Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Shane Callanan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Shane Callanan

Electronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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Shane Callanan
Being an Engineer is a great career choice. It offers so many opportunities both in Ireland and world-wide. Most positions will have terrific travel opportunities after a few years experience under your belt, and if you choose you course carefully your qualification will be recognised by employers all over the globe. Also an engineering qualification will open doors into management roles if that is your preferred career choice, but the reverse is not the case (if you do a course outside of engineering, you will probably not be able to branch off into engineering a few years after graduating).
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Enterprising?
Enterprising
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Adult Learner

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Adult Education in Ireland


There are approximately 300,000 adults involved in formal, further education programmes. These are adults availing of education through local Education and Training Boards (including adult literacy, community education, Youthreach, VTOS, Back to Education Initiative, PLC programmes and Senior Traveller Training Centres)

To read a recent report on "Life Long Learning amongst Adults in Ireland" click here.

Courses and Awards

There are tens of thousands of courses on offer throughout Ireland. With the exception of 'Hobby' courses, most courses lead to some form of qualification from an awarding accreditation authority.

In Ireland, most qualifications fit into what is known as the The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). This framework divides all qualifications into ten levels. It can be useful to think of it as a ladder system; entry at the bottom is at Level 1 and Level 10 is at the top.

The range of Levels include different types of qualifications:

  • Basic Education (Levels 1-3) 
  • Certificates and Diplomas (Levels 4-7) 
  • Undergraduate Degrees (Levels 7-8) and
  • Postgraduate Qualifications (Levels 9-10)
To view the framework click here

AONTAS

AONTAS is Ireland’s national adult learning organisation for adult and community education providers and adult learners. It promotes the value and benefits of adult learning, and advocates on behalf of the sector. Founded in 1969, it is an independent NGO, with nearly 500 members nationwide.

The Community Education Network (CEN) was established in 2007 by AONTAS. The CEN is the only national network that is dedicated to independent voluntary community education groups who are committed to social change through education. The CEN is a distinct group of 160 members working in community education organisations who collectively advocate for the recognition and promotion of community education in Ireland.

To view a copy of the What's Next? publication from AONTAS: click here

Phone: 01- 406 8220/1 or
E-mail: mail@aontas.com

One-Step-Up

The One Step Up website and helpline has been developed and is managed by AONTAS and aims to help adults to enhance their learning by promoting access to learning opportunities for all adults, a Freephone Helpline, and a calendar of learning events.

For more information Freephone the helpline on
1800 303 669 or e-mail here.