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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

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  Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.

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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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Finding Jobs


Finding a job is a job in itself, and should be approached with a sense of challenge and responsibility. There are many ways jobs are advertised, and knowing where to look and what to expect is important.

So if you are looking for a job, we recommend you start by getting a fuller understanding of the process, which is outlined in our section on Preparing a Job Search.

If you have little or no work experience there are ways that you can upskill: click here

Go to Preparing a Job Search
  Hint: Department of Education and Skills
I took the postgraduate diploma in statistics and the PhD after my undergraduate course. For the next year I'm planning to focus on settling in here and learning as much as I can from my teaching experience.

After that I would like to take a formal course to improve my teaching. There is a qualification in Third Level Teaching and Learning offered in Ireland, and an International Teachers Programme abroad. Either of those would be super.

In the meantime DCU offer courses to support lecturers, so I will be taking those from January. I would also like to undertake a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Professional Development, the body for HR managers. DCU offers courses accredited by the CIPD and a lot of the members of my group have this qualification. It's not essential, but it is something I would like to do.

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