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 Paul Galvan from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:


Paul Galvan

Resource Teacher

Department of Education and Skills

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  Paul Galvan
I would advise them to ensure they enjoy working with young people. If possible try to get some teaching experience; I started out as a substitute teacher before applying for my H Dip in Education.

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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Postgraduate Education - (5)

Postgraduate education (Ed Zone 5) is a growing sector in Ireland, and includes the highest levels of academic achievement available. Courses here available in a number of formats, and span different time committments.

Completing a course of graduate study is a challenging and exciting experience, which confers skills, experience and a sense of achievement valued by employers and students. People study for graduate degrees for a variety of reasons:

  • studying your degree subject in greater depth
  • enhancing your job prospects in your chosen career
  • retraining in a different area
  • taking a postgraduate qualification as the next step in your career, for example in law, or education.

For the above reasons the graduate degree experience enhances a person's personal development and experience. It also provides a range of skills and expertise in a subject area that is transferable across a broad range of careers and life settings.

Employers, commenting in a recent university survey on those who have completed graduate degree courses and worked for them made the following declarations:

  • I tend to think of PhD students as more worldly wise and would expect to be getting additional maturity when we recruit them.
  • I would welcome more applications from PhD students. I think the organisation needs their qualities.
  • The fact that someone has done research can show enthusiasm, dedication and focus. Additional maturity can bring with it a better work ethic and more organisational loyalty.
  • We see PhD students as having a wider range of skills to offer - analytical and numeracy amongst others.
  • Postgraduate students have analytical skills, find new solutions to problems and are open to new ideas, these are very important skills.

Very often people undertake post-graduate courses to specialise in an area or to change their career. These courses are at Levels 9 and 10 on the NFQ framework.

You can search for these through

Also, it is worth investigating individual college/university websites for detailed descriptions of the postgraduate course, application procedures and the closing dates for application.

We also recommend you visit Graduate Careers Fairs, especially those aimed specifically at postgraduate study.

For more information on post-graduate study, click here.

Search Qualifax for Postgraduate coursesTo search for Postgraduate courses, click here
  Hint: Failte Ireland
I always want to learn more. I am still very young, and want to progress in the workplace as the years go on. I would like to continue my studies next year and do a bit of part time study.  With the courses I have done I can now progress to an add-on year on the honours Degree programme and then progress to Masters level.  I'm keeping my options open at the moment.
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