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 Paul Meany from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:


Paul Meany

School Principal

Department of Education and Skills

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  Paul Meany

Need to have a belief about the value of the sort of education provided by the school to which you are applying.

Need to be able to cope with ambivalence - being leader in the school is not a black and white thing.

Need to believe in people, whether it is staff or students.


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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Points Calculator for QQI awards

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QQI Level 5 and Level 6 Points Calculator - 2016 Entry

Enter the credit scores and results of your modules to automatically calculate your CAO points score.


Note: Max points = 400

Credits Vs Points:

In most Further and Higher Education courses, every module you take has a credit value. Short modules have fewer credits than longer modules. Completing a module means you have achieved all the credits for that module. Typically, QQI modules are 15 credits each so completing 8 modules = 120 credits. 120 Credits are needed to achieve a QQI Major Award.

However, sometimes a module will have as much as 30 credits, so completing one large module (30 Credits) plus 6 more normal modules (6 15 = 90) would achieve the 120 credits needed. Some courses also offer additional modules, in which case you use the scores from your best ones to calculate your points, but this makes figuring out your points trickier.

The Calculator above will work for all combinations once you put in the information required.



Progression Routes

Finding CAO Courses using QQI Progression Routes.

Your QQI Award can be used as an alternative to the Leaving Cert to access Higher Education (CAO) courses. Hundreds of courses are available to holders of any QQI award, while others will require specific awards.

CAO Search with QQI Award

Note: Places for QQI applicants on CAO courses are limited, and your CAO points calculated from your highest QQI qualification will be used as a criteria for acceptance.

Scoring Scheme

This scoring system for QQI awards for entry through CAO to higher education applies from 2013. This scoring system will apply to all relevant QQI level 5 and 6 awards listed on the CAO and higher education institution websites.

Scoring Scheme