Founded in 1970, IT Carlow is located in the centre of Ireland’s South Leinster region, approximately one hour from Dublin. IT Carlow is the fourth-largest Institute out of 14 Institutes of Technology (IoTs) in the country (7,000 learners), but has ranked in the top three of the 14 IoTs for CAO first preferences for Level 8 honours degree programmes since 2010. IT Carlow provides higher educational full-time taught programmes from level 6–9 on the National Framework of Qualifications, along with research programmes at level 9 & 10 and enterprise development opportunities, through its centres in Carlow and Wexford. The Institute also provides part-time programmes in Carlow, Wexford, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Kildare (the Curragh), Shannon, Dublin (Tallaght) and, most recently, in Mayo.
The Institute is a key driver of progress and development in Carlow and the southeast and was an important consideration in the decision of UNUM (strategic software services centre, 2008) and Merck Sharp & Dohme (human vaccines and biologics, 2007) to locate in Carlow.
In 2014 IT Carlow was named the Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year. The judges, in making the award, stated that the Institute was deserving of the title "off the back of a strong academic performance, a high completion rate and a good record in the graduate jobs market".
IT Carlow employs almost 700 staff and is currently headed by its president, Dr. Patricia Mulcahy.