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 Natasha Ibanez from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Natasha Ibanez

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Natasha Ibanez
An education in Mechanical Engineering would be preferable. I would advise them to get as much diverse work experiences as possible, even if these jobs are not engineering related.

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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The Three Leaving Certs
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The Three Leaving Certs

There are three Senior Cycle programmes available to Leaving Cert students:

Leaving Certificate Established (LCE)

This is the most popular and longest running programme. It is available in all secondary schools.

The LCE continues where the Junior Cert leaves off. The core subjects (English, Maths and Irish*) are compulsory. Your school will also offer a number of optional subjects.

Choosing which optional subjects to study is an important process. Depending on your particular school, you may or may not get your first preferences. In some instances, a student may have to study a preferred subject privately, outside of normal school hours.

Subject options should be considered in detail as there may be future implications regarding entry to college, or entry to certain careers, if particular subjects are not chosen, or are chosen at the wrong level (i.e. Ordinary level rather than Higher level).

To help you with exploring, follow the Leaving Cert Subjects link. In this area, we look at the course covered by each Leaving Cert subject and the implications for career and college choices.

(*Unless you have an official exemption from Irish in place.)

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

LCVP is a variation on the Established Leaving Cert programme. It has some additional career preparation and enterprise studies modules. It is only available in selected schools.

LCVP combines regular Leaving Cert subjects with three additional compulsory link modules.

The link modules cover Enterprise Education, Preparation for work and Work experience.

Students take at least 5 Leaving Certificate subjects, one of which must be Irish, and a continental language or vocational language module, together with the three link modules.

For details on the link modules, follow the Leaving Cert Subjects link and choose Link Modules from the Business Group category. 

Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCA)

LCA is a uniquely different programme. It is non-academic and strongly job/employment focused. LCA is only available in selected schools and does not lead directly into third level education courses (or nursing, gardaí). Students who are awarded LCA can, however, progress to a wide range of level 5/6 PLC Courses, many of which provide progression opportunities into third level colleges.

LCA provides opportunities to prepare for working and adult life. The LCA programme is two-years long and courses are offered in three main areas:

  • Vocational preparation, including work experience, enterprise and communication
  • General education, offering lifeskills, the arts, social education, leisure and language
  • Vocational education

To help you with exploring LCA Subject Choice visit PDST website.

Michael Bohane
QA Manager