The number of CAO applications to construction related courses is up by 16.2 per cent, suggesting a confidence in the economic recovery among school leavers.
Figures from the CAO show applications are up 2.2 per cent from last year, with the biggest percentage increase being in built environment courses such as civil engineering and building surveying.
Applications to architecture courses have increased by 14 per cent from 2015.
Business/administration and law applications are also on the up while applications to science courses are practically unchanged, up from 53,353 applicants to 53,355.
Arts and Social Science remains the largest category in terms of demand for places but has seen a decrease in applicants for the second consecutive year.
While nursing applications have seen the third biggest increase of any course, up by 10.75 per cent, applications to medicine have decreased by .6 per cent.
Other healthcare courses have also seen a decline of 3.27 per cent since last year.
This category includes programmes such as speech and language therapy, optometry and human nutrition.
Education courses remain a popular choice and are up 2.16 per cent.
Agriculture and horticulture courses show the biggest drop in demand with applications down almost 25 per cent from last year.
Overall, applicants to level 8 courses have risen by 1,900 where level 6/7 applicants have dropped by 640.
Male applicants have increased by 516 and female applicants have increased by 1,141 since last year.
Careersportal.ie says students can expect that courses which have shown significant growth in demand will also see a jump in points required, due to increased competition for places. Similarly, courses which have fallen in demand may see a drop in the required points.
The final number of applications is expected to be slightly higher as leaving certificate students have until May 1st to submit their preferences.
Figures may also change as students use the “change of mind” facility which allows them to alter their course choices up to July 1st.