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 Jason Ruane from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:

Jason Ruane

Computer Programmer


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Jason Ruane

Possibly useful qualities/interests:

A predisposition towards technical problems, such as puzzles or machinery. An interest in the nature of how things work, such as the desire to disassemble machinery/gadgetry to unlock its inner workings.

An inventive side; one who uses the parts of other gadgets, to make a new personalised gadget. Interested in high tech gear: gadgetry of all forms.

A capacity to learn processes for oneself e.g. seeing a puzzle solved and then repeating it.

Skills: Technical subjects such as Maths or electronics. Programming is very accessible to anyone with a basic home PC and some internet connection so try it out and see if you like it.

Values: If you value the solving of an intricate, convoluted problem, for it's own sake and find that rewarding, then any engineering job will come easily.

Education: Firm basis in Maths and the sciences. People are hired into engineering positions here from backgrounds such as science and computing primarily.


The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Entertainment & Performing Arts

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At a Glance... header image

Entertainment & Performing Arts

The Entertainment and Performing Arts sector includes the careers and occupations associated with activities that have the specific intention of captivating an audience.

For centuries, audiences have watched, cheered and clapped for all kinds of performances, from athletics to gladiators, musicians to dancers, and storytelling to drama. Invention and innovation has resulted in the development of a whole host of additional ways to captivate audiences, leading to lots of new occupations and career paths: still and moving image projection; recorded sound; cinema; radio; television, the telephone - all have their origins over a hundred years ago, and throughout the 20th century, have undergone a continuous cycle of reinvention and change.

careers in entertainment and performance

Television, theatre, circus, amusement and theme parks, tourist attractions, museums, galleries, restored historical sites and buildings - all have developed for their entertainment value, becoming increasingly elaborate over time in the interest of maximising audiences and increasing spectator numbers.

Consumer demand for entertainment brought huge growth in this area. Today, the entertainment sector is vast and has grown to include several new sub-sectors, all with the common goal of captivating audiences and be paid for doing so!

Opportunities with Irish in this Sector
Drama & Theatre header image

Ireland has a thriving drama and theatre world. It has achieved major honours, producing four winners of the Nobel Prize (GB Shaw, WB Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney), in the 20th Century alone. A recent survey of the Arts in Europe found that over one third of all the plays being performed in London were by Irish playwrights, and new works by modern playwrights such as Marina Carr, Martin McDonagh, Brian Friel or Conor McPherson are as likely to be premiered in New York or London, as they are in Dublin! 

Video: Getting into Theatre … A career in the Performing Arts

What do you need to know about getting a career in the performing arts? Ten people, with careers spanning across the industry, talk about how they got into theatre and how you can too.

There are more professional theatre companies and dramatists in this country today than ever before. Drama and theatre are also becoming important elements in our educational system while broadcasting, film and television also offer new career opportunities to Irish graduates.

As well as actor or playwright, careers in this area include Stage manager, Casting director, Artistic director, Choreographer, Technical designer, Set designer, Costume designer; Make-up artist; Lighting technician; Stage manager; Pyrotechnician; Theatre critic; Theatre manager, or Drama coach.

There are are a wide range of related courses available from acting to theatre performance. Explore the Education and Training menu on this page.

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Music header image

Those who choose to study Music have a wide range of career choices. Employment can be found in many professionally related areas from teaching and producing, composing and performing, to managerial, administrative and legal services:
  • Teaching - at all levels; Vocal coach; Music therapist;
  • Performing - Pop, Opera, Jazz, Classical; Orchestra;

  • Creative - writing and arranging songs; music scores; overtures; commissions; instrument production;
  • Directing - choral director, conductor; church organist/director of music,
  • Producing - radio producer; record producer; theatre/video/film production; broadcasting (DJ); sound engineering; 
  • Multimedia - music publicity; recording;
  • Music industry - concert promotion; retail music; music distribution; legal and copyright;

  • Arts administration - development; management; advertising and promotion; 
  • Music librarian and information services
  • Music journalism 
Explore these and related careers in detail in the Occupations Menu on this page.

There are are a wide range of music related courses available from music production to voice and popular music. Explore the Education and Training menu on this page.
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Dance header image

The international success of Riverdance is a good example of the massive opportunities on a world stage for those who study dance.

Dancers can find opportunities to perform with musical productions, opera, musical theatre, television, movies, music videos, commercials and other various settings where singing and acting may also to required.

As well as Irish dance, styles include folk, ethnic, tap, jazz, ballet and modern among others.

Dancers typically work with a choreographer, who puts together brand new routines and dances or creates new versions of existing dances.

Dance is strenuous and demands a lot from the body, so most dancers end their performing careers by their late thirties. Some continue their careers in dance as choreographers, dance instructors and coaches, or artistic directors. Others may go into administration, such as managing.

Long hours go into rehearsing and dancers performing in family entertainment, such as musical productions, or pantomime, are on the road for much of the time.

Opportunities also exist to perform in nightclubs or on cruise ships.

As well as dancers, singers, and musicians this area of entertainment and the performing arts has created a diverse range of specialist and managerial roles such as management, casting, production, box office, PR and marketing.

There are are a wide range of related courses available from dance studies to dance techniqiue and performance. Explore the Education and Training menu on this page.
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Sound & Stage Production header image

The distinguishing feature of 'performing arts' is that the work almost always takes place in front of an audience - in other words, it is live.  For as long as there is written history there has been evidence of performance - the ancient Greeks wrote and performed their own plays!. Today, the performing artist can opt for a career in drama, music, dance, or any of the sub-sectors that have developed from these primary areas. 

Careers include dance, acting, comedy, composing, writing, music, singing, directing, producing and so on. They can roughly be divided into Onstage careers and Offstage careers:

Onstage Careers - these include all 'performers' - musicians, singers, dancers, actors, stand-up comedians, magicians etc. Onstage careers are the one’s that typically grab the media attention - the international rock stars, the Hollywood actors and the American or Australian sitcom successes.

Becoming a successful performer, whether you choose singing, acting or music, takes a lot of hard graft along with outstanding talent and a certain amount of luck. For every successful band such as ‘Snowpatrol’ or solo artists such as Rhianna, there are a hundred others that may look and sound as good as them, but never make it to the big-time. 

Offstage Careers - Behind every film, song or theatre production is a multitude of support personnel and services. This team of professionals is driven by the same love of the industry. Offstage careers are far more numerous: directors, producers, sound technicians, lighting technicians, video technicians, set designers, prop managers, builders and agents are all critical to this sector.

The work patterns of these personnel mirrors the fortunes of the singers, actors and musicians they support - a mad frenzy of work prior to and during a show or production, followed by periods of inactivity and possibly no work, and potentially, no pay.

[Audiovisual activities overlap with Media and Publishing. Careers in Film, TV, Animation, New Media etc are presented in our Media & Publishing Sector.]

The entertainment sector has consistently been a growth industry in Ireland and the number of courses supporting and training those committed to this work is expanding. Artists require a lot more than talent to 'make it' in what has become an increasingly competitive arena. Professional training has never been more important - equipping yourself with knowledge of the industry, the business, and accessing further support routes into the real world of showbiz.

It is only fair to issue a health warning at the outset! For every famous and successful singer, dancer, actor or musician we see, there are many more behind the scenes struggling to find work and make a decent living, just waiting for that 'big break' that may never come.

If you have a talent that you want to pursue, the satisfaction of displaying it may far outweigh the security of a 'regular job'. Ireland has always had an excellent success rate in producing world-class performers, and this success encourages and promotes high expectations for many in the profession.

Taking part-time work to make ends meet is commonplace among performers, but even the most modestly successful artist or actor will say that the sheer thrill and adrenalin rush from performing beats any nine to five job.

There are are a wide range of related courses available from sound engineering to production design. Explore the Education and Training menu on this page.

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2 - 5 Warrington Place, Dublin 2
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The Old Milking Parlour, Ballymurrin Lr., Kilbride, Co. Wicklow
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The Administrator, The College of Dance, Knox Hall, Monkstown, Co. Dublin
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The Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2
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SOLAS Head Office, 27-33 Upper Baggot St., Dublin 4
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Temple Bar Music Centre, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
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TG4, Baile na hAbhann, Co. Galway
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TV3, Westgate Business Park, Ballymount, Dublin 24
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