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 Aoife Lyons from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:


Aoife Lyons

Occupational Psychologist

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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  Aoife Lyons
Psychology is a very broad area and I would encourage people to reflect on the field that would suit them best. If you study pharmacy, you will graduate as a pharmacist. It is different in psychology. The role of a Clinical Psychologist differs significantly from the role of an Educational Psychologist, a Forensic Psychologist or a Sports Psychologist. A post graduate qualification will be required to practice in any of these fields. Regardless of the area of psychology that interests you, respect for and an interest in people is a key value that is required. Once you have qualifications, networks and professional bodies are a good way to meet prospective employers.

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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ICT Skills Conversion Programmes

In a direct response to specific skills shortages for people with high-level ICT skills, the Department of Education and Skills published a joint Government–Industry ICT Action Plan aimed at building the supply of high-level ICT graduates.

Government ICT Action Plan is available here

A number of higher education providers are offering Level 8 and 9 Conversion Programmes, in collaboration with industry partners. These courses will provide graduates from other skills areas with the opportunity to up-skill or re-skill through full and part-time courses in core computing/programming, software and data analysis.

The programmes on offer are typically for NFQ Level 8 jobseekers with cognate/numerical skills and underlying aptitude for programming. These courses are intensive and include a work placement of 3 to 6 months with an industry partner. (Applicants at Level 7 with relevant experience may also apply)

All courses are supported by the HEA and Department of Education and Skills which means the tuition fees normally associated with such programmes are waived. These programmes are also unique in that all have close industry involvement in their design and operation and include industry relevant projects and work placements which will leave graduates fully 'work ready' on completion.

To search for ICT conversion courses currently on offer click here
  Hint: Smart Futures
One of the best things I like about my job is that every day I learn something new. As engineers we are continuously having our skill set ‘upgraded’, so ongoing training is almost a requirement. When I was employed by a multi-national corporation we had many engineers world wide who were experts in various fields, and we used in-house training sessions to improve our knowledge. Over the years I have also attended numerous international seminars, and industry gatherings. Each project that we work on always involves a research stage where we have to acquire a new piece of knowledge as we continue to develop cutting edge products.
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