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 Mark Spain from An Garda Síochána to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mark Spain

Garda Trainee

An Garda Síochána

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  Mark Spain
If you are unsure I would recommend coming to an open day in the college and if possible also doing the Garda Reserve. It gives the best insight imaginable into the work of Gardaí.

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Adult Learner

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Adult Learners +

Every year, thousands of Adult Learners, ranging from early school leavers to people with a disability, to jobseekersdecide to go back to education on a part-time or full-time basis.

The reasons people decide to return to learning are wide and varied too:

  • Maybe you want to improve your job prospects?
  • Perhaps you are exploring a career change?
  • You may want to update your skills (information technology has transformed the workplace and we all need to constantly upskill to keep up-to-date)
  • You might simply want to learn for fun?
Whatever the reason, there are lots of opportunities out there for adult learners.

Going back to study as an adult can be daunting, particularly if you had a negative experience of formal education. The good news is that, as an adult learner, you decide what education and training options best suit you. Adult learning options are wide and varied and they are designed to be enjoyable, relevant to your interests, flexible and to fit in with work and family life.

When considering to further your education, consider whether you want your course to lead to a recognised award or not. Many adults simply want to learn about an area that interests them, and are not concerned with qualifications. On the other hand, if your course promises a recognised award, it is important to know who accredits it - otherwise you may not be able to use it for getting a job, or continuing your education further.

Click here to explore awarding bodies with the authority to accredit courses

Follow the links on this page to find courses that suit you, and explore a range of supports that may help you on your way.

  Hint: Civil and Public Service Jobs

Ongoing training is an important and ongoing feature within the performance management and development system of the Civil Service.

The Training Unit in the Department offers a very wide spectrum of courses on everything from MS Word, to time management, to presentation skills, to stress management to policy analysis.

I have already undertaken a number of courses in the Department this year. I have also just started studying for a Higher Diploma in Public Management in the Institute of Public Administration.

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