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 Brian O'Connor from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:
Science is a fascinating subject and you truly have to immerse yourself in it. When you do the rewards are fantastic. It is of course a tough subject but once complete you learn how to solve many problems yourself.
What are your interests?
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.
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
In school I chose accountancy - which was obviously relevant to my career. I also chose French, Physics and Geography - just in case accountancy wasn't for me!
When I finished my Leaving Cert, I chose the Accounting and Finance Degree in DCU and the Masters in Accounting after that. These courses were relevant for my chosen career, due to the fact that while studying to become a CTA by doing the Irish Tax Institute exams, I also qualified as a Chartered Accountant. In hindsight, I would not have chosen differently.