Professional services firm Cognizant is set to create 320 jobs in Ireland over the next three years, bringing its workforce here to 1,800.

The new jobs will mainly be in the life sciences manufacturing space.

Founded over 29 years ago, Cognizant employs over 350,000 associates worldwide.

Its clients span several industries including Life Sciences, Healthcare, Automotive, Consumer Goods, Banking and Insurance along with Communications, Media & Technology.

It said the first phase of the recruitment drive will begin immediately, with the aim to fill over 100 positions within the life science manufacturing team this year.

These roles will span the entire organisation from graduate roles to experienced engineers, project managers, business and data science analysts.

Cognizant works with some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies across their value chain, from research and development, manufacturing, supply chain and commercial operations.

Announcing the news in Cork, Cognizant's Head of UK and Ireland, Rohit Gupta, stressed the company’s commitment to Ireland.

"Ireland is an incredibly important market for us, and it has established itself as an international hub for life science manufacturing," he said.

"In this tough economic climate, I am excited that we are continuing our investment in Ireland with the creation of 320 jobs.

"We have recently won several large contracts in Ireland, the US and Central Europe and to enable us to deliver these contracts and continue to service our Irish clients, we are growing our workforce in the country," he added.

Mr Gupta said the life science manufacturing industry has seen huge growth in recent years.

"Our goal is to work with our clients to transform how medicines are launched and made through digital transformation and I see Ireland as paramount in driving this objective forward," he said.

As well as looking to increase its current workforce, Cognizant is also partnering with Irish universities to help attract the next generation workforce to the sector.

The company runs a graduate programme, in partnership with some of its pharmaceutical clients.