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 Liam McCaul from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Liam McCaul

R&D Engineer

Sustainable Energy Authority

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  Liam McCaul
Do your best to find out the most you can about your specific engineering category, whether it be Electronics, Mechanical, Civil etc. Approach companies to try and get experience whilst you are at college, that way you have a running start on how to use the most up to date packages and instruments that companies have, and that then gets you the work experience when you finish college.
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Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Subject Choices from Todays Workers
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What do todays workers say about the subjects they chose when they did their Leaving Cert (or equivalent exam)?

Select workers from the list of Career Interviews to read what each person answered to the question "What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?"

Elaine Dillon, STEPS


The subjects I took in school were: English, Irish, Maths, Physics, Music, Social and Scientific, History and  French. Having not realised until late in 5th year that I wanted to study engineering in college, I then took physics as an 8th subject at the minimum required pass level. As I had an interest in engineering and the right mindset, the pass physics course was relatively straight forward. As my wise physics teacher advised me, if I didn't enjoy the physics course I most likely would not enjoy engineering.

In hindsight, I should have chosen a science subject as part of my core subjects - all students should. But sometimes school timetables can simply not facilitate everybody's preferences and choices must be made - the important thing is to choose the subjects that are right for you. It is also important to note that it is not essential to have either science subjects or honours maths to achieve a degree in engineering. There are many routes of entry to suit all levels and skills. However, the important thing is to have an interest and enjoyment of these subjects in order to become a good engineer.