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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Realist?
Realist 
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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Other Funding for Adult Learners


There are some other sources of financial support available to adult learners who meet specific criteria as outlined below.

SPIDAS

The Special Initiatives for Disadvantaged Adults Scheme forms part of the community education grant. This is a small, discretionary fund to enable ETBs to support disadvantaged learners who are attending second chance education (FETAC Levels 1-4) and provides funds towards the cost of books, fees, materials, travel and food. It is only used in exceptional circumstances and where all other programmes do not apply, so for example, it is not applicable where a learner is in receipt of Back to Education Allowance

To find out more information contact your local ETB: click here

AREA-BASED SUPPORTS

St. Vincent de Paul

There is some help at local level for clients of St. Vincent de Paul through an assistance fund. Applicants can apply to the Education Officer in the Society, enclosing a letter outlining what they are studying and what factors are inhibiting their studies. Generally this fund is reserved for learners who have not been successful with other agencies.

To find out more: click here

The Credit Union 

Credit Unions in Ireland provide support for members in their catchment areas for studying at all levels of further and higher education:

Education Loans - Credit unions offer education loans to members, either for the support of members themselves or for a son or daughter. Whilst a full-time course in higher education is generally the prerequisite for consideration, some credit unions may offer finance to support participation in other types of education and training. Credit union education loans are often offered at a cheaper interest rate than other types of loans.

Education Grants/Bursaries - Credit Unions provide a number of education grants or bursaries in their catchment areas for students studying at all levels of further and higher education.

Click here to go the national credit union site, here you can find details of your local credit union.

For more details of your local Credit Union: click here

Dublin Port Company Scholarships 

Dublin Port Company has initiated a scheme to provide opportunities for individuals living in the Port area of Dublin to access education. Candidates include school leavers, mature students and individuals wishing to pursue third level foundation courses and repeat leaving certificate students.

For more details: click here

Annie Kelly Education Bursary

This funding is aimed at people living in North Inner City Dublin communities who have been affected by drug misuse and is designed to promote access to third level education.

For more information phone: 01-8366592 or click here

OTHER EDUCATION SUPPORTS FOR ADULTS

SIPTU

Workers who are Members of SIPTU can apply for financial support of up to €1,000 for each year of an educational course for a maximum of 4 years, relating to trade union issues, equality, industrial relations and the wider labour movement. Closing date for applications is 30th September annually.

For more information: click here

IMPACT

Workers who are members of IMPACT can apply for financial support for courses in Industrial relations or Trade Union Studies to assist them in their role as a Union Representative.

For more information: click here

It is also worth exploring Grants & Scholarships for information on financial supports generally available to all 3rd Level Students, including Scholarships awarded on the basis of academic merit or talent such as sport or music.
  Hint: Analog Devices

I do not have any immediate plans to do any sort of formal courses in terms of a part-time Masters or anything. A lot of my job upskilling happens on a daily basis or if not daily, periodically through in-house company training courses, on new equipment/measurement procedures or new styles/upgrades in programming software we use.

Training is a big part of what Analog Devices stands for and as a company, it definitely encourages it's employees to continue to strive to upskill and take part in further training and education.


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