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 Sinead Kenny from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Sinead Kenny

Design Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Sinead Kenny
If it is possible to get some work experience during the summer holidays or weekends, it would be great. Find out if there are any positions (voluntary or otherwise) available in your local IT or University. Get involved in a hobby such as model making, this would be very helpful as it would help with dexterity & impart an understanding of the ways in which different materials interact when assembled together.

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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Adult Learner

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This video provides an excellent overview of what Youthreach is all about....

Youthreach is a Department of Education and Skills official education, training and work experience programme. It offers a flexible programme of education, vocational training and work experience for 15 to 20 year olds who have left school early, without any formal qualifications. Youthreach supports young people  to identify options within adult life, and provides them with opportunities to acquire certification. 

Youthreach generally operates a  2 year programme on a full time year round basis, and delivers 35 hours Education and training per week for 45 weeks. Youthreach centres are managed by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) and SOLAS Community Training Centres.

A Training Allowance is paid to Youthreach trainees, depending on age.

The Youthreach programme is delivered through Centres for Education, Community Training Centres and Justice Workshops.

To view some testimonials from some 2016 Wicklow YouthReach participants see: click here 

For further information visit

Search Youthreach Courses on Qualifax Search for Youthreach Courses

find your nearest YouthReach office here To find your nearest YouthReach centre click here
  Hint: STEPS
It is definitely my intention to return to education in the very near future. I am out of college two years and even now I can see the advantage to continuous education.

The one thing that is always recommended by engineers that I have encountered is to take any and all education that you can. Apart from the fact that it makes you infinitely more qualified for different jobs, it keeps you up to date with new technologies and methodologies.

Sometimes a company will contribute towards costs and give you time to attend college if it is related to upskilling for a role which the company values. To date, I have witnessed a number of people transition from one type of career to a completely different career within the same company.

Education is the tool that allows you to change your work life to whatever you wish depending on how you go about it.

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