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.
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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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Tip: Use the links on this page if you know what type of course you are looking for.

Courses and Awards

There are tens of thousands of courses on offer throughout Ireland. With the exception of 'Hobby' courses, most courses lead to some form of qualification from an accredited authority. In Ireland, most qualifications fit into what is known as the The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). This framework divides all qualifications into ten levels. It can be useful to think of it as a ladder system; entry at the bottom is at Level 1 and Level 10 is at the top.

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The range of Levels include different types of qualifications from Basic Education (Level 1-3) Certificates and Diplomas (Levels 4-7) Undergraduate Degrees (Levels 7-8) and Postgraduate Qualifications (Levels 9-10)

Completion of each level usually means you can progress to the next, so the framework helps you to build up your education and training, thus improving your employment prospects.

Education Levels and Job Zones

Entry into many jobs and occupations usually requires a certain standard of education (e.g. Level 6 Certificate, or a Level 8 Honors Degree), and often specific courses or awards. To assist you in your career research, we have categorised all our occupations according to a general classification known as Job Zones.

Job Zones are a classification according to the level of education, training and experience generally required for each job. There are 5 Zones, Zone 1 refering to a basic level of education or experience (up to Level 4 on the NFQ above), and Zone 5 indicating the higher education Levels (Levels 9 & 10 on the NFQ). 

Note that employers value a persons previous employment experience highly, and often regard a persons experience as equal or more important to qualifications. So for older experienced people, the extent of their experience may play a very significant part in being accepted for a job. This is reflected in the classifications system as it refers to education or experience in many cases.

To search for information on each Occupation and the Job Zones associated with them click here.

Unemployed and looking to upskill

If you are currently unemployed it is important to be aware of the many upskilling and employment initatives available to you. These initiatives aim to encourage engagement in employment opportunities.

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