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 Mary McCaughey from EU Careers to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary McCaughey

Head of Communications

EU Careers

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Mary McCaughey
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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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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?

Naturalist
Naturalist
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists 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.

  Go... Explore Career Interests here...