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 Brian O'Connor from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Brian O'Connor

Analytical Chemist

Smart Futures

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Brian O'Connor
Science is a fascinating subject and you truly have to immerse yourself in it. When you do the rewards are fantastic. It is of course a tough subject but once complete you learn how to solve many problems yourself.
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Investigative?
Investigative
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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What Subjects to Take +

Choosing which subjects to study occurs in both Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle. The choices made should reflect the interests and ability of your child, and take consideration of the possible career aspirations he/she may have.

In general, the Irish education system is not geared towards specific occupations or career pathways (the exception being the Leaving Cert Applied) - its aims are to provide a more fuller, rounded education. Therefore, for the most part, students can choose anything from the curriculum in order to gain a respectable and internationally recognised qualification.

This is particularly so for the Junior Cycle - which is very general in nature. Though is is normal to follow through with similar subjects from Junior Cert to Leaving Cert, it is not necessarily so - you can, for example take up Business or a Science subject in Leaving Cert without having studied it for the Junior Cert.

If your child is in Junior Cycle, follow the links for 1st year and 2nd year students to understand the options available.

If your child is in, or entering Senior Cycle, then follow our discussion in the Senior Cycle Choices section.
 
The following are some general tips and factors to consider when choosing subjects:
 
  • Ability & Aptitudes: All students have different strengths so consider their abilities in different subjects and choose subjects in which the student is likely to get good grades. 

  • Interest: Choosing subjects in which your son/daugher has a genuine interest in means they are much more likely to study them and do well.

  • Career: There are some subjects that are essential for some college courses and careers. It is important to check out these subject requirements with a Guidance Counsellor or the course provider.
 

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