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 Kieran Magee from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Kieran Magee

Farm Manager - Dry Stock


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Kieran Magee
Someone who wants to be where I am today shall need bucket loads of ambition and not be afraid of hard work.  They will need to not be afraid of starting at the very bottom of that big high ladder but at the same time have the eagerness and determination to get to the top of that ladder because the opportunities are there.

Education is very important.  It may only seem like a silly piece of paper but it's that Cert, Diploma or Degree that gets you that job and not the man/woman beside you.

The one thing that is vital in not alone this job, but any job, and alot of people don't seem to have it, is common sense. It's something so simple but really important. if you have no cop-on then nobody wants to know you.

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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Students to learn more foreign languages under post Brexit plan

Education action plan highlights need to prepare for changed dynamic in Europe

More students will be encouraged to learn foreign languages and study abroad under a plan to build closer links with Europe following Brexit.

The Government’s action plan for education acknowledges that Ireland needs to prepare for a changed dynamic in the EU following the UK’s departure and the rising importance of non-English speaking countries globally.

Speaking at the launch of the 2018 action plan, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was a shame that “most people in Ireland can only master one language”.

“It’s so different when you go to other countries, such as Germany or Netherlands, where people can very commonly speak two or three languages. I think we’re really losing out in that regard,” he said.

Plans to boost learning of foreign languages and access Erasmus placements were very positive steps, he said.

“One of my big regrets is that I didn’t take that opportunity to study in Paris, Berlin, Madrid or Barcelona . . . One of the few upsides of Brexit is that British universities will not be part of Erasmus anymore, meaning that more Irish students will hopefully take the opportunity to study in continental Europe.”

He acknowledged concerns over an acute shortage of teachers at second level in European languages, in particular, and insisted plans were under way to boost supply in these areas.

Mr Varadkar was speaking at the launch of the Government’s action plan which sets out more than 300 actions aimed at making our education and training system the best in Europe within a decade.

Of the hundreds of actions planned over the coming year, he said three “really stuck out for me” which he hoped to see enhanced.

Innovative projects

Along with work on foreign languages, he said plans for a school excellence fund and the introduction of physical education on to the Leaving Cert curriculum were key priorities.

The excellence fund supports schools to undertake innovative projects in areas such as digital learning and boosting student performance in disadvantaged schools.

Mr Varadkar said much of our education was very standardised and centrally controlled, but the fund would support schools to try different approaches to meeting their local needs.

“We want to encourage schools to do things differently; to try things that are new and different. We want to fund that, see what works and potentially mainstream it.”

Other key aims of this year’s action plan include an update of the Deis programme for disadvantaged schools, with a target to narrow the gap with non-Deis schools in areas including standards of literacy and numeracy.

It also pledges to enact the Technological Universities Bill, with the first TUs to open in September 2018, along with a review of the quality of teaching across higher education generally.

Wellbeing focus

There will also be a fresh focus on wellbeing, with support of the junior cycle programme on the topic and the recruitment of ten more psychologists to a support system for schools.

In special education, it plans for the first-ever, in-school speech-and-language therapy service, along with a comprehensive assessment of the special needs assistants’ scheme to ensure we are achieving the best outcomes for children.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the Government’s commitment to education was clear with the budget for the sector growing by €1 billion in the past two years.

“We are hiring more teachers and investing more to support learners with special education needs than ever before,” he said.

“We are seeing higher retention rates, exceptional outcomes in literacy and numeracy and better results in ensuring opportunities for those who come to education at a disadvantage.

“All of these investments and results show that we are on a journey to becoming the best education and training service in Europe.”

You can find a detailed description of leaving cert language courses on CareersPortal. Please click on the appropriate language for information. French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, other languages.

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