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 Elaine MacDonald from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!

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The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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IT Tallaght

IT Tallaght


IT Tallaght 
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The Institute will:

  • Offer a range of relevant and flexible learning opportunities within a professional and supportive learning environment, which are career focused.
  • Provide increased lifelong learning opportunities commensurate with the career requirements of those living in the region and with the developmental needs of business and industry.
  • Promote equality of access and opportunity to widen participation and facilitate all learners in achieving their potential.
  • Serve as a leader and centre for the advancement of research, commercial innovation and enterprise development within the region.
  • Implement civic engagement initiatives to maximise participation of, and increase opportunities for, all citizens in the development of the region.
  • Cultivate a range of international activities and partnerships to advance the core activities and role of the Institute.

IT Tallaght's Values

IT Tallaght will ASPIRE to provide the best higher education institution it can through fostering and encouraging a core set of values across all the activities of the Institute.

Teaching and Learning at IT Tallaght

IT Tallaght offers a broad range of both full-time and part-time Undergraduate Programmes and a number of taught Post Graduate Programmes that are recognised internationally. The Institute prides itself on its commitment to teaching and learning and provides students with opportunities for flexible learning, distance learning, customised on site work based learning and international partnerships. Students are nurtured in a supportive environment that boasts excellent information services, access and career advice, targeted academic supports, health centre, provision for those with disabilities and active clubs and societies.

  QQI/FET Admission Information available here.

Enterprise & Innovation at IT Tallaght

Synergy Centre at IT Tallaght is the innovation centre of South Dublin County. With a focus on the high-tech and knowledge intensive sectors, our aim is to enable industry and academia to interact to create viable enterprises for South Dublin County that will secure the area’s future in terms of job creation, innovation and export potential.

Research at IT Tallaght

Research has flourished at IT Tallaght reflecting the high priority attached to it by the Institute. The Institute hosts seven research centres and strategic partnerships with other higher education institutions have been established. The Institute has had tremendous success in winning research funding from national and industry research funding programmes. Research areas include:

  • Microbial host interactions, biofilm formation, and the molecular characterisation of infection processes
  • Pharmaceutical research and development, including drug discovery, molecular characterisation, toxicity evaluation, and process analytical technology
  • Microsensors for clinical research and analysis, including biomedical sensor devices based on electrochemical and other methods of detection
  • Computing, including ontologies to model orthogonal aspects of eLearning and enterprise software technologies research
  • Biomedical engineering focused on orthopaedics, biomechanics, design, FEA and CFD analysis, and rapid prototyping
  • Franco-Irish studies examining the historical, literary, spiritual, cultural and other links between France and Ireland.