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 Elaine MacDonald from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:


Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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  Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!


Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Big Data and Analytics Top Tech Jobs

Silicon Republic is looking to the future, establishing which jobs will be most in demand in Ireland in 2015. In the second part of an excellent new series, they look at big data and analytics, the latest stage in Ireland’s IT evolution:

The management of data is big business today, and it will continue to grow tomorrow as long as more and more devices, technologies and services harvest more and more information from society.

A recent report by Interxion found that demand for cloud services is eclipsing demand for traditional hosting services. With that, more and more strands of data flow are there to be monitored, analysed and learned from.

In a growth area for Irish tech businesses, the significance of this field in IT (and beyond) comes from the fact that major multinationals based in Ireland deal specifically with data analysis and the search for professionals in this area is an ongoing process.

Silicon Republic’s Featured Employers hiring in the area of big data and analytics include:

  • Accenture
  • AOL
  • Aon
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Dropbox
  • EMC
  • Fenergo
  • Fidelity Investments
  • FireEye
  • Information Mosaic
  • Pramerica
  • Quantcast
  • TripAdvisor
  • Twitter

Ladder to success for job-seekers

What’s clear about big data and analytics is there is scale right across the board for job-seekers. Companies of all sizes seek their own variant of analysts, with that scale subsequently offering a clear ladder to use to guide your career. The talent pool is becoming stretched as businesses of all sizes seek to garner more and more information from the data they consume.

A report into the Irish software landscape by the Irish software engineering research centre Lero back in June highlighted this area in particular for future growth, and indeed its immediate importance.

“The firms (surveyed) highlighted a number of key technology platforms they believed important for future competitiveness,” read the report. “These included cloud computing, data analytics and cyber-physical systems, all closely related to emerging R&D priority themes in Ireland and around the world.”

The report went on to note cloud computing and data analytics as two key platform or technology domains for future competitiveness.

The Beier necessities

Constantin Beier, CEO of the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA) in Dublin, recently discussed the growing importance of data and analytics in business and society. With a clear reference to Ireland, where Beier is based, imminent advancements on the back of modern data analytics are what are expected.

“I think we’re just actually at the beginning of the curve of a tremendous development,” he said. “I think data and analytics has the potential to change many industries, even society, without wanting to exaggerate.”

Hays recruitment has seen a marked increase in employment opportunities for people in the big data/analytics arena, “with BI (business intelligence) developers and data scientists experiencing significant improvements in their salaries as demand for these positions soar.”

Again, this is largely down to the growth in businesses that are now looking to capitalise on their product – data. “There has been a rise in boutique SMEs, which is squeezing the availability of these skills further,” said Hays.

“Organisations are now taking data management seriously and as a result we have seen a large increase in data governance, risk and compliance roles over the last six months.”

Many guises in the data-analyst sector

Jobs in the area include analysts for many parts of the industry – management, infrastructure, customer and QA. There’s also the creation of these environments, involving architects and designers, for example.


As far as salaries go, careers in big data and analytics vary from €40,000 a year for a junior business analyst, right to €65,000 for data governance managers, €85,000 for data warehouse architects and €100,000+ for heads of data governance.

On top of this, like any other area of IT, is management. A keen business mind is becoming more and more important to the Irish IT scene as many companies make the transition from creators to managers. This is a hot area, and one we will hear a lot from in the coming months.

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