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 Tomas Flanagan from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:


Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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  Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.


Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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3rd Level Grads have Highest Employment rates

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3rd Level Grads have Highest Employment rates

Thursday, July 23, 2015 

3rd Level Grads have Highest Employment rates

‘Monitoring Ireland’s Skills Supply 2015′ produced by SOLAS on behalf of the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) provides an overview of the skills profile of the population.

The main findings of the report show that there are over one million third level qualification holders in the population, one-third of whom who have studied in the areas of: Social science, Business and Law including Commerce, Accountancy, Marketing, Business management. 

A further 320,000 persons have post-secondary qualifications, with engineering/construction, such as craft awards, accounting for a third of these. 70% of post-secondary qualification holders are in employment compared to 81% for third level.

Commenting on the report, Una Halligan, Chairperson of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, said “The impact of the recession on the construction industry can be seen in the fall in the number of FET level 6 awards in construction related areas in recent years; however, it is hoped that as the economy recovers and the number of new apprentice registrations continues to grow, the number of awards in this area will increase”.

Key Findings:

Science: High-skilled professionals such as Scientists, Actuaries, Statisticians and Teachers are in demand in the science field.

Engineering and construction: The report reveals that employment rates are almost as high for those with post-secondary level qualifications such as apprenticeships, as for those with graduate level qualifications.

Computing: output from computing courses at third level has been increasing in recent years and third level qualification holders, even young graduates, have high employment rates. Many work in high skilled occupations (e.g. IT programmers)

Social Sciences, Business, Law (SSBL): Career paths in these areas are determined by the level studied. Those with post-secondary qualifications are mostly employed in administrative roles (e.g. public sector clerical roles, PAs), whereas those who have studied to third level are mostly employed in managerial, professional and associate professional roles (e.g. financial managers, accountants, investment analysts). Many of the business related occupations are identified as experiencing shortages and growth prospects are particularly positive for the financial and professional services sectors.

Health/welfare: There are high employment rates for those with third level qualifications in these sectors. Employment opportunities in the health sector are mostly for Doctors and Nurses and demand for these is currently high. Post-secondary qualification holders have less favourable outcomes in the sector.

Education: A higher than average proportion of graduates in education are employed overseas. At home, employment opportunities for educational professionals is dependent on government policy and funding and the size of the population of school going age - “these factors will impact on the demand for teachers in the coming years".

Arts/humanities: Graduates in these fields are most likely to continue their studies, specialising in a particular area and may be more flexible in meeting labour market needs “but they may also be susceptible to having to accept lower skilled employment as many arts/humanities courses do not have a vocational element.”

Services: Post-secondary and third level  qualification holders in this field tend to be employed as chefs, hairdressers and Gardaí. These have a lower than average share in employment. Tourism and hospitality is a sector highlighted by the report as presenting significant opportunities for graduates. While graduates in this area do find employment opportunities, it is a sector particularly affected by the economic climate.

Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply is a companion publication to the National Skills Bulletin 2015 which was released earlier in the month. 

The CareersPortal Team