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.
Subject Group: Practical
These subjects are 'hands- on' and involve working with tools and machinery on physical things like wood, metals and plastic. They may involve designing, planning and building things.
Engineering promotes an educational understanding of the materials and a knowledge of the processes associated with mechanical engineering. This is achieved through the development of skills and initiative in the planning, development and realization of technological projects in a safe manner.
You would really have to have done Junior Certificate metalwork to have a good idea as to what is involved in engineering. There is a good mix of theory and practice involved in these subjects. Many students enjoy the practical aspect but are not too happy when it comes to the theory. You will have to present a project as part of the Leaving Certificate examination, so talk to the teacher involved so that you know exactly the balance between the theory and practicals in this subject.
Engineering is useful for the following careers: mechanic, panel beater, welder, plumber, electronic and mechanical engineering, architecture and designer.
Third Level Entry Requirements This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.
Data Sources: The information on these pages has been compiled from a variety of sources including the NCCA, Newbridge College / Brian Howard, Dept. of Education & Skills, and student interviews. Information in the 'People who took this subject' section reflects the views of those people interviewed on this website and is offered as informal and potentially useful information only.
While CareersPortal.ie attempts to keep this information as up to date and accurate as possible, we do not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of this information or decisions made on the basis of this information. Students should always discuss subject options with parents / guardians / guidance counsellors..
I chose at an early age to be an Engineer, so I studied, Maths, Physics, Tech Drawing and the sciences and I also studied Geography as an extra subject. This one I did just to try to get more points in the Leaving and for no other reason, and it worked. Now I work in Marketing, but those subjects from school are vital. The amount of use we put things like statistics to is amazing, use it every day. My advice: Don't get too hung up on your subject choice. Pick things you like doing, this gives you the best chance of doing well in your exams. If like me you work in engineering and want to try something different, you can always change later in your career.
I always loved biology, chemistry and languages and I was quite good at these subjects. I never really liked maths and physics but I knew that environmental studies and forestry had some technical and engineering elements. That is why I chose these subjects as the main ones during my college years.
For my final exams, which are equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate, I choose Biology and English. At this stage I didn’t even know how important this language would become in my future life and career.
In school apart from the three basics of English, Irish and Maths I also took German, Accounting, Physics and Chemistry. Although Physics and Chemistry were not needed to get into the engineering course it was beneficial to have them as we had to take these subjects in first year.
However, I did not do technical drawing so I had to start this from scratch in first year of college so most people have at least one subject that they have never done before.
I chose mostly science related subjects for the Leaving Cert predominantly because I found them the most interesting rather than really knowing what I wanted to do going into 5th year.
Doing Maths, Physics and Chemistry definitely set me up well for Engineering and helped me decide that it would be an area of interest.
In hindsight, I would have liked to have done Business Studies or Economics instead of Technical drawing. I think I had enough technical subjects and that was the one I liked least. I've been more interested in Economics and Business at later stages of my career and learning more at that time may have given me more pause for thought when going to college and a better balance of subjects.
The subjects which I had control of choosing and which influenced my career path were:
Secondary School: Technical Graphics, Construction Studies, Engineering, Physics. These were an excellent base for my degree course in Mechanical Engineering in University.
University: Mechanical Engineering - choose fluids stream instead of solids stream half way through my degree course. In my current career, choosing the fluids stream has not had any significant bearing on my ability to perform my job.
If I had the choice in Secondary School, I would have chosen Spanish as a language to study. This allows a lot of extra opportunities to travel globally.
If I had the opportunity to change my choices in University, I would have done a years post grad in buisness studies and accounting after my degree in mechanical engineering. I belive this would have given me a competitive advantage in aspiring to a career in management.
I always knew I wanted some form of a technical or design job so I took the following subjects for leaving cert; (Maths, English, Irish - because you have to) Physics, Engineering, Building Construction & Agricultural Science. I believe these subjects have all helped me throughout my college days as they gave a great basis of what is taught in college.
In school I was limited by the amount of subjects offered. I went to an all girl's convent school and they had pretty much the stereotypical girl's school subjects then.
For my optional subjects I did Geography, H&E Social and Scientific and Biology. I had all the regular subjects too. English, Irish, Maths and French. I think it's fairly obvious from the above list that my subjects didn't have much of a influence over my third level education choices.
If subjects like physics, engineering etc., had been on offer, I think I would have taken them instead but they were not available to me. I don't believe choices made in school about subjects always have to dictate what you do in college. In my case it just meant I had to work a little harder in the first year of college to catch up.
My school subjects never stopped me. If you know what you like and what you want do, you will always find a way. To be honest it's the knowing what you like that's harder, there are lots of paths to achieve what you want in education today.
For my Leaving Cert, I took English, Irish, Maths, Physics, Engineering, Construction and Geography. Engineering proved useful as it introduced me to the different mechanisms needed to run basic engines.
This basic information helped me in my Skippers tickets. Geography was also useful for correct geographical terms and maths was essential for the Skippers ticket as it is very mathematically orientated - I would advise people to do Honours Maths, if possible.