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 Lynsey Gargan from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Lynsey Gargan

Manufacturing Engineer

STEPS

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  Lynsey Gargan
With regard to education I say don't worry if you think you have the wrong subjects in school. I certainly didn't have the subjects you would typically expect.

There are a number of courses that cater to different backgrounds. The most important thing is to do your research. Go to open days, talk to the colleges and generally just find out what exactly you would be getting in to.

Don't just take for granted you know what a certain course or career is all about. Think about what you like to do, and not just necessarily in school, if you find yourself being curious about how things work or how thing are made, it's a good indication that you could like something like engineering.

One of the best things about engineering is that it really can be your passport to the world. There are great travel opportunities within the industry and chances to be involved in the next big thing.

Practically every man-made product around you came from a manufacturing plant, it's a huge industry with a lot of different avenues to take. Innovation is a really big part of what engineers do. The desire to be creative and improve production and processes is an important attribute for a manufacturing engineer.
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Realist?
Realist 
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Leaving Certificate
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The Leaving Certificate

The Leaving Cert continues where the Junior Cert leaves off. The most common Leaving Cert Programme is the Leaving Cert Established (LCE) and it runs for two years.

Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level. Two subjects, Irish and Mathematics, can be studied at Foundation Level. Foundation Level is geared to the needs of students who might have difficulty with those subjects at Ordinary or Higher Level.

The three core subjects of English, Maths and Irish are generally compulsary for LCE. Each school will offer a number of optional subjects to choose from as well. Students usually take between six to eight subjects, and sometimes more.

Choosing which optional subjects to study enables you to focus your attention on areas that interest you. For example, would you prefer to focus on business or science subjects - or a combination of both? Sometimes the subjects you choose for the leaving cert can influence your choice of college course after school. This is because some college courses require you to have taken certain leaving cert subjects, and even certain grades in these subjects, in order to be accepted on the course.

Visit Leaving Cert Subjects for useful information that will help you with these decisions.

Alternatives to the Leaving Cert Established (LCE)

Some students opt to do the Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP) or the Leaving Cert Applied (LCA).

LCVP has extra career preparation and enterprise subjects. LCVP students take at least five subjects. These include English, Irish, plus two subjects from specified vocational subject groupings, and a Modern European language (other than Irish or English). LCVP students also take three Link Modules on Enterprise Education, Preparation for Work and Work Experience. 

LCA is strongly 'vocational' which means that it's more job and employment focused. The subject areas are more practical than academic. This is a great option for students who may prefer not to go directly to college when they finish school, although many continue their education using the Further Education & Training (FET) route.


What are your Career Interests?

Realist
Realist
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

  Go... Explore Career Interests here...