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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.

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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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So you want to be a Quantity Surveyor

All construction projects – including housing estates, office developments, airport terminals and national sports stadiums – cost a lot of money to complete. Quantity Surveyors are the professionals who manage the purse strings on these projects from start to finish. 

Quantity Surveyors provide value for money through the efficient cost management of the construction process – their objective is to control cost, limit risk and add value to a project ensuring that the design and construction of a project delivers value to a client.

Quantity Surveyors often act as project managers – appointed at the beginning of a project, they assist the client in developing the project brief and then selecting, appointing and co-ordinating the project team. 

Where do they work?

Quantity Surveyors work in all sectors of the construction industry worldwide. In real estate this covers residential, commercial, industrial, leisure, agricultural and retail facilities. In infrastructure, they work on projects related to roads, railways, waterways, airports, sea ports, coastal defences, power generation and utilities.  

Irish Quantity Surveyors are recognised – and much sought after - as experts in specialised areas, such as the construction of large pharmaceutical facilities and data centres.

What sort of subjects should you be interested in to pursue a career in this area?

Quantity Surveying courses cover a wide range of technical skills in the areas of science, technology and professional capability. Therefore, you should be interested in subjects such as science, maths, construction technology, law, business and IT. The courses also place great emphasis on professional skills, including communication, leadership and dispute resolution.


Article by: SCSI - The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland