Life is for living, and there is no better place to do exactly than in one of the many breath-taking counties that make up the Atlantic Region.

With space to create and explore, to work and to enjoy the magnificent outdoors, the Atlantic region is the perfect platform for a career – and you can enjoy a lifestyle to match. With living costs up to 30% cheaper than Dublin and greatly reduced commuting times, the world – and the rolling Atlantic – is your oyster.

With many exciting job vacancies and a wide choice of living options, starting an Atlantic adventure has never been easier. Apart from the obvious geographical traits, the Atlantic Economic Corridor has much in common with the acclaimed Wild Atlantic Way.

But while the Wild Atlantic Way is aimed at tourists, the AEC can offer people a breath-taking path that could last a lifetime. The Region is a unique place in which to find that balance between work and play, a perfect location to blend personal and professional growth. For a great initial snapshot of jobs and lifestyle, visit

There are 17 urban centres in the AEC region with a population greater than 5,000 people.

Census analysis by The Western Development Commission indicates that just under 60pc of the population is active in the labour force. Industry, wholesale and retail and health and social work makeup the top three employment sectors. Limerick and Galway City have scale as major urban centres and gateways to the region. Other key centres are Letterkenny, Sligo, Ballina, Castlebar, Westport, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Loughrea, Ennis, Shannon, Tralee and Killarney

Did you know?

Gaelic or the Irish language is still in parts along the Atlantic Corridor and is Europe’s oldest written vernacular language north of the Alps. Údarás na Gaeltachta is the agency responsible for investment in the Gaeltacht or Irish speaking area.


Entrepreneurship is a strong feature of life in the Atlantic Region and of 59,436 active enterprises, 92pc are micro enterprises employing less than 10 people.

The European Union has this year designated the Northern & Western Region as European Entrepreneurial Region 2018, shining a light on start-ups and micro enterprises, co-existing within the broader ecosystem of global and indigenous multi-nationals.

Key features of living along the Atlantic Economic Corridor:

  • Highly affordable housing and living costs compared to the East
  • Growing number of jobs including high-end positions
  • Wild Atlantic Way connects the whole region
  • Donegal – Coolest Place on the Planet 2017 (National Geographic)
  • Galway – European Capital of Culture Candidate city 2020
  • Westport – Best place to live in Ireland (Irish Times Award 2013)
  • Natural beauty; adventure tourism, lakes, Atlantic Ocean, national parks
  • In addition, the region offers a host of festivals, events, conferences, theatres, museums and arts facilities.

Higher Education

Profiles of the eight higher educational institutions give a sense of the vibrant educational, civic, community and state activity along the length of the Atlantic Economic Corridor.

NUI Galway ranks among the top 1% of Universities in the world. Our prestigious history spans almost two centuries. Our spectacular location boasts the unique landscape and culture of the west of Ireland. Our global network connects us to partners around the world. Our researchers are shaping the future. Our students are shaping their own – 96% of our graduates are working or in further study 6 months after graduating.

NUI Galway makes a meaningful contribution internationally, nationally, and to the region, in particular in these priority research areas; Biomedical Science & Engineering Informatics, Physical, and Computational Sciences Environment, Marine, and Energy Applied Social Science and Public Policy Humanities in context. Join our community of 17,000 students and 90,000 alumni across the globe.

Visit: NUIGalway website

Over 3,000 students create a vibrant array of cultures and activities across two campuses in Letterkenny and Killybegs.

The modern integrated campus has excellent facilities in all departments, such as a suite of graphic design studios, state-of-the-art nursing resources, special purpose laboratories, training kitchens and restaurant, and an on-campus business development centre, CoLab, to support spin-off enterprises. Our multi-purpose centre, An Dánlann, houses our excellent sport and recreational facilities in addition to our medical centre, counselling service, careers office and chaplaincies.

Visit: Letterkenny IT website

IT Sligo has been one of Ireland’s leading third level institutions. Students are at the heart of what we do. It is home to 6,000 students across the Institute’s full-time, part-time and apprenticeship programmes. Of those, 2,000 are studying online. Working towards re-designation as a Technological University, a €60 million investment in campus facilities over the last decade has created a stunning 21st century learning environment.

There is no standing still. Across the Institute’s three Schools of Learning in Business & Social Sciences; Engineering & Design; and Science, IT Sligo is constantly developing and enhancing its courses and facilities to provide an overall package which matches the needs of the student today – and tomorrow.

Visit: IT Sligo website

GMIT has five campuses. The biggest is the Galway campus located on the Dublin road. GMIT Centre for Creative Arts & Media (CCAM) is located on the Monivea road in Galway. The National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology is located in Letterfrack, County Galway. GMIT Mountbellew is located in Mountbellew, County Galway. The GMIT Mayo campus is located on the Westport road in Castlebar, County Mayo.

GMIT, a government funded institution, has a strong academic reputation, excellent student supports and a supportive and friendly staff. It offers internationally accredited courses from Higher Certificate to Doctorate and has a worldwide tourism reputation. Together with Sligo IT and Letterkenny IT, GMIT is working towards establishing a Technological University in the Northwest.

Visit: Galway Mayo Institute of Technology website

The University of Limerick (UL), is located on the west coast of Ireland along the picturesque River Shannon and enjoys an unspoiled natural environment blended with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. UL was awarded prestigious 5-star rankings for graduate employability, innovation and knowledge transfer, teaching, engagement, internationalisation and infrastructure by QS Stars independent assessors.

With close to 12,000 students, including more than 2,000 international students each year, UL is a young and enterprising university with a proud record of innovation in education and scholarship.  A survey of Irish students recently voted UL Ireland’s most popular university with a satisfaction rating of 85%.

UL offers more than 70 undergraduate programmes across Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Education and Health Sciences, Science and Engineering and the Kemmy Business School.  UL also delivers a strong postgraduate offering with more than 100 taught postgraduate programmes to Doctoral and Post-doctoral level

Visit: University of Limerick website

Founded in 1898, MIC is a Catholic College of Education and the Liberal Arts. The College offers a wide range of programmes in Education and the Liberal Arts at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and almost 5,000 students are engaged in studies here.

The College offers nine undergraduate degree programmes, a host of postgraduate programmes to doctoral level in Education and the Liberal Arts. With Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses and numerous access and inclusion pathways, we are sure to have a programme for you.

While prospective students may include young people aiming for the course of their choice through the Leaving Certificate and CAO, our student community currently includes people of all ages, from a diversity of backgrounds, who have entered the College in a variety of ways.

Visit: Mary Immaculate College of Education website

Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) is an institution of higher education in Limerick. The Institute has campuses in Limerick city, one in both Thurles and Clonmel in County Tipperary and a regional learning centre in Ennis, County Clare. The main campus is located at Moylish Park adjacent to Thomond Park

and houses the Faculty of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology and the School of Business and Humanities. The School of Art & Design is located at the Clare Street and Clonmel campuses.LIT offers courses at Level 6 (certificate) through Level 10 (PhD). It caters for craft apprentices and adult and continuing education.

The Institute has twice been named as The Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year in The Sunday Times University Guide, firstly in 2008 and again in 2013.LIT is to the forefront in ensuring that the region’s economy continues to have the requisite array of leading-edge skills demanded by our knowledge-based industries. In 2017, LIT was granted permission to develop a new campus at Coonagh in Limerick, to be focused on teaching and research in engineering.

Visit: Limerick Institute of Technology website

The Institute of Technology Tralee (IT Tralee) was established in 1977 as the Regional Technical College, Tralee and in 1992 became the Institute of Technology, Tralee. The Institute currently has 3,500 full & part-time students, employing 350 staff and provides a financial contribution of circa €60m to the local economy annually. IT Tralee operates on two campus locations in Tralee, Co. Kerry: the South Campus located in Clash and the North Campus located in Dromtacker which opened in 2001.

The Institute has three principal schools, i.e. School of Business, Computing & Humanities, School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics and School of Health & Social Sciences.  It conducts an extensive range of courses, comprising two year certificates and building thereon, three year Ordinary Degrees; four year Honours Degree, Masters and PhD.  The Institute also conducts a wide range of craft, apprentice, ACCS and life-long learning / part-time programmes.

IT Tralee offer programmes in a number of areas including Agriculture, Biological & Pharmaceutical, Business & Management, Construction, Creative Media, Engineering, Environmental, Food, Culinary Arts & Cookery, Health, Leisure & Fitness, Hospitality & Hotel Management, Information Science/Systems, Music, TV & Radio, Nursing, Outdoor Activity, Renewable / Energy, Social Sciences, Computing & Technology, Tourism & Wildlife.

Visit: Tralee IT website

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