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 Emilia Gilroy from An Garda Sí­ochána to give some advice for people considering this job:

Emilia Gilroy


An Garda Sí­ochána

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Emilia Gilroy
It is a very rewarding but also extremely challenging job. It requires a lot of resilience, mental strength, patience and compassion. It means seeing people at their worst in the most difficult circumstances.

It involves making difficult decisions, which will have life changing consequences for the offenders. If you think you have the ability to handle all that, it is a truly great job with amazing opportunities.

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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Classic Arts, Languages & Culture

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Classic Arts, Languages & Culture

Arts and cultural activities are popular leisure time interests for a huge proportion of the population. Every year, hundreds of people attend performances of classical music, jazz, opera, ballet and other dance performances, as well as visit an art gallery, museum or exhibitions. It's a significant employer, with some 170,000 people engaged in the area. Careers and occupations in the sector span research, archaeology, heritage and antiquities, as well as conservation, linguistics, translation and interpretation.

careers in classic arts and culture

Employers in the area include museums, art galleries, heritage sites and historic places, as well as the professional translation and interpretation services.

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The classic arts include opera, ballet, dance, theatre, classical music, painting, sculpture and literature, as opposed to the more modern "pop" art forms of music (i.e. rock and roll, hip-hop), media (i.e. film, radio, television), or amateur arts and crafts. 
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Prior to the 20th Century, artists followed a tradition of craft and design practice, which had been steadily evolving for over 2000 years - its primary purpose: to communicate stories in pictures or 3d forms.

The art world has changed dramatically over the past hundred years with the coming of Modern Art and a deliberate breaking away from tradition and classical art techniques, which has freed artists to explore new styles and forms of self-expression.

There are many people are employed in protecting and promoting the classic arts heritage in Ireland, and worldwide. Careers in this area include: Museum Curator; Archivist; Gallery Assistant; Painting Conservator; Antiquarian; Museum/Gallery Director; Art Historian.

Employers in arts and culture are typically state funded organisations of varying sizes. The Office of Public works (OPW) is a major employer in this area in Ireland. Occupations include Arts Officers, Curators, Conservators, Education officers, Information Officers and Tour Guides among others. 

Relevant college courses include art, music, drama, literature, classics, history, philosophy, and languages. Check out the Education and Training link on this page.

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When it comes down to it, only 6.5% of the world’s population are native English speakers and only 25% can speak the language. While English is definitely the language of business, being fluent, or having intermediate proficiency in another language will be of benefit for a wide range of career areas.

As the world gets smaller and more and more companies become multinationals, the need for people with language skills increases. Today's employers have a positive perception of graduates holding awards in modern languages. People who undertake such studies are likely to have spent periods of time abroad, gaining an insight into another culture, adapting to new surroundings and people, and working or studying with them. Employers in all sectors will value these skills and experiences.

The current economic environment in Ireland is highly suited to people who choose to study languages at 3rd level. Translation, interpretation, localisation, and bilingual secretarial, administration and sales roles are plentiful across the industry sectors.

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Languages currently in demand by employers include: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, the Nordic languages and a growing need for Mandarin.

Firstly, the expansion of the EU has brought with it a large increase in the amount of information passing between Ireland and different member states. The EU has laws that offer protection and equality for all member state languages. This has further helped develop opportunities in the Irish translation sector.

Permanent language jobs in the EU ...

Visit Irish Voices - EU Careers and explore the wide range of career opportunities open to jobseekers with language skills from Translator to Conference Interpreter and Lawyer Linguist to Proofreader/Language Editor.

Secondly, Ireland now has an international economy with a huge number of multinational companies located here. Ireland is seen as a gateway to the rest of Europe and has become an attractive location for major international companies to locate their EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) base. A significant number have now located their core operations in Ireland often with a focus on providing support to business and private customers across the EMEA region. These companies are seeking language skilled graduates to fill multilingual customer support or technical support roles, multilingual accounting and multilingual sales roles. A large number of call centres have set up in Ireland as a direct result of having the required language skills available locally.

The United Nations also recruits language specialists to positions across the Organisation.

Graduates who have combined a language with business, technology or science can easily find employment opportunities in a number of industry sectors. There is strong demand for entrants with fluency in a European language, in particular for German, Spanish, French and Italian, as well as Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese and Dutch.

There are also increasing opportunities for graduates fluent in a language relevant to an emerging market - the combination of a degree with and cultural awareness and fluency in Chinese, Russian or Arabic is much sought after by employers, as both indigenous Irish companies and multinationals, work to capitalise on overseas business opportunities in growing economies.

Careers in business, marketing and IT sectors, amongst others, are widely available for language graduates. Employers frequently cite a shortage of multilingual candidates in Ireland as a possible barrier to growth. For example, the Irish food export industry , which is responsible for delivering the best of Irish produce across the globe, aims to establish and grow a presence within markets such as China, Brazil, India and Russia. The need for multilingual graduates with business acumen in this sector is clear, with opportunities in many business areas including sales, marketing and logistics.

Careers in translation and interpretation continue to be available and remain a popular career path for many. 

Ireland’s software localisation and IT sector is experiencing rapid growth, with a vast number of exciting career opportunities available for bilingual graduates. A software localisation specialist translates software from English to native languages and adapts software to reflect cultural sensitivities. Key skills for those considering a career in localisation are linguistic expertise, cultural awareness, communication skills and an avid interest in technology and business.
The EGFSN report that the languages in particular demand are German, French, Spanish and Italian. Mandarin and Portuguese are also increasingly in demand.

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) continues to identify linguistic expertise as one of the key skills that is essential for our continued economic development. The languages in particular demand are German, French, Spanish and Italian. Mandarin and Portuguese are also increasingly in demand.

Specialist language occupations
These include working as a translator, interpreter, language teacher or linguist. For the former three you will need an in-depth knowledge of one or more foreign languages. Linguists don't necessarily need to speak foreign languages but the ability to do so may be helpful in gaining employment in certain sectors.

Translators translate written material from one language to another. The kind of material involved may include product manuals, business reports, business correspondence, legal documents, websites, subtitles for films, song lyrics, and literature.

To be a translator you need the ability to write and express yourself very well in the target language, usually your native tongue, and a good knowledge of the source language(s), usually foreign languages.

Interpreters work with the spoken word at conferences, meetings, legal trials, hospitals and anywhere else that interpretation is needed. Many interpreters are self-employed and find clients themselves, and/or work for agencies, who find the clients and handle payments. There are also positions for interpreters in some large organisations, such as the United Nations, EU organisations and Government departments.

Language teaching and training
There are many paths into language teaching: some people do a degree in a subject that interests them, then acquire a postgraduate qualification in teaching. A significant number of language graduates still pursue the traditional route of second-level teaching. Others continue to study a language after graduating with a degree and go on to teach in a third level college or training body. 

Teaching English as a Foreign Language refers to teaching English to students for whom it is not their mother tongue. Ireland is a leading world location for TEFL teaching. There are many language schools or summer camps operating in Ireland. Many young people, usually those with a Degree and a TEFL qualification take up this type of teaching throughout the world. They work within the state school system of a foreign country or in private language school.

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Linguists study the nature and characteristics of human language. Linguists work for a range of organisations, including universities and colleges, high-tech companies, research institutions, consulting firms. There are a number of courses in Irish Universities that train people in this very specialist field.

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Cultural expression is inherited from past generations. It includes objects significant to the archaeology, architecture, science, technology and belief systems.

Cultural heritage may include buildings and historic places, monuments, artifacts, etc., that are considered worthy of preservation for the future. Natural heritage is also an important part of a culture, encompassing the countryside and natural environment, including flora and fauna. These kind of heritage sites often serve as an important component in a country's tourist industry, attracting many visitors from abroad as well as locally.

The heritage that survives from the past is often unique and irreplaceable, which places the responsibility of preservation on the current generation. Smaller objects such as artworks and other cultural masterpieces are collected in museums and art galleries. Grass roots organisations and political groups have been successful at gaining the necessary support to preserve the heritage of many nations for the future.

Preservation of our Heritage is the responsibility of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Most employment in this sector would be through Local Authorities, where those with specialist qualifications in subjects such as (for example) history, archaeology, antiquities, sociology, heritage, culture and languages could pursue their interests.

Arts and cutural activities are popular leisure time interests for a huge proportion of the population. Every year, hundreds of people attend performances of classical music, jazz, opera, ballet and other dance performances, as well as visit an art gallery, museum or exhibition. The area is a significant employer, with some 170,000 people engaged in the arts, and cultural and creative areas.


Archaeology is a sub-field of Anthropology. It tries to understand the cultural, social, and political past. Archaeologists are interested in all aspects of the lives of people in the past, from their diets to their belief systems, the clothes and jewellery they wore, the tools and cooking pots they used, the houses they lived in and the ways they commemorated their dead. Archaeologists also consider long term trends - the evolution of humanity and the history of the environment, and broader conceptual questions, such as notions of identity, power, and change in human societies, or technology, trade, artistic development, gender relationships, and ideology.


Although Archaeologists study the past, archaeology is also about the present - the cultural and political significance of the past as it is understood by people today. How ideas about who we are and where we belong are formed and how they are rooted in the past, which means archaeology is also about the future. It is a subject that makes us think about where we are now and where we want to go.

Archaeology courses offer the opportunity to study the Greek and Roman worlds, working with historical and literary documents, and to look at the story of our relationship with the natural world, arguments about the origins of people, and to debate how and why societies change.


Anthropology is the study of man. It includes all aspects of human life, not just in the present but from the ancient past. Whereas Archaeology studies of the artifacts dug out from below the surface of the earth related to people from the past, anthropology exlores their culture, lifestyle, and history. Archaeology is a part of anthropology, akin to the sociology of the ancient man.

Theology & Philosophy

Theology is the study of all aspects of human culture. Students of theology investigate the development of Christian self-understanding in its interaction with different cultures and eras.

Courses typically cover the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; the religions of Asia and Africa; movements such as New Atheism, New Religious Movements and the interaction between religion and politics, science, or art. The theologian needs to be a historian, a philosopher, a linguist, an interpreter of ancient and modern texts. 

The study of theology also looks at ethics and principles such as justice, human dignity, and autonomy. It offers the opportunity to examine and apply these to such issues as surveillance technologies, genetic enhancement or ecological sustainability.

Philosophy programmes prepare students for the kind of careful thinking, critical analysis and persuasive writing that is important in many areas of work. Those who study philosophy are engaged in asking, answering, evaluating, and reasoning about some of life’s most basic, meaningful and difficult questions, such as What is it to be a human? Are we responsible for what we do? What sort of political institutions are best?


Religion has always asked fundamental questions, such as What is the true meaning of life? or  What happens to us after death? or How do we explain human suffering and injustice? Politics, science, law, economics, literature and art have always been, and continue to be, shaped by changing religious notions such as good and evil, salvation and punishment, etc.

By studying different religious doctrines, rituals, stories, scriptures, it is possible to come to understand how different communities of believers, past and present, East and West, and their particular religious traditions have shaped, sustained, and transformed them.

Courses in Religious Education prepare students for teaching the subject in second level schools.

Studies in theology, philosophy and religion can be the foundation of many and diverse career areas - from teaching and lecturing to leadership, counselling and therapies, journalism, advocacy, non-profit organisations and the arts.
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Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare St., Dublin, 2.
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