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 Jason Ruane from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:


Jason Ruane

Computer Programmer


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  Jason Ruane

Possibly useful qualities/interests:

A predisposition towards technical problems, such as puzzles or machinery. An interest in the nature of how things work, such as the desire to disassemble machinery/gadgetry to unlock its inner workings.

An inventive side; one who uses the parts of other gadgets, to make a new personalised gadget. Interested in high tech gear: gadgetry of all forms.

A capacity to learn processes for oneself e.g. seeing a puzzle solved and then repeating it.

Skills: Technical subjects such as Maths or electronics. Programming is very accessible to anyone with a basic home PC and some internet connection so try it out and see if you like it.

Values: If you value the solving of an intricate, convoluted problem, for it's own sake and find that rewarding, then any engineering job will come easily.

Education: Firm basis in Maths and the sciences. People are hired into engineering positions here from backgrounds such as science and computing primarily.


Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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UCD School of Mathematical Science

UCD School of Mathematical Science

UCD School of Mathematical Science Organisation Profile College Profile

Contact details:
Contact Name:
Main Contact.
University College Dublin
Dublin 4

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What are the different (undergraduate entry) courses run by this department?
The direct entry programmes offered by the school are Actuarial and Financial Studies (DN230), Climate and Earth Science (DN200 MPS) and Mathematical Science (DN200 MPS). We also have a large input into Theoretical Physics (DN200 MPS) and Economics and Finance (DN671). However many of our students enter UCD via an undenominated programme such as Science (DN200) or Arts (DN500), find themselves attracted to the courses we offer, and then go on to major in mathematics, statistics or applied and computational mathematics.

What facilities does the department have to support these courses?
The most important “support facility” for students is the staff within the school- whether a student needs help, advice or a challenge, we're there to provide it. But even our professors can't do some computations as quickly as a computer and within the school we have two computer labs equipped with all the software needed for tasks ranging from typesetting equations to analysing the massive amounts of data generated by a mathematical model of the internet or the atmosphere.

What connections does the department have with Industry?
The four year Actuarial degree has a one-semester work placement scheme. All our other contacts are informal.

How many students do you accept each year on these courses?
It depends. We take about forty first year students each year for Actuarial and Financial Studies, about 10-15 for Mathematical Science and about 40 enter Economics and Finance. In addition, each year around 60 students take first year courses in Mathematical studies and Statistics through the undenominated Science or Arts programmes.

What particular attributes are required by students taking these courses?
The different courses we offer will appeal to different people but if there is one attribute that is common to all successful students in the School of Mathematical Sciences then it is an interest in problem solving. The mathematical sciences are not about learning formulae or filling in numbers by rote, but rather about learning the analytical skills needed to tackle new problems in the real world.

Where did last years graduates go?
The value of a degree in the mathematical sciences is not in the knowledge learned, but in the transferable skills acquired (although there are exceptions to this, such as our degree in actuarial science where specific knowledge is crucial to the profession). These skills include a logical and analytic approach in solving all manner of problems. Thus our graduates have a unique versatility that is much sought after by employers. This is reflected in career paths which cover the full spectrum of business, information technology, finance, research and development, engineering and science.

Why should students choose the School of Mathematical Sciences in UCD?
We offer a wide spectrum of courses with flexibility to choose modules tailored to your individual interest. Additional help for our courses is provided by a well-equipped mathematics support centre. We have an enthusiastic and committed teaching staff with a strong international research reputation.

Why should students choose UCD?
Variety, location, good atmosphere, great social, sporting and cultural facilities. Excellent student on-campus accommodation.

  UCD School of Mathematical Science

CAO Course Details 4
DN230 - Actuarial and Financial Studies
DN200 MPG - Science - (Mathematical, Physical and Geological Sciences)
DN200 NPF - Science
DN500 - Arts - Mathematics