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 Catherine Day from EU Careers to give some advice for people considering this job:
I would advise them to give it a go - it doesn’t mean you have to work there long term. You must know how to speak a language other than your mother tongue reasonably well, as a good proficiency is essential. It’s also important to know and understand the cultural diversity that makes up the European Union.
Our internships are a great chance to come for a short period to determine where your interests lie and taste the experiences. Starting out your career path with the EU gives you a really good foundation of insider knowledge of how the EU works and is so useful professionally, even if you don’t plan on working there forever.
It is also important for young Irish people to consider moving to countries that are not English speaking and working for the EU would be very useful to your long term career.
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 1299 students who sat the Ordinary Level Construction Studies exam in 2018.
Leaving Certificate Construction Studies provides students in the senior cycle of post-primary education with an introduction to the knowledge and skills involved in construction technology and construction materials and processes.
This subject has proven to be very popular with over 7,000 students taking the subject last year.
Why Study this?
Why Study Construction Studies
This practical subject gives students hands-on experience working with tools and machinery. Students also undertake theoretical and background work for their final examinations which provides the students with useful skills for working in the sector.
What kind of Student would Construction Studies suit
It is recommended that a student taking Leaving Certificate Construction Studies has a general interest in buildings and the built environment.
Each student should have an aptitude for, and an interest in design and practical work.
Videos & Interviews
Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
Apprentice Electrician - Mark Maguire
I took constructions studies for my Leaving Certificate and I found it fascinating and challenging. Maths plays a big role with my job and it is always good to have a good knowledge of it for the trade.
I took Metalwork, Construction and Business. These subjects taught me to be able to work with people. I know how important it is to be working with a good team of people who can work well with each other.
Agricultural Science - I really enjoyed it and it gave me a good understanding of the basics in agriculture. Technical Drawing and Construction Studies - I enjoyed the hands on building as well as the planning and design aspect which has assisted me in planning and building my farm yard from the parlour, sheds, workshops and even my new house.
If I could go back in time I think I would of taken Business Studies to give me a better grasp of the financial aspects that are involve in my farming business.
For my Leaving Cert, I took English, Irish, Maths, Physics, Engineering, Construction and Geography. Engineering proved useful as it introduced me to the different mechanisms needed to run basic engines.
This basic information helped me in my Skippers tickets. Geography was also useful for correct geographical terms and maths was essential for the Skippers ticket as it is very mathematically orientated - I would advise people to do Honours Maths, if possible.
The subjects which I had control of choosing and which influenced my career path were:
Secondary School: Technical Graphics, Construction Studies, Engineering, Physics. These were an excellent base for my degree course in Mechanical Engineering in University.
University: Mechanical Engineering - choose fluids stream instead of solids stream half way through my degree course. In my current career, choosing the fluids stream has not had any significant bearing on my ability to perform my job.
If I had the choice in Secondary School, I would have chosen Spanish as a language to study. This allows a lot of extra opportunities to travel globally.
If I had the opportunity to change my choices in University, I would have done a years post grad in buisness studies and accounting after my degree in mechanical engineering. I belive this would have given me a competitive advantage in aspiring to a career in management.
Construction Studies introduces students to the knowledge and skills associated with construction technology and construction materials and practices.
This is achieved through both theoretical study and integrated practical projects which provide a basis for the thorough exploration of materials and processes.
The course is essentially about the study of buildings and the built environment. The theoretical part of the course examines all parts of building from the planning stages to the completed building. The course is studied under the following main headings:
Planning and Design
Drawings and Documents
Site Preliminaries and Foundations
Windows and Doors
Plastering and Painting
Plumbing and Heating
Construction Studies is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level
There is a written examination, a practical test, and an assessment of student project work.
The examination at both Higher and Ordinary level has three separate components:
Section A Three hour written paper worth 300 marks. The exam consists of 10 questions out of which five have to be attempted. Question 1 is a compulsory drawing question of a building detail.
Section B 4-hour practical woodwork exam where the student makes a small item out of timber under exam conditions. The exam normally takes place in May. This accounts for 150 marks.
Section C Building Project where the student makes a building detail, a scale model of a building or a craft piece. The student also produces a portfolio to accompany the project that they make. Ideally this project must be completed by Christmas. This accounts for 150 marks.
Studying this subject will be useful for anyone thinking of working/studying in the following areas: building management, carpentry, electrician, town planning, insurance claims, heating and ventilation and housing management.