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 Aoife Mc Dermott from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:


Aoife Mc Dermott


Department of Education and Skills

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  Aoife Mc Dermott
The most important thing is that you like your subject area! It?s also important to do as well as you can throughout your degree. For example, I applied for PhD scholarship during my final year, so they were looking at my first, second and third year results. Finally, I find that liking people helps a lot.

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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CAO Points Calculator

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Leaving Cert. Grades to CAO Points

Marks Grade Points for
Higher Level
Points for Ordinary Level
90 - 100 H1 / O1 100 56
80 < 90 H2 / O2 88 46
70 < 80 H3 / O3 77 37
60 < 70 H4 / O4 66 28
50 < 60 H5 / O5 56 20
40 < 50 H6 / O6 46 12
30 < 40 H7 / O7 37 0
0 < 40 H8 / O8 0 0

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Distinction 66  

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Merit 46  

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Pass 28  
Note: Best scores from 6 subjects used to calculate points.

Note: 25 Points are awarded to any passing grade in Higher Mathematics, i.e. H6 and above.

QQI / FETAC Grades to CAO Points

The calculation of CAO points from QQI courses is more complex, as the modules may have different credit scores. We recommend using our QQI / FETAC Points Calculator to calculate your CAO points from QQI / FETAC courses.

Calculators for 2016

The following are links to CAO points calculators that are valid for 2016 Awards only.

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Points Calculator
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