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 Louise Lynch from ESB to give some advice for people considering this job:

Louise Lynch

Structural Engineer


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Louise Lynch
If you always want to know how things work and are fascinated by structures like grandstands or bridges then a career in civil and structural engineering may suit you. If in school you enjoy subjects like maths and physics, and since these would be the foundations to the engineering college course, you will probably enjoy the course. If you like the idea of working for a company where you could get to travel, then international companies such as ESB International would suit you well. Engineering is a good and challenging career so you have to want to be challenged in your work, to solve problems and to come up with ways to improve designs.

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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Timeline from Leaving Cert to CAO course offers 2017

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Timeline from Leaving Cert to CAO course offers 2017

Thursday, June 08, 2017 

Timeline from Leaving Cert to CAO course offers 2017

The 2017 Leaving Certificate exams got underway this week on Wednesday 7th June, and will continue until Friday 23rd June, but what happens next?

Below is a useful timeline with key dates from the period following the exams, as students await Leaving Cert results, review college course choices, calculate CAO Points, await course offers and plan for college in the Autumn.

26th June: students under 23 who sat the HPAT test on 25th February for entry to Medicine receive their results, and can factor them into their final course choices before the CAO Change-of-Mind deadline.

1st July (5.15pm): Final date for amendments to course choices and order of preference on CAO application for entry to college in September 2017.

The vast majority of changes and amendments, made by current year Leaving Cert applicants, are made during the Change-of-Mind period in May-June each year.

First week of July ~ Initial CAO offers: The CAO makes more than 6,000 offers in this round, to mature applicants (those over-23), and those who deferred places in 2016. Offers are made by post and online on, and remain open for one week. Offers lapse if not accepted within that week. Applicants who may be away on holiday etc. should ensure any offer in early July is responded to, as you risk losing it otherwise.

22nd July: Exceptional closing date for current third-level students wishing to drop out of their current college course and re-apply for a new list of choices through the CAO - more than 300 students availed of this option last year.

Early August 2017 ~ Round Zero offers: More than 2,000 course places are offered to applicants on the basis of Further Education awards, and to additional mature applicants. Graduate medicine places are also offered in this round. Offers are open for one week.

Wednesday 16th August: 2017 Leaving Cert results are delivered to more than 700 schools. results are also available through a secure online service at from noon on the same day.

Monday 21st August ~ Round One offers: CAO releases round one offers to candidates online at 6.00am. Offer notices are also posted to candidates to arrive on this date. The minimum points required for entry to each course are available on the CAO website from 6.00am and also can be viewed here on from that time.

Click image to check CAO Points for each course option.

Tuesday 22nd August: Students who are unhappy with a Leaving Cert result and wish to review their exam script/s must return the application form to their school by this date, in the envelope provided. There is no charge for viewing.

Monday 28th August (5.15 pm): Closing date for receipt of acceptance of CAO Round One offers.

Wednesday 30th August: CAO posts Round Two offers to applicants, to arrive by post on Thursday 31st August. The minimum points required for entry to each course are released on the CAO website at 6.00am and are also available here

Friday 1st - Saturday 2nd September:  Leaving Cert exam scripts can be viewed in the school by students, along with one person of their choice. Scripts cannot be viewed by anyone else unless the student is present.

Wednesday 6th September (5.15 pm): Closing date for accepting CAO Round Two offers. This is also the final date for receipt of Leaving Cert appeal applications by the State Examinations Commission. A fee of €40 per subject applies. The fee is refunded in the case of an upgrade.

Mid October: Results of Leaving Cert appeals are released by the SEC. Final offers by the CAO will be made up to October 18th.

Read more: Options after School

The CareersPortal Team