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 Sinead O'Sullivan from ESERO Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:
Take a risk and see if you enjoy entrepreneurship. Creating a business in the STEM sector can be very rewarding.
What are your interests?
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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 2400 students who sat the Ordinary Level Home Economics exam in 2018.
The Home Economics syllabus provides students with knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary for managing their own lives, for further and higher education and work. The learning experiences in home economics develop flexibility and adaptability in students, prepare them for a consumer-oriented society and provide a learning foundation for a wide range of careers in food, textiles, science, design, social studies and tourism.
Why Study this?
Why Study Home Economics
Students should study this subject in order to:
Be able to research, study, analyse and interpret material.
Be able and willing to learn Nutrition and Culinary skills.
Be able to communicate well.
Be able to discuss topics and work in teams.
Home Economics is a popular subject choice for Leaving Cert Students.
What kind of student would Home Economics suit?
This subject suits a practical student who enjoys making things, doing things and knowing how things work.
It is be advisable for students opting for Leaving Certificate Home Economics to have completed the Junior Certificate course. Some of the areas covered on the Junior Cert Home Economics course are continued at Leaving Certificate level.
Practical cookery assessed through written exams only
Textile Electives—fashion design, social studies, home design and management
There is a lot more Sociology e.g. Family /marriage/ relationships/ family problems e.g. alcoholism, gambling, the elderly, housing, problems facing teenagers/ child care development
In-depth Study of Nutrition, Resource Management and Consumer Studies
Much of the course is theory based – students are often under the illusion that “it’s all cooking” and find it quite a shock when they realise even the Practical Section has to be written up and presented – because there is no Practical Examination as at Junior Cycle Level.
This is a wide-ranging course, covering many life skills areas. Students enjoy the subject but they must be willing to learn and to undertake what is quite a substantially theoretical subject.
There is both an Honours and Ordinary level within the subject. Students can opt to take the written exam at Higher or Ordinary level, however the Coursework Journal is at a general level and is corrected as such.
There is also a link with other subjects: Biology, Business Studies and Building Construction. being aware of this cross-curricular advantage is helpful when choosing subjects.
Videos & Interviews
Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
Chef - David Kehoe
Maths, English, French, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Home Economics. All of them influenced my career as I need all of them eg. without maths I couldn't deal with the financial part of the job.
In addition to the three core subjects, I studied French, Business Studies, Home Economics and Accounting for my Leaving Cert. In fourth year in school we completed semesters on a variety of Leaving Cert. subjects. I chose to study business and accounting as I found these subjects interesting and had an aptitude for them.
English, Maths, Irish, French, History, Geography, Home Economics, Commerce (now called Business Studies) - these were subjects that I did for my Inter Cert, (now the Junior Cert), I left school after this. The courses that I took that had career implications were English, Maths, Commerce and Home Economics.
The implications of these were that English is needed for communication, Home Economics prepares one for life experiences and Commerce gives one an understanding of budgets and financial constraints. The subjects are practical ones and have helped me in my career. In hindsight I would have gone on to do my Leaving Cert and would have done Biology as this would have given me a basis to go further with my career, such as studying for nursing.
The subjects I took at shool all influenced me in different ways. English is very necessary in how I represent myself, Maths is oh so important in so many ways from yarn calculations to understanding numeric’s in business.
Art was very influential in my career path. I was introduced to Impressionism and Monet who is a major inspiration in my current work and marketing mix.
I wish I was better at Irish and I would use it in my business marketing. History influenced how I relate to current affairs, Home Economics is vital in developing my needlecraft skills which is an important aspect of my business.
Biology, well I do enjoy gardening as a hobby and my husband is a student psychiatric nurse so a knowledge of biology has come in useful over the years.
In school I was limited by the amount of subjects offered. I went to an all girl's convent school and they had pretty much the stereotypical girl's school subjects then.
For my optional subjects I did Geography, H&E Social and Scientific and Biology. I had all the regular subjects too. English, Irish, Maths and French. I think it's fairly obvious from the above list that my subjects didn't have much of a influence over my third level education choices.
If subjects like physics, engineering etc., had been on offer, I think I would have taken them instead but they were not available to me. I don't believe choices made in school about subjects always have to dictate what you do in college. In my case it just meant I had to work a little harder in the first year of college to catch up.
My school subjects never stopped me. If you know what you like and what you want do, you will always find a way. To be honest it's the knowing what you like that's harder, there are lots of paths to achieve what you want in education today.
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).
After completing my Junior Certificate I tried to choose a range of subjects in order to maintain options for Leaving Cert/College, and so studied Physics, Accountancy and Home Economics. I believed maintaining at least 1 science subject was important as it can be a requisite for many college courses.
Physics was also then key in my choice of Engineering at third level.
Accountancy and Home Economics were subjects I enjoyed and performed quite well at but could not see myself developing a career in.
Physics was a good basis for continuing on to study Electronic Engineering in college. Although having studied any science subject at Leaving Certificate level is required for entry to engineering I believe that Physics was the most relevant for my course.
I took Art, Spanish, Business Studies & Home Economics.
I would say that they really didn't influence my career path, however, I did learn from my extra curricular activities that I liked working in groups and I could see how hard work paid off and was very fulfilling.
I would say that I would have liked more guidance and should have asked for more direction from people who could have pointed out my strengths to me earlier...
The subject is an applied subject combining theory with practice. It is concerned with the management of resources (material and human) to meet the physical, emotional, intellectual, social and economic needs of individuals and families. The study of home economics emphasises the interdependent relationships that exist between individuals, families and their immediate and distant environments.
The syllabus consists of Core Areas and Three Electives:
The Core Areas 1. Food Studies - 45% 2. Resource Management and Consumer Studies - 25% 3. Social Studies - 10%
Electives 1. Home Design and Management - 20% or 2. Textiles, Fashion and Design - 20% or 3. Social Studies - 20%
Students opt for one elective area only. Those choosing the Textiles, Fashion and Design elective must produce a garment which will be inspected and graded.
The elective areas are extensions of the content contained in the Core Areas and provide students with the opportunity to study certain topics in more depth.
As part of the Core Areas, a mandatory section comprises of Practical Coursework which must be completed during the two years and will be sent to the Department of Education and Science for inspection. This is 20% of the final examination marks.
The Leaving Certificate Home Economics syllabus is examined as follows:
1. Written Exam paper – 80% The written examination consists of three sections:
Section A 12 short questions – Students answer 10. These deal mainly with all the core areas of practice. (60 marks allocated)
Section B 5 questions - Students are to answer Question 1 (Food Science and Nutrition) and any other 2 questions (from the other Core Areas). (180 marks allocated)
Section C 3 questions - Students are to answer 1. Elective question, based on which Elective was chosen to do in class. (80 marks allocated)
2. Practical Coursework - 20% This is worth 20% of the final mark; this is submitted in journal form earlier in the Leaving Certificate year.
This subject provides a good foundation for careers in a wide range of areas including Health, Nutrition, Education, Tourism, Textiles, Design, the Food industry, Science and Social Studies.