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.
Gillian Morgan is a manufacturing process specialist. Her job involves working on projects that better facilitate production of commercial drugs.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
Describe a typical day?
When I arrive to work in the morning, I run a report to check what tasks are coming due for our team and also what batches we need to release in order to meet patient demands. These are discussed and prioritized during our morning meetings, along with any issues encountered in manufacturing during the previous 24 hours.Because Johnson & Johnson is a global company, there are often conference calls with colleagues from the US and around the world, to discuss various projects.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
My tasks vary from day to day operations and trouble-shooting, to working on projects to better facilitate production of our commercial drugs but also the pipeline of clinical drugs coming through.Through my work, I volunteer take part in initiatives such as Junior Achievement, Special Olympics and J&Js WiSTEM2D initiative, which is focused on encouraging young women to pursue education and careers in STEM.
What are the main challenges?
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
My somewhat varied education path has taught me the importance of having a willingness to learn new things and being open to change.I completed three job rotations in 2.5 years as part of J&J’s GOLD graduate program, one of which involved moving to Italy, to do a job I’d never done before, in a sector I’d never worked in, learning to speak a language I’d never spoken before.As intimidating as that might sound, it was an amazing experience!
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?