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 Brian O'Connor from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian O'Connor

Analytical Chemist

Smart Futures

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  Brian O'Connor
Science is a fascinating subject and you truly have to immerse yourself in it. When you do the rewards are fantastic. It is of course a tough subject but once complete you learn how to solve many problems yourself.
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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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Back to Education Allowance


The Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) is an educational opportunities scheme for jobseekers, lone parents and people with disabilities who are  in receipt of certain social welfare payments and who wish to pursue an approved full-time second or third level course (and a limited number of post-graduate courses) of education in an approved college leading to a recognised qualification:

In order to qualify for the BTEA scheme it is necessary for a person to be:

  • Attending a recognised course of study at second or third level study option
  • Attending a full-time day course of study in a recognised college
  • A specific age in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for a period of time
  • Must be in general commencing the first year of a course of study
  • The course must be leading to a progression of qualifications: click here

From 15th May 2014 there are a number of new enhancements being introduced including:

  • Applicants wishing to pursue the new Professional Master's in Education will be able to avail of the BTE programme
  • Applicants who already hold a Level 5 or 6 qualification under the National Framework of Qualifications will now be allowed to undertake further courses of study at either of these levels to further their career prospects
  • Confirmation that applicants for the Department of Education's Springboard and Momentum initiatives in the forthcoming academic year will be supported under the BTE programme
  • Revised application and selection processes with unemployed clients who are considering undertaking a course of further study
For more information on the BTEA click here
  Hint: Defence Forces
One of the main features of my job is constant improvement and training. I will, throughout my career in the Defense Forces, take part in many training courses and development programmes including; Snipers Course, Mowag Driving Course, Potential NCO's Course and RECCE Course.
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