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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Social?
Social
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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Options after School

Leaving school is one of the major milestones for all students, and choosing what to do next is not always an easy decision. Most students will continue their education or enter training of some form, and some of the many pathways are shown below.

The majority of students will go on the Higher education (through the CAO) and Further education (PLC or FETCH training courses).

Opportunities for apprenticeships and training roles are now changing and widening to include degree level occupational apprenticeship options. There is also evidence that more students are studying abroad now than in the past.

Most of the available Education and Training options can be seen from the diagram below:


Click image to enlarge.

Career and progression information:

Apprenticeship - This is the route by which people become craftspeople in Ireland. There are also new occupational apprenticeships now available in areas such as insurance, accountancy, financial services, ICT, and manufacturing among others - CLICK HERE to explore.
STATE BODIES
Teagasc - The Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland
BIM - the State agency with responsibility for developing the Irish Seafood Industry in Ireland
Coillte - the commercial company operating state forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and panel products in Ireland.
SOLAS - the Further Education and Training Authority in Ireland.
An Garda Síochána - The police service responsible for law enforcement in Ireland.
The Defence Forces - responsible for the security of the Irish State.

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