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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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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Up-Skilling Courses +


The Irish government recognises the importance of education for both individuals and society.

A number of government upskilling programmes have been developed which aim to encourage individuals to continue their learning and increase their skills level. Many of these programmes include financial supports.

If you are unemployed, or want to further your education, there is likely to be a support programme that will help you financially, while doing a course you may be interested in.

Most support programmes are designed to assist unemployed people to improve their skills and increase their chances of getting employment. Detailed information on current Employment Programmes can be found in our Job Seekers area

For information on Employment Programmes click here

Did you know ...

Springboard+ offers a choice of 198 free, part-time and intensive conversion courses in higher education from certificate, to degree, to post-graduate level. See search courses for full details. Applications can also be made for one year full-time and two year part-time ICT Skills Conversion courses.

In 2017/18 courses are now open to the following categories of applicants:

  • Homemakers (all courses are open to Homemakers)
  • People in employment
    • who wish to take a course in the manufacturing sector (e.g. Bio-pharma or medical devices technology) or
    • who wish to take an ICT Conversion course or
    • who already hold a Level 7 (Ordinary Degree) IT qualification who wish to upskill to a Level 8 IT qualification
  • The unemployed or formerly self-employed (all courses are open to these category of applicants, with the exception of the two year part-time ICT conversion courses which are not open to those in receipt of a Jobseekers-related payment)

All courses lead to qualifications in enterprise sectors which are growing and need skilled personnel, including information and communications technology (ICT); manufacturing; international financial services; and key skills for enterprise to trade internationally. Qualifications are also available in cross-enterprise skills such as innovation, enterprise/entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and project management.

Need advice on what to do?

With so many possible courses, and a variety of different financial supports available, many people choose to discuss their options with a local careers advisor. Government based services provide free consultations and are available nationwide.

Click here to go to Adult Guidance Services