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 Donal Og Cusack from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:

Donal Og Cusack

Automation/Energy Engineer

Sustainable Energy Authority

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Donal Og Cusack
Some of the best people I know still aren’t sure what they want to do, my advice would be to give it a go. If you don’t like it you can always try something else. Whatever is in your heart follow it, don’t be something just because someone in your family is. Whether you’re looking to be a leader, a designer or come up with new ideas and a better way of doing things, make sure it’s something that fills you with passion.

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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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.

The 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