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 Damien Mason from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Damien Mason

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Damien Mason

If you are really interested in people and have good interpersonal skills, you will find this job very rewarding.

Like a lot of jobs, you will not be using all the theoretical knowledge you gained in University or College, but you will develop significant management potential and the environment is stimulating and rewarding.

As an engineer, you will probably spend about 50% of your time in the office, and the other 50% out in the plant.

You should also expect that you may be asked if you are willing to travel abroad. This would be very attractive to most people, and a definite means to gain great experience, but it may not suit everyone.

You should ideally be a balanced person, someone with a good deal of technical knowledge, but also a good ability to deal with people.

Responsibility and challenges will be given to you from day one, and if you can handle the pressure, you will gain more and more responsibilities, ultimately leading you to gain invaluable experience, and undoubtedly onto a successful management position.

With the global nature of ICL's parent company CRH, this could be yours in Ireland or one of many countries worldwide.

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Realist?
Realist 
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Higher Education - (3 & 4)


Courses at third level are offered mostly by Universities (7 colleges), Institutes of Technology (14 colleges), the Colleges of Education (5 colleges), and independent Private colleges.  The first three are substantially State funded and take part in the government free fees scheme, whereas Private colleges are all fee paying.

Ed Zone 3 Courses

These courses are two-year programmes leading to a Higher Certificate (NFQ Level 6). They are run mostly in the 14 Institutes of Technology around the country.

On completion, participants can:

  • enter directly into employment, or
  • continue on to an Ordinary (Level 7)  or Honours Degree (Level 8) in a related sector.

Ed Zone 4 Courses

These courses last  three to four years (full-time) and lead to an Ordinary (NFQ Level 7) or Honours (NFQ Level 8) Degree.

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Application to undergraduate (first time) entry third level courses is done through the CAO.

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Note:
 Mature students (over 23 years) can apply to CAO even if they do not have a Leaving Certificate. There are many university access programmes available that support mature students to progress into degree programmes within the universities. For further information about access courses, contact HEA www.hea.ie or phone 1890 200637.

Some interesting facts about Third Level education in Ireland:

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It is definitely my intention to return to education in the very near future. I am out of college two years and even now I can see the advantage to continuous education.

The one thing that is always recommended by engineers that I have encountered is to take any and all education that you can. Apart from the fact that it makes you infinitely more qualified for different jobs, it keeps you up to date with new technologies and methodologies.

Sometimes a company will contribute towards costs and give you time to attend college if it is related to upskilling for a role which the company values. To date, I have witnessed a number of people transition from one type of career to a completely different career within the same company.

Education is the tool that allows you to change your work life to whatever you wish depending on how you go about it.

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