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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


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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School Subjects (LC)
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CV & Interview Preparation

Course Information

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Mercy College Galway


Code:  DCHSC
Award:  National Framework of Qualifications level

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Further Information...

Course Details - from College Website
Colleges often have information about the course on their own website, along with other useful information relating to the college. (Note: Not always available).
Course Details - from Qualifax
Qualifax is the National Learners Database. (Note: Link not always available).

These links are to web sites outside of CareersPortal and we accept no responsibility for the information on them.

More Course Suggestions...
The following courses are related to the course above and are from colleges in the same region. These might be worth exploring further. You can sort the list by Title or College by clicking on the column headings.
Course Title College
Early Childhood Care & Education Galway Community College 
Early Childhood Care & Education Archbishop McHale College - Tuam Voc School 
Childcare with Special Needs Assisting & School Age Children Gairmscoil Mhuire - Athenry Vocational School 
Early Childhood Care & Education St. Cuan's College 
Early Childhood Care & Education Colaiste an Chregain 
Cúrsa Curam Leanaí Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara 
Childcare - Supervision with Special Needs Gairmscoil Mhuire - Athenry Vocational School 
Early Childhood Care & Education - Advanced Galway Community College 
Early Childhood Care & Education with Special Needs Galway Community College 

Sample Careers...
If you are interested in this course, then some of these occupations may be of interest. These suggestions are related by Career Sector and Career Interests, and may be worth exploring.
Teacher - Art and Design    Computer Trainer/Instructor  
Psychologist - Educational   Teacher - Languages  
Exercise and Health Instructor   Lecturer - Further Education  
IT Trainer   Teacher - English as a Foreign Language  
Teacher - Agricultural Science   Classroom Assistant  
Lecturer - Third Level    Teacher - Physical Education  
Teacher - Post Primary   Teacher - Further Education  
Teacher - Primary School   Teacher - Nursery/Playgroup   
Montessori Teacher   Teacher - Learning Support / Resource  
Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary   Art Therapist  
Staff Trainer   Fitness /Aerobics Instructor  
Community Education Officer   Careers Adviser  
Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education   Equestrian / Riding Instructor  

Related Career Sectors...
This course prepares people for careers typically found in the sectors below. You can explore information relating to these sectors by clicking on the titles below.
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Progression Routes

(Higher Education Links Scheme)

This course leads to a QQI Major Award, and provides progression opportunities to a number of Higher Education courses, including those in the CAO.

To view CAO courses to which any Major Award (including this one) provides a possible Progression route, click below:

CAO with any QQI Major Award

To view additional CAO courses which this specific course may lead to, click on the Award Code below:

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