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 Frank Morrison from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:
Be prepared for hard work. Be a team player. Have a good sense of humour. Learn from your mistakes.
What are your interests?
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 sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
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 4658 students who sat the Ordinary Level Geography exam in 2018.
Geography is the study of people, their environment, and the interaction between the two. The course follows from Junior Cert Geography, and covers very similar topics (such as rocks, soils, oceans, population movements, map-reading, and economic activities) in a lot more detail. There are a large number of optional sections on the course, allowing students to focus on the sections of the course which they like.
Why Study this?
What kind of student might Geography suit?
Students considering further study in areas such as geography, economics, environmental science, or politics.
Students who achieved solid results for Junior Cert Geography.
Students must think abstractly and in 3-D (Be careful about studying Geography if you have any problems with this).
Videos & Interviews
Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
Lieutenant - Pilot - Air Corp - Oisin McGrath
The subjects that I took for my Leaving Certificate are..English, Irish, Maths, Physics, Biology, Geography and French.
NB: It must be noted that the Air Corps requires certain subjects and is detailed in the Cadetship Booklet!!!
For my Leaving Certificate I studied English, Irish, Maths, Physics, French, Geography and History. My favourite subjects were Geography, Physics, French and English. I knew that I would like to study a combination of these subjects in further education. I think as regards a career path it’s a good idea to study subjects you like and are good at.
In hindsight, I am happy to say I wouldn't have done anything differently to date! In my Junior Cert I did 9 subjects ; Maths, Irish, English, History, Geography, Science, Business Studies, French and Tech Graphics. I liked Languages and history the least. I won't lie, Maths, Geography, and Tech Graphics were the ones I enjoyed the most.
When I was choosing for my leaving Cert I still hadn't decided what I would do when I was finished. I was thinking of Engineering, Teaching or Physiotherapy. I wanted to leave my options open. To do physio you need a language (to get in to UCD) and 2 science subjects. I decided to do Maths, Irish, English, French, Geography, Physics and Chemistry for my leaving. That left all the options open.
I was good at Business Studies, but after looking at courses in college, I discovered you don't usually need a business subject to get into a business course. This is not the case for Science based courses. In 6th year I took up Applied Maths. Since I was doing Physics and Maths I had a good background for the subject. Twenty classes and just homework, and I got an honour. If anyone was to ask me if they should do it, if you like maths, its a great subject!
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.
For my Leaving Certificate I took the subjects, French, Geography and Business. Prior to applying for my cadetship I found out that I required a Science subject which I took up in my Leaving Certificate.
A lot of my training and education through the Navy todate has been Maths and Science based particularly Physics. If I had a choice again I would have gone down this line in school to give me a better foundation. The subjects I chose just made everything slightly harder.
For GCSE I studied Maths, Additional Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geography, English Language and Literature and German.
For A-Level I took Maths, Chemistry and Biology. I chose these subjects primarily because I was good at them and also because I enjoyed them. The school I attended was very academic and I always knew my future career would involve science of some description so the choices I made were logical.
I do regret not continuing on with art, although at the time I wasn't sure I could spare the time to commit to an extra subject that wasn't really going to come in useful. I guess you just have to weigh up costs and benefits. I found it very helpful to have a good grasp of statistics and pure maths as these topics came up quite alot during the pharmacy degree.
If you are thinking of taking a degree in pharmacy make sure you look at the admission requirements in good time as they can be quite specific and I know the grades are increasing every year so you need to be sure you are capable of making the grades.
Geography is a very popular subject choice. Up to 20% of the final grade is achieved before sitting the actual examination by completing a report on a geographical investigation - this is a great advantage for students.
The syllabus is divided into 4 main units. All students study the Core Units 1-3 and Elective Unit 4:
Core Unit 1 - Patterns and processes in the physical environment This unit examines the relationship between the tectonic cycle, the rock cycle and the processes of landform development.
Core Unit 2 - Regional geography This unit examines how economic, human and physical processes interact in regional settings.
Core Unit 3 - Geographical investigation and skills This unit encourages the development of skills in handling spatial information leading to the completion of an individual geographical investigation.
Elective Unit 4 - Patterns and processes in the economic environment This unit examines patterns in economic development and the growth of a single interdependent global economy.
Higher Level Students taking the Higher Level also study Optional Unit 6 Global Interdependence. This unit examines the interdependent nature of global economic, social and political processes and challenges the differing views of development
Geographical skills The teaching and application of skills is integrated into each of the units where appropriate - Map and aerial photograph interpretation - Satellite imagery - Figure interpretation - Census of population data - Weather maps and data.
Leaving Certificate Geography is assessed at Ordinary and Higher level in ascending order of difficulty. There are two assessment components:
Written Examination (80%)
Geographical Investigation Report (20%)
Students complete two questions on the core units, one question on an elective unit, and one question on an optional unit.
1. Patterns and processes in the physical environment 2. Regional geography 3. Geographical investigation
Two Elective Units (pick one)
4. Patterns and processes in economic activities 5. Patterns and processes in the human environment
Four Optional Units (pick one; higher level only):
6. Global interdependence 7. Geoecology 8. Culture and identity 9. The Atmosphere-Ocean environment
The teaching of geographical skills is an important element of the course; students are encouraged to improve their ability to gather information (from map-reading, statistics, charts), present information (using diagrams, maps, and writing), and evaluate information (separate fact from opinion, make informed judgements, propose sensible solutions to problems). These skills are assessed in the Geographical Investigation.
Geography can be studied at third level as a science subject, or as an arts subject.
It is useful in a wide variety of careers such as cartography, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), town planning, environmental science, engineering, travel/tourism, meteorology/weather forecasting and in global/development work.