Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

CAO applications for business courses on the rise

There has been a drop in CAO applications in teaching and law, but the demand for business courses has risen.

Increased demand for business and agriculture
Increased demand for business and agriculture

CAO APPLICATION FIGURES show that the student demand for third-level courses in business and commerce has risen, with first preference applications up by 6.5 per cent.

Other popular courses this year are agriculture and food courses. First preferences for these courses are up by 10 per cent, according to the Central Applications Office (CAO).

Figures for 2013 show that the total number of applicants to the CAO was 76,121, a reduction of 187 applicants since last year.


From the 17 course categories, 10,531 applicants applied for a business course as their first preference last year. However, CAO figures show there were 11,200 applicants this year.

First choice applications for education courses dropped from 5,120 last year, to 4,735 this year.

Other courses that have seen a fall in first preference applications is pharmacy, which fell from 470 in 2012 to 390. Teaching courses also dropped in popularity, with only 4,735 putting education courses down as their first choice, a drop of 387 applicants on last year. There were 3,115 first-choice applications for medicine, up by 1 per cent this year.

The demand for law is also down by 2.5 per cent.

First-choice applications

First choice applications are believed to be important, as it gives an indication as to what courses are gaining or falling in popularity.

Diarmuid Hegarty, the President of Griffith College Dublin said that students are looking to what courses will provide jobs. He said:

Agriculture jobs, bio-pharmaceutical, finance and IT – these are where the jobs are now. Some areas are seeing a boom, while others are in decline.

However, I think it is important that students bear in mind that they can’t make a decision on the state of affairs now, they should be looking to four or five years down the line when they will be qualified with a degree.

He added that people who are considering doing law should attempt to predict what the market will be like in six years time, as that is when the student will be out in the jobs market.

“Students shouldn’t just follow the trends as what is ‘in’ right now,” he said.

Principals want ‘CAO-style’ admissions for primary and secondary schools>

Column: The Leaving Cert ‘points race’ is bad – but it’s better than alternatives>

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel