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 Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Occupation Details

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Social Media Specialist

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

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At a Glance... header image

Specialises in the use of online media marketing to attract and interact with audiences and potential customers.

The Work header image

The primary function of a Social Media Specialist is to drive traffic to websites and devices to enhance the visibility of a brand, a product, a service or even a person. They do this by:

  • Devising Social Media campaigns
  • Promoting content using strategies such as advertising, link-building, guest posting, and sharing
  • Use of social analytics to identify existing audience deomgraphics and grow the company's client base
  • Engaging and interacting with clients
  • Use of blended marketing approaches to media outreach
  • Developing relationships with key influencers and target audiences

In-house Social Media Specialist positions are typically sought by larger companies, such as advertising agencies, newspapers and media agencies that have large budgets, volumes of information, lots of resources, and various communities.

A Social Media Specialist may also be self-employed, working remotely and providing specialist services to smaller companies and businesses.

In many small businesses, the social media function is simply part of the job role of a member of staff.

Skills required for the SM Specialist role include:

  • Knowledge of Marketing, Management, Branding, and Content Development
  • Familiarity with web analytics systems, business analytics, and social metrics
  • Familiarity with the different systems of advertising campaigns and paid promotion throughout various social media platforms
  • Knowledge of various ROI analysis systems, conversions, and social media KPIs
  • The different techniques for developing strategies such as Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation
  • Knowledge of techniques and methods to guide research
  • Photoshop, Text Editors, Power Point, and Excel skills
  • HTML, site development and blogging experience

 Excellent written and oral communication skills are also required for this role. 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Prepare reports of findings, illustrating data graphically and translating complex findings into written text.


Seek and provide information to help companies determine their position in the marketplace.


Gather data on competitors and analyze their prices, sales, and method of marketing and distribution.


Collect and analyze data on customer demographics, preferences, needs, and buying habits to identify potential markets and factors affecting product demand.


Devise and evaluate methods and procedures for collecting data, such as surveys, opinion polls, or questionnaires, or arrange to obtain existing data.


Monitor industry statistics and follow trends in trade literature.


Measure and assess customer and employee satisfaction.


Measure the effectiveness of marketing, advertising, and communications programs and strategies.


Forecast and track marketing and sales trends, analyzing collected data.


Attend staff conferences to provide management with information and proposals concerning the promotion, distribution, design, and pricing of company products or services.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Communicating with Persons Outside Organization:  Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


Sales and Marketing:  Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.


Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Systems Analysis:   Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Systems Evaluation:   Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

  • Be passionate about the work
  • Strong Analytical skills
  • Creative
  • Ability to communicate effectively on and off-line with all communities - users, customers, and various departments
  • Ability to sell an idea or strategy
  • Dedicated
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Adaptability: must be on the community’s side one minute and in another minute have to think like the CEO
  • Observant in detecting threats, opportunities, and trends
  • Discretion and good judgment in analysing and reacting to comments, feedback, crisis situations, and selecting or curing content
  • Proactive, efficient and independent
  • Empathic: know the characteristics of the users and have the ability to understand what they need and their point of view in order to engage in conversation one by one
  • Teamworker

Entry Routesheader image

An undergraduate degree (Level 8) in an area such as Marketing, PR, Communications, Journalism or courses in business administration, management, creative and technical writing, economics, political science, public affairs, accounting, finance, public speaking, mathematics, statistics - all would be beneficial.

Larger employers will also seek extensive background experience in a PR, Marketing and/or IT environment and a professional qualification such as an MBA.

Last Updated: May, 2015

Related Occupationsheader image

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Contactsheader image


Organisation: Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII)
  Address: Marketing House, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18
  Tel: (01) 295 2355
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Job Search

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations
Business Organisation & Business Management

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