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 Marie O'Donovan from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Marie O'Donovan

Environmental Officer

CRH plc

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Marie O'Donovan

You should possibly consider studying environmental science or environmental engineering in third level.

You would also need to consider if you would like do quite a bit of driving during your day and to be able to oragnise your own work plans as both these things are important.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Preparing for CAO and College Entry 2018

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Preparing for CAO and College Entry 2018

Friday, November 03, 2017 

Preparing for CAO and College Entry 2018

For students who are starting to plan for going to college next year, the first key date on your preparation timeline is almost here - the CAO (Central Applications Office) opens for applications on Monday next, 6th November 2017.

There is no need for this to be a stressful time for students, or their parents. There is plenty of help and advice available. 

The first piece of advice is register as soon as possible on or after the 6th November, and avail of the discounted registration fee of €30.00. You then have plenty of time to revisit and complete your application over the months ahead.

Simply go to Click on the green 'Apply' tab - this area will be live from 12.00 noon on 6th November - and fill in your personal details. You need to have a vailid e-mail address and a credit/debit card to hand.

Reminder: applicants can practise the application in advance - there is an online demo application facility available: 

Video: How to complete the CAO application form.

Once you have completed the initial registration process, you can revisit your application as often as you wish to make additions and changes.

The CAO Application

Key elements to be completed:

Your Qualifications to date: What category are your applying under? Leaving Certificate, FETAC etc. - complete the area that applies to you [Pages 5-8 in your CAO Handbook]

HEAR - Indicate if you wish to apply for the Higher Education Access Route. This is an alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers. Check your CAO handbook [Page 9] for details of participating colleges.

DARE - Indicate if you wish to apply for the Disability Access Route to Education. This is an alternative admissions scheme for students with a disability or a specific learning difficulty. See criteria in your CAO handbook [Page 10]

SUSI - Indicate if you wish to apply for student grant. (You make the actual grant application directly to SUSI via a seperate process - see

Course Choices - List your Level 8 course choices (Honours degree courses) and your Level 7/6/ courses (Higher Certificate and ordinary level degree courses). You can list any 10 courses at each level that you are currently considering. You can revisit your CAO application as often as you want to between now and the final deadline of  1st July.

Need help with researching courses?

Use the CAO CourseFinder to identify courses and narrow down choices:


The ultimate aim is to arrive at a listing of courses that is in genuine order of preference - i.e. with the course that you most want to get into in number one position, and your second choice after that, and so on. When CAO Round 1 course offers are made in August, you will be offerered the highest preference from each column for which you have the required points. The next and subsequent choices on your lists will simply be wiped out. [See video: CAO Offer and Accepance Process here]

It is important to enter any restricted courses that you might be considering at this stage - restrcted courses are any courses that require additional assessments such as an interview or a test. Restricted courses cannot be added after the 1st February CAO deadline. 

Course choices can be changed with no charge, from early May 2018 until 1st July 2018. Restricted courses cannot be added after 1st February deadline.

Trinity College Dublin Feasibility Study Option 2018 - 25 places are set aside for this admissions route which will be used to admit students on three courses - ten places in History (TR003), ten places in Law (TR004), and five places in Ancient and Medieval History and Culture (TR028). Additional factors other than just points are used in assessing applicants. [More

The CareersPortal Team