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.


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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Call to Students to Consider Tech Careers Ahead of CAO Close

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Call to Students to Consider Tech Careers Ahead of CAO Close

Friday, June 19, 2015 

Call to Students to Consider Tech Careers Ahead of CAO Close

Dragons’ Den Star Encourages Tech Industry To Inspire Students

In advance of the CAO Change of Mind deadline on 1st July, Smart Futures Champion and star of ‘Dragons’ Den’ Barry O’Sullivan has encouraged Leaving Certificate students to consider careers in science and technology.

As CEO of Altocloud, O’Sullivan is also encouraging leading tech companies in Ireland to get involved with Smart Futures to inspire young people and break down any stereotypical perceptions they may have about careers in science, engineering or technology.

#1 Fitting In

According to research with over 2,000 Irish third-level students, conducted by Amárach Research as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Smart Futures programme, students’ main concern when making their CAO choice is whether they will “fit in”, ranking it higher than other factors like career prospects.

The Smart Futures programme, which is managed by SFI Discover and coordinated in partnership with Engineers Ireland, provides a coordinated platform for science and technology companies to reach out to young people and their parents and clarify what a career in science, technology or engineering actually involves.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has been sending volunteers from the these sectors into schools as part of the Smart Futures programme to talk to students about their career in order to highlight the range of diverse and exciting career opportunities available for graduates.

Tech Industry is Booming!

Looking at the ICT sector alone, the tech industry is booming with an average of 80 new jobs created each week and the top ten multinational technology companies all based in Ireland. There are currently 6,000 vacancies in the IT sector, with job vacancies growing by 89% since the start of 2011 and employers are competing for available talent as a result. The average earnings in the ICT sector have also increased by 5.8% since the start of last year.

Barry O’Sullivan said: “Studying science and technology at third level offers young people the chance to be involved in work that can change the world, whilst also offering rewarding salaries and a skillset that allows you to travel the world. I would urge anyone who is unsure of what they want to study at third level to make sure they have considered all the options. outlines a variety of the fantastic opportunities available in Ireland and has a host of video interviews from people working in these roles, so you can hear first-hand about what studying or working in diverse fields like cybersecurity or nanotechnology is really like.

Parents - your advice matters!

Smart Futures also provides an online resource for students and parents, featuring real life career stories and video interviews with people working in a range of industries. 

Parents are encouraged to visit Smart Futures to help support their children in exploring CAO and career decisions.

Are you a Parent? Have you got a Leaving Cert student who is undecided about college courses? If you want to understand the basics of career guidance and how it can work for your child, help is at hand with our concise Parent & Guardians Guide.

Smart Futures Press Release

The CareersPortal Team