Physical and Mathematical Sciences is a broad sector, with many potential career paths for those with qualifications and suitable skillsets, including medical work, engineering, teaching, finance and technology.
The engineering sector itself is made up of a wide range of companies providing a diverse range of products and services.
The most usual route is through taking a degree at a third level college, often following this with a post graduate qualification.
Students can study mechanical engineering at Level 6, 7 or 8 in colleges across Ireland or they can study a general engineering degree then specialise in mechanical engineering in the final year.
Physicists want to understand how the world works, in every detail and at the deepest level. This includes everything from elementary particles, to nuclei, atoms, living cells, solids, liquids, gases, living organisms, the brain, supercomputers, the atmosphere, galaxies and the universe itself.
There is a whole host of career opportunities for mechanical engineering graduates.
A wide range of opportunities exist in both electrical and electronic engineering.
Smart Futures is a government-industry programme providing science, technology, engineering andmaths (STEM) careers information to second-level students, parents, teachers and careers guidance counsellors in Ireland.
Cian O’Mahony is a science teacher based in Cork. Here he talks about how he chose his career and what his job is like. Science Ambassadors include newly qualified and well established Irish scientists. They work in science and technology, love their work and want to help others learn about what it’s really like working in their particular areas of research and innovation.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
I chose Biology and Chemistry for my Leaving Cert, as I always had an interest in science and nature. This interest came from home and from my father in particular, who had and still has similar interests. After school I continued with the science, and after two years in research I decided that teaching of science appealed to me. I still have an interest in developments in science and particularly in watching nature. This helps me to maintain an interest in my job too.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
What are the main challenges?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
Both myself and my partner Lisa are teachers. This affords us a very interesting lifestyle, travelling for many summers to parts of the world that combine my interest in nature with her interest in language and culture. While we will never be millionaires, the salary combined with the time off are reward enough for the job we do. We have also been able to take one year of a career break so far. This was a fabulous opportunity to further our broad education.