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 Liz Christy from Design & Crafts Council of Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:
Think long and hard, listen to advise, plan well and be ready to make sacrifices for job satisfaction…
What are your interests?
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.
Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.
Subject Choice for Leaving Cert...
These courses enable learners to gain recognition for the achievement of considerable knowledge in a range of subject areas, as for example in the Leaving Certificate and one-year Post Leaving Certificate courses.
Courses may be academic or practical in focus, and awards that are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications may lead to progression opportunities higher up in the framework.
Employment Opportunities The majority of people with certificates at this level are well prepared for occupations that involve using their knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include office secretary, customer service representatives, special needs assistant, retail salespersons and childcare workers.
Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 4354 students who sat the Ordinary Level Business exam in 2018.
Leaving Certificate business creates an awareness of the importance of business activity and develops a positive and ethical attitude towards enterprise. The learning experiences in business develop students’ critical thinking, creative and organisational skills while enhancing literacy and numeracy skills using real-life examples. Business provides students with a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in business, marketing, law, enterprise and management.
Why Study this?
Why Study Business
Business is not specifically required for entry into any third level course but it would certainly be beneficial for candidates who might be interested in courses or careers in the area of finance, enterprise, law and communications.
What kind of student would Business suit?
Business will suit a candidate who is interested in current affairs and listens to the news, reads the papers and stays alert to what is happening in the general business world. While there is a fair share of learning of key concepts the ability to apply these concepts in everyday life will be the difference between passing the subject and getting a good mark.
While the business concepts are easy to understand, it will be important to show that you can apply the concept to everyday business life.
This subject suits someone who has an organised mind and likes to answer questions in bullet points, rather than in long essay format.
This subject would be useful to anyone thinking of starting his or her own business in the future.
The subject is suited to students who are willing to work hard and caters for all abilities.
It is not necessary for students to have studied Junior Certificate Business Studies, but this would be a help.
Not necessary to write long essays, answers are presented in bullet points.
Course content is factual and requires a lot of learning, containing only a few mathematical elements.
Ideally, students would have an interest in business and current affairs and would have an up to date knowledge of economic environment.
An organised and consistent attitude to homework and study would be essential in this subject.
Videos & Interviews
Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
Computer Programmer - Jason Ruane
In secondary school I took Physics and Chemistry since I loved science. I also took Business Organisation but that was for the life skills it teaches rather than an intrinsic desire. I would gladly have enjoyed doing all the science subjects, to the complete detriment of all others but in hind-sight I am glad I took a subject such as Biz. Org. as it gave a rounding aspect to my secondary schooling.
I would have liked to have done Technical Drawing possibly but had to make a choice. I was only mediocre in German and Irish but again am glad I did them for at least secondary school as it challenged me and I did not get too narrowly focused on the technical subjects (there was plenty of time for that in third-level). In hindsight I realise that Maths was more important than I imagined and the two science subjects stood me in good stead. The choices I made for the subject selection was made by my passion for the sciences. Luckily I was afforded this leeway as the points for my intended course were not particularly high at the time.
My Leaving Cert subjects were as follows: English, Irish, Maths, French (obligatory subjects). My choice subjects were: Accounting, Physics & Chemistry. I did all honours subjects and I think doing honours Maths and English especially really help.
English is not immediately obvious when one thinks of a career in Engineering, but from the point of view of report writing and corresponding with team members and even customers via email etc, it is a very important skill to master.
I was not 100% sure of my career path at the time of choosing the above mentioned "choice-subjects". My way of thinking was, one business subject, one science and another one that I thought I might like or be good at. Physics, Chemistry and Accounting all have a common theme of maths and problem solving, this was my link into Electronic Engineering... In hindsight, had some form of technology or electronics courses been available in my school, I think these might have been helpful. I'm not sure which subject I would have replaced though!
As well as the standard leaving certificate subjects I chose History, Business, Home Economics and German. I have always had an interest in history and this is rearing its head once again now that I am in Powerscourt.
The Business Subjects are very important too as they were a vital foundation subject for my college degree. I have a strong aptitude for finance and hope to go on to complete the ACCA exams one day.
I also studied German from the age of 12 through to degree level. Although I am not fluent I have a reasonably good understanding of the language and feel that having an extra language is always beneficial (i.e. in a previous job we had a number of German tour buses visiting the hotel and I often had to speak to the guests in their own language).
My Leaving Cert subjects were Irish, English, Maths, French, Chemistry, Biology and Business Organisation. My main interest was science so I chose two science subjects and one business related subject to keep things interesting.
My subjects were appropriate for my University course except I was required to take Physics in the first year. This was quite challenging not having taken Physics to Leaving Cert but not impossible. I don't think I would do anything differently if I had to repeat the process.
Studying a broad degree like I did meant that there were lots of different options available once I finished college. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do until I took a Revenue Law lecture. Studying Revenue Law, I found that tax had a good mixture of both business and law and therefore it appealed to me.
Biology and Chemistry were my favorites. Another which I found useful was Woodwork. Unfortunately, I gave up Woodwork, which is a good practical subject too early. The subjects I really enjoyed the most were Biology and Chemistry. Other practical subjects like Metalwork or Orienteering have been helpful.
Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture 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.
For my Leaving Certificate I did the standard subjects and German, Geography, Biology and Business Studies. I knew quite early on that I didn't want to do Accountancy or anything that would require more than one science subject so I was able to study the subjects that I liked. There really isn't anything that I would have done differently.
I took German, Biology, Accounting and Business Studies along with English, Irish & Maths. I think it is very difficult to choose subjects in school. It feels like the world is on your shoulders and that this choice will have a huge impact on your future career.
The reality these days is that people change and mature at different stages in their life. Many people I know are not working in the area that they studied for in College - let alone school.
In hindsight - I think it is important to study what you are good at as this will enable you to get the points you need for your desired college course. The college course normally does not assume prior knowledge in these subjects and will start with the basics.
This subject teaches the skills and knowledge needed to understand how business works.
This is a practical course that introduces students to the world of business in a straightforward and logical way. It aims to create an awareness of the importance of business activity and to develop a positive and ethical attitude towards it. The importance of people in business is highlighted.
The course sets out to illustrate the process of setting up a business and developing a new product or service. It emphasises the importance of good management and deals with skills and activities necessary for good management practice. It also deals with the impact of technology, foreign trade, global firms and competition and with business structures and the national economy.
Business requires students to stay alert and to be aware of current related business media (e.g. newspapers, TV, radio). The course is theory based and therefore requires a lot of learning.
Leaving cert business has been on offer for many years now, so there are lots of past papers to help the student when revising.
This subject is concerned with understanding the environment in which business operates in Ireland and in the wider world.
It also involves equipping the students with a positive view of enterprise and its applications in the business environment, in both the public and private sectors.
There are 7 core units covering the following topics: Introduction to people in business; Enterprise; Managing 1 & 2; Business in action; Domestic Environment and International Environment.
There is a common syllabus covering Higher and Ordinary level, which will fulfil the aims and objectives of the course.
A flexibility of design that caters for present day Irish business education and yet is capable of adaptation to future developments in a structured and efficient way.
It assists students to develop their education for adult and working life including the creation of positive attitudes towards self-employment.
From time to time there may be field trips or guest speakers where the course allows. These are not a compulsory part of the course and are organised at the teachers’ discretion.
Exam Structure - Higher & Ordinary Level
Higher Level – 1 x 3 hour paper (400 marks); 3 sections.
Section 1 – Short questions (8/10) 80 marks.
Section 2 – Applied Business Question – 80 marks (compulsory).
Section 3 – Long Questions (60 marks per question (4/7))
Ordinary Level – 1 x 2.5 hour paper (400 marks); 2 sections.
Section 1 – Short Question (10/15) 100 marks.
Section 2 – Long Questions (75 marks per question (4/8)).
Business is useful for careers in a wide range of areas including Banking, Finnace, Administration, Law, Insurance, Management and Marketing among others.