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 Oisin McGrath from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:
If you are seriously considering applying for the Air Corps you should check the pre-required Leaving Certificate subjects as outlined in the cadetship booklet. This is very important!!
Also, if applying you should get the details of the fitness test from the cadetship booklet and make sure you can do each of the disciplines well before the fitness test...a lot of people fail this part of the application process, and it can be passed easily!
If possible, you should organise a visit to Baldonnel through somebody that you know or maybe even your school...just to get familiar with the aircraft and to see the daily operation of the Air Corps.
What are your interests?
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Subject Choice for Leaving Cert...
Design & Comm Graphics
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 1130 students who sat the Ordinary Level Design & Comm Graphics exam in 2018.
This subject develops students' comprehension ability, and problem solving and creative thinking skills are developed through the analysis and solution of both 2 and 3-dimensional graphics. Graphics and design are communicated using freehand sketching skills, traditional draughting equipment and CAD.
Why Study this?
Why Study Design and Communications Graphics
DCG helps to further students’ cognitive and practical skills with modules like graphic communication, problem solving, spatial visualisation, design capabilities, computer graphics and much more.
What kind of student would DCG suit?
Students who have taken Tech Graphics to Junior Cert level.
Students who have a keen interest in further studies in practical areas of engineering and construction, or in apprenticeships which include the study of technical drawings.
It is an advantage to have studied Technical Graphics at Junior Cert. level.
Free-hand sketching is a main component of the core topics. Therefore, Junior Cert Art, Materials Technology or Wood Technology would serve as an advantage in this area.
A basic knowledge of ICT skills is also beneficial.
Students must also appreciate that work completed must conform to a high standard of neatness and draftsmanship.
Videos & Interviews
Read what others say about their Leaving Cert. Subject Choices...
Farm Manager - Dry Stock - Kieran Magee
All the subjects I choose had a practical aspect to them,e.g. Woodwork, Metalwork, Technical graphics and of course the usuals. I suppose looking back on it I was always working with my hands and that's what I enjoyed.
The likes of Woodwork and Metalwork are skills which are used every day when out in the yard or down the back of a field fixing a broken machine. If I went back to pick better subjects I probably would have added Agricultural Science into the bunch, but other than that I'd stick with the same.
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.
Science Subjects: Maths, Physics, Biology, Tech drawing, Chemistry - I loved these and they are very applicable for my current career path.
Data analysis and problem solving - it's all about number crunching at the end of the day when working on technical problems.
Arts, English, English Literature and French are subjects I was never really interested in at school, but have become more interested in the last 10 years, as they are very useful for communication purposes, and that is now a very big part of my job.
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.
Design and Communication Graphics (DCG) has taken the place of technical drawing for the Leaving Certificate and provides students with the opportunity for visualising and comprehending information presented verbally or graphically.
If you are interested in taking this subject to Leaving Certificate level, you will need to have taken Tech Graphics to Junior Certificate level.
There is a great emphasis in the Leaving Certificate course on comprehension, analysis and problem solving. In simple terms, you must be able to understand what has to be done, analyse how you are going to approach it and then proceed to solve the problem.
Although it is not an essential subject for either architecture or engineering, it is regarded as a useful asset if you are thinking of a technical course. The DCG course now has a project aspect.
Design and Communication Graphics is assessed by means of two assessment components: a student assignment at 40%, of which CAD forms a significant and compulsory element, and an examination paper at 60%.
The course is comprised of two parts; Core areas of study and Optional Areas of Study
Part One – Core Areas of Study
Plane and Descriptive Geometry
Descriptive Geometry of Lines and Planes
Intersection and Development of Surfaces
Communication of Design and Computer Graphics
Graphics in Design and Communication
Communication of Design
Information and Communication Technologies
Part 2 – Optional Areas of Study
You will be required to study two of the optional areas listed below:
One Terminal Exam Paper: 60% Student Assignment: 40%
Terminal Exam: 3 hours duration.
Student Assignment Emphasis on:
1. Elements of design 2. Communication graphics 3. Use of ICT in design
Different theme for Higher and Ordinary level
May take the form of:
-A design investigation and modification -A concept design
DCG is a core element of many third level options including: Engineering, Product Design, Construction and Architecture. Knowledge of this subject will greatly enhance a student's ability in any third level engineering-based programme.
Other relevant career areas include: toolmaker, engineering technician, and carpentry and aircraft technician.
These subjects involve developing creativity and the appreciation of the work of others. This involves learning the methods and techniques of the subject and producing your own work using these skills.
Required for 3rd Level?
This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.
This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors: