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 Maria O'Neill from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

Maria O'Neill

Civil Engineer

STEPS

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Maria O'Neill

If you like working with others, and like problem solving then its definitely worth considering. Do you ever look at a bridge/skyscraper etc. and wonder how they did that? Or better still, are you looking at the way the road at home is laid out and thinking if they had of done something differently it would have been better.

Engineering is not a career people think about and say its helping people, but in many ways it is rewarding and just as much about helping people. Engineers design things used everyday that help people get to work, provide clean water, provide sewerage systems, care for the environment....

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Realist?
Realist
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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Higher Ed & CAO Courses
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Higher Ed & CAO Courses


Video courtesy CAO (2018 edition)

 

If you are considering starting your third level education, then you will have to choose courses from the CAO system (the majority of first year undergraduate courses) or, directly from individual colleges (a smaller number of 'Direct Entry' courses, mostly fee paying).

Direct Entry Course Search

You can search for first year undergraduate direct entry courses from the link provided below however, No 'official' list of Direct Entry courses exists - we produce this following list to assist you, according to information we find through our own research.

The CAO is a service used by colleges to sort out thousands of applications for hundreds of courses in a fair and equal manner. There are strict procedures in place to ensure fairness, which you can explore from the links on this page.

CAO courses provide awards a Levels 6, 7 and 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications. 

There are a number of resources available to help you make choices for the CAO. To explore additional options outside the CAO system you will have to make your applications directly to the relevant college.

There are a number of additional resources available to help you make choices for the CAO: