 8 courses received a Round One offer with one of their top three preferences. 98% of people who applied for Level 7/6 courses received one of their top three preferences.


4. According to CAO, the most significant increases and decreases in demand for Level 8 and Level 7/6 courses are:

Level 8



Level 7/6




5. Grade inflation of Leaving Cert points is particularly evident between 2019 and 2022 points. This is reflective of the "income" of the consumer and thus is naturally going to push up the "price" of getting into courses through higher points requirements.

For example, in 2019, 1.4% of the 56,071 students scored over 600 points. A little over 1 out of 3 students scored over 400 points and 62.8% of students scored over 300 points.


In contrast, in 2022, 5.5% of the 58,056 students scored over 600 points, More than 1 in 2 students scored 400 points and 75.1% of students scored over 300 points.


6. Sharon McCooey, Head of LinkedIn Ireland, was quoted in an Irish Times piece saying that "the five fastest growing green jobs between 2016 and 2021 were sustainability managers, wind turbine technicians, solar consultants, ecologists, and environmental health and safety specialists"

Indeed's Pawel Adrjan says demand for healthcare roles - which was boosted by the pandemic - will persevere in the years ahead. "Since the pandemic we have seen consistent high demand across essential services such as healthcare - at the moment therapy, pharmacy and home care are particularly in demand," he says. "When trying to predict a prosperous career path, one thing to look at is currently pressing problems or developing areas - environmental issues, socio economic development, digital connectivity - these can be a good predictor of where demand will lie.

7. The "HEAR and DARE" opportunities ensure that people who may not have the same chance to do their Leaving Cert and go through third level due to either economic disadvantage or disability have a better chance of succeeding.

8. Of course, there are always going to be unplanned factors whether that's a pandemic, inflation or other things that we don't expect.

Finally, it's interesting that the above Irish Times piece notes "It is estimated that about 65 per cent of school-leavers progress to higher education, one of the highest levels in Europe" and if you want to check out any course details, the Qualifax website can be a super source.