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 Paul Dowling from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Paul Dowling

Horticulturist

Teagasc

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Paul Dowling
Ideally, try and get a job in the industry for a summer, or get a bit of experience before you go into it. You have to be happy with working outside, and doing physical work. If you are not prepared to work hard or are looking for a soft job, don't go into Landscaping. Design is very sexy at the moment, everyone wants to be a designer, a Landscape Designer. It's different on the ground, you have to be out there on sites in all weather and you have to make sure projects are managed well and you're able to muck in with everyone else. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture or Landscaping as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business. Geography would be a relevant subject as well. Also, the simple things like having a full, clean driving licence, which can make you a lot more employable if you are trying for a job with a Landscape Conractor. This indicates that you are more mobile and can also drive a company van if needed. Be sure you're happy with the outdoor life. Having taken a Horticulture course will give you an advantage. However, it's possible to take a job first and study later, e.g. in IT Blanchardstown it is possible to study at night. I think you cannot beat doing the Diploma Course in the National Botanic Gardens because it is a good practical course which also covers all the theory and is invaluable for gaining plant knowledge.
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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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Blackrock Further Education Institute


Blackrock Further Education Institute - Profile

Blackrock Further Education Institute

Why Choose BFEI?

"If you do not have the Leaving Certificate and are looking for a new career, and a fresh start, then BFEI offers you that second chance opportunity" - Deirdre Hanamy, Principal BFEI

Deirdre Hanamy is the Principal of Blackrock Further Education Institute (BFEI), a new state-of-the-art further education college, located on the Main Street in Blackrock, Co Dublin. She is passionate about the benefits of taking a Further Education course which include flexible entry requirements as BFEI is not part of the CAO points systems and offers alternative pathways to degree courses and professional qualifications for those who want to go directly into employment.

If you do not have the Leaving Certificate and are looking for a new career, and a fresh start, then BFEI offers you that second chance opportunity. Finally, students who choose to study at BFEI will also benefit from small teaching groups, continuous assessment, as this is an integral element of most courses and excellent career guidance advice.

BFEI offers a variety of courses at Level 5 and 6 in area such as Business Accounting, Auctioneering, Pre-University Law, Retail Management & Marketing, Design and Creative Multimedia (Interior, Graphic, Digital Media and Games), Community, Emergency and Health Care (Pre-Paramedic Fire and Ambulance Services, Retail Pharmacy, Health, Wellbeing and Nutrition and Applied Psychology), Beauty Therapy, Nail Technology, Health and Wellbeing Therapies, Computer Science and Computer Networks and IT Security.

Some courses such as Office IT Skills, Web Design and Digital Media, Interior Design, Applied Psychology, Health and Wellbeing Therapies are timetabled for mornings only to cater for students who have other commitments.

There is also an option to become an Accounting Technician and earn as you learn. Work in an accounting firm four days a week and attend lectures at BFEI one day a week over two years.

Progression Options from Level 5 & 6 courses at Blackrock Further Education Institute

As with many FE colleges, BFEI have well established progression options from their Level 5 courses. For exam students who study computer science, computer networks, graphic design or interior design can apply through CAO for degree courses in UCD, IADT, DIT, IT Tallaght and ITB, Blanchardstown.

Another, good example of an established progression option include a two-year Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Business. On successful completion students gain advanced entry to the second year of the Level 7 Bachelor of Business in Enterprise at the nearby Institute of Art Design and Technology (IADT), Dún Laoghaire. There are similar arrangements for Level 6 Diploma in Creative Multimedia course.

Finally a very popular progression examples is from the one-year Level 5 Applied Psychology course to Level 8 courses in Applied Psychology at IADT, Dún Laoghaire and the Waterford Institute of Technology. Students from this course also have the option to progress to the second year of a three-year honours BA Counselling and Psychology at the University of Wales.

Open Day

The next open day is on Wednesday 30 August from 12pm to 6pm and Deirdre recommends that people should visit to find out more, meet the staff and see the new facilities including computer laboratories, design studios, and beauty salons and an ICT learning centre.

The campus also includes social areas for students and a modern cafeteria. If you can’t visit on open day then she highly recommends that you browse their website or request a brochure to read about the courses and in particular, the graduate profile which highlights their success and the benefits former students gained by attending BFEI.

Further details on the Institute and all courses are available at www.bfei.ie

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