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 Afra Ronayne from ESB to give some advice for people considering this job:

Afra Ronayne

Mechanical Engineer

ESB

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Afra Ronayne
I would advise somebody considering this job to talk to people who are engineers already. They should try to talk to people working in different areas of engineering as even when people do the same degree they can have very different day to day jobs, from full time office based jobs to full time site based jobs.

Also it is important to remember that even if you complete an engineering degree you are not limited to a purely technical career as there are plenty of other areas you can get involved in like project management or finance.
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Creative?
Creative
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Adult Learner

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Other Funding for Adult Learners


There are some other sources of financial support available to adult learners who meet specific criteria as outlined below.

SPIDAS

The Special Initiatives for Disadvantaged Adults Scheme forms part of the community education grant. This is a small, discretionary fund to enable ETBs to support disadvantaged learners who are attending second chance education (QQI Levels 1-4) and provides funds towards the cost of books, fees, materials, travel and food. It is only used in exceptional circumstances and where all other programmes do not apply, so for example, it is not applicable where a learner is in receipt of Back to Education Allowance

To find out more information: click here

AREA-BASED SUPPORTS

St. Vincent de Paul

There is some help at local level for clients of St. Vincent de Paul through an assistance fund. Applicants can apply to the Education Officer in the Society, enclosing a letter outlining what they are studying and what factors are inhibiting their studies. Generally this fund is reserved for learners who have not been successful with other agencies.

To find out more: click here

The Credit Union 

Credit Unions in Ireland provide support for members in their catchment areas for studying at all levels of further and higher education:

Education Loans - Credit unions offer education loans to members, either for the support of members themselves or for a son or daughter. Whilst a full-time course in higher education is generally the prerequisite for consideration, some credit unions may offer finance to support participation in other types of education and training. Credit union education loans are often offered at a cheaper interest rate than other types of loans.

Education Grants/Bursaries - Credit Unions provide a number of education grants or bursaries in their catchment areas for students studying at all levels of further and higher education. For more information: click here

For more details of your local Credit Union: click here

Dublin Port Company Scholarships 

Dublin Port Company has initiated a scheme to provide opportunities for individuals living in the Port area of Dublin to access education. Candidates include school leavers, mature students and individuals wishing to pursue third level foundation courses and repeat leaving certificate students.

For more details: click here

Annie Kelly Education Bursary

This funding is aimed at people living in North Inner City Dublin communities who have been affected by drug misuse and is designed to promote access to third level education.

For more information phone: 01-8366592 or click here

OTHER EDUCATION SUPPORTS FOR ADULTS

SIPTU

Workers who are Members of SIPTU can apply for financial support of up to €1,000 for each year of an educational course for a maximum of 4 years, relating to trade union issues, equality, industrial relations and the wider labour movement. Closing date for applications is 30th September annually.

For more information: click here

IMPACT

Workers who are members of IMPACT can apply for financial support for courses in Industrial relations or Trade Union Studies to assist them in their role as a Union Representative.

For more information: click here

It is also worth exploring Grants & Scholarships for information on financial supports generally available to all 3rd Level Students, including Scholarships awarded on the basis of academic merit or talent such as sport or music.