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 Maria O'Neill from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Maria O'Neill

Civil Engineer

STEPS

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  Maria O'Neill

If you like working with others, and like problem solving then its definitely worth considering. Do you ever look at a bridge/skyscraper etc. and wonder how they did that? Or better still, are you looking at the way the road at home is laid out and thinking if they had of done something differently it would have been better.

Engineering is not a career people think about and say its helping people, but in many ways it is rewarding and just as much about helping people. Engineers design things used everyday that help people get to work, provide clean water, provide sewerage systems, care for the environment....

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Social?
Social 
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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Adult Learner

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Further Education - (2 & 3)


Courses in Ed Zone 2 include the Leaving Certificate and many one-year PLC/FET courses.

Some PLC colleges also offer two-year programes (Advanced Certificates) which fall into the Ed Zone 3 category.

Leaving Certificate

Many adult learners decide to do the leaving certificate, particularly if they did not get an opportunity when they were younger and use it as pathway to returning to education.

If you want to do the Leaving Certificate, you should contact your local ETB (Education and Training Board) and ask for information. 

Find your Local ETB

Repeat Leaving Certificate

Education and Training Boards offer repeat Leaving Certificate courses in a number of colleges throughout the country. Alternatively a number of private colleges offer repeat Leaving Certificate courses. The good news is that repeat classes tend to be small, which allows for individual attention and there is a big focus on study skills.

Enrolment and advice on subject choices normally takes place from the beginning of August to mid September each year, depending on the college.

The cost of doing a repeat Leaving Certificate varies. ETB colleges (formerly VECs) are the less expensive option, however students are advised to check with their local ETB to see what exact costs are involved. If you choose to repeat it with a private college the cost is considerably higher.

You should contact your local Adult Education Guidance Initiative based in the ETB if you are thinking of repeating your Leaving Certificate

To find contacts for your local Adult Guidance Initiative or ETB visit OneStepUp.ie

For a list of Repeat Leaving Certificate Courses: click here

PLC/FET Courses

PLC courses are run around the country and provide an excellent opportunity to study an area of interest, for either the fun of learning, or to gain an award that can be later used to access third level education. Most PLC courses are QQI accredited, though some are not. Those that are not may be accredited by a internationally recognised UK body (e.g. City & Guilds).

Notes:

  • Most PLC courses lead to a QQI Level 5 Certificate and last one year.
  • Some PLC courses lead to a QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate or equivalent, and last 2 years.
  • Competition for places is competitive
  • Entry requirements are usually a pass Leaving Cert and may be subject to an interview.
  • Some courses are two-year and lead to Advanced Certificates.
  • Many courses allow progression into a second year in the same college.
  • Most PLC courses can be used to enter Third Level courses using what is known as Progression Routes
Go to PLC Search Wizard hereSearch for PLC Courses here

FetchCourses.ie is a course search for Further Education & Training in Ireland.

  Hint: Sustainable Energy Authority
I would like to develop more into software programming and networking to further enhance my skills.
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