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 Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.

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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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Colour Vision

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Have you tested for colour deficiency? If not use the tool below to check your vision.

Note: Because of differences in computer screens, this test can only provide a rough indication of your vision. However, it may alert you to a possible deficiency.

Only a test administered by a qualified professional can determine whether you have the condition.   

 
Introduction to Colour Blindness by Dr Raj Patel OD 

   
 

Colour Blindness – Career Choices

Colour blindness is not a major concern for most occupations. However there are some areas where it could be a significant drawback, and even completely restrictive.

The Arts
Colour blindness can make some jobs difficult, and others impossible. Working with fashion and art can be extremely difficult as you will be unable to differentiate between some of the colours you’ll be required to work with as an everyday part of your job. Likewise, jobs such as interior design or lighting engineer can be quite challenging.

Engineering
There are some areas of engineering that will pose difficulties for those with colour blindness. Areas where difficult may arise include:

Electrical / Electronic Engineering  Space and Computer Engineering - people with colour blindness may experience some minor difficulties, such as an inability to read colour code on resistors, to major handicaps such as an inability to distinguish different circuit tracks for drawings of multi-layer circuit layouts.

Material Science / Engineering - people with colour blindness may be disadvantaged as they could be required to identify microstructures using different colour etching.

Chemical Engineering - some field jobs require the ability to differentiate between color-coded pipelines, sign-posts and equipment. Some duties such as process design may require the use of colors and may present severe obstacles to an employee with colour-blindness.

Civil Engineering - engineers are required to read computer-generated drawings which may come with different coloured lines.

Aviation
Colour vision is essential for recognising aircraft position lights, light-gun signals, airport beacons, approach-slope indicators, and chart symbols, especially at night. As a result all pilots have to undergo colour vision testing prior to obtaining a license. Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers are particularly disadvantaged, although many do succeed in these professions. 

Useful Links:
Eyesight Reference Data - Sight standards for occupations in Ireland
Colour Vision Defects - Factfile [pdf]