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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.

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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Employment rates and salaries are looking good for graduates

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Employment rates and salaries are looking good for graduates

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 

Employment rates and salaries are looking good for graduates

Employment opportunities for graduates of Irish universities and colleges of education continued to improve last year, according to a report published today by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

What do graduates do?’ is published each year and provides insights into the first destination of graduates of Irish universities and colleges of education, nine months after graduation.

The latest report looks at how 2015 graduates – from Degree, Higher & Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and Doctorate courses – have fared in relation to employment and further education or training.

It shows that employment rates for Honours Bachelor Degree graduates have risen significantly in recent years: from 46 per cent in 2010 to 62 per cent in 2015.

Other key findings include:

  • Sixty-eight per cent of all graduates are in employment, of which 57 per cent are employed in Ireland.

  • Thirty-one per cent of Honours Bachelor Degree graduates; 16 per cent of Higher and Postgraduate Diploma graduates; and 8 per cent of Masters and Doctorate graduates are engaged in further studies or training.
  • As education increases, so too does salary: over half of Honours Bachelor Degree graduates earn €25,000 or over; this increases to 85 per cent for those with Doctorates.
  • At Honours Bachelor Degree level, Computer Science/ICT graduates are the highest earners, with 57 per cent earning €29,000 or more.

Dublin remains the region with most employment opportunities for graduates, followed by the South-West region.

Key Trends

Commenting today, Dr. Anne Looney, Interim CEO of the HEA, said: “Once again the findings of this report show an increase in graduate employment, with over 85% of graduates finding work in Ireland. Employment opportunities in Computer Science, Health and Welfare and Education remained high in 2016.”

Dr. Looney said the ‘What do graduates do?’ report provides important data on the quality of Irish higher education provision and it shows the importance of the Higher Education system for economic and social development. The inclusion of the Institutes of Technology in a pilot 2017 Graduates Outcomes survey will give us access to the full picture of the impact of graduates from all our publicly funded higher education institutions”.

The full ‘What do graduates do’ report is available today (Wednesday) on the HEA website here.

The report’s findings are based on 18,526 survey responses, representing 73 per cent of Level 8-10 graduates from Ireland’s universities and colleges of education.