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 Dowling from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Paul Dowling



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  Paul Dowling
Ideally, try and get a job in the industry for a summer, or get a bit of experience before you go into it. You have to be happy with working outside, and doing physical work. If you are not prepared to work hard or are looking for a soft job, don't go into Landscaping. Design is very sexy at the moment, everyone wants to be a designer, a Landscape Designer. It's different on the ground, you have to be out there on sites in all weather and you have to make sure projects are managed well and you're able to muck in with everyone else. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture or Landscaping as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business. Geography would be a relevant subject as well. Also, the simple things like having a full, clean driving licence, which can make you a lot more employable if you are trying for a job with a Landscape Conractor. This indicates that you are more mobile and can also drive a company van if needed. Be sure you're happy with the outdoor life. Having taken a Horticulture course will give you an advantage. However, it's possible to take a job first and study later, e.g. in IT Blanchardstown it is possible to study at night. I think you cannot beat doing the Diploma Course in the National Botanic Gardens because it is a good practical course which also covers all the theory and is invaluable for gaining plant knowledge.

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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Deferral of Your College Offer 2015

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Deferral of Your College Offer 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015 

Deferral of Your College Offer 2015

If a CAO applicant is offered the course they really want and worked towards, they may, for anyone of a number of reasons, wish to defer their place for a year - sports or other commitments, to travel or take a gap year, family commitments, bereavement, health reasons.

Whatever the reason, the best advice is to contact the admissions office of the college in question and explain clearly the reasons for deferring. The college will then inform the CAO directly of the student decision to defer.

In rare cases, deferral may not be possible. 


I have been offered my first choice in NUIM, but I was wondering:

Is it possible to defer for a year?

If so how would I do it?

Or would I have to just reject the offer and reapply next year?

Generally, yes, but you need to ring NUIM admissions immediately to find out if they will allow you to defer for your specific course.  

There is a procedure laid out in the CAO handbook re Deferred Entry so you need to follow this. The important thing is to act quickly and not to delay.

2015 Deferral Policies for other colleges:

DCU - click here

NUI Galway - click here

UCD - click here

TCD - click here

UCC - click here

UL - click here

DITclick here

AIT - click here

GMIT - click here

CIT - click here

DKIT - click here

IT Sligo - click here

LYIT - click here


If the HEI has confirmed that it operates deferred entry to the course in question, on receipt of an Offer Notice:

  1. Do NOT accept the offer in the manner shown on the Offer Notice.
  2. Write or e-mail IMMEDIATELY to the Admissions Office of the appropriate HEI. Give your name as it appears on your CAO application, quote your 2015 CAO Application Number and the Course Code of the offer you wish to defer, and set out the reason(s) for the request. Mark "DEFERRED ENTRY" clearly on the envelope or in the Subject Line of your e-mail.
  3. The letter or e-mail must arrive in the Admissions Office at least two days before the "Reply Date" shown on the Offer Notice.
  4. The HEI will communicate their decision to you. If the deferral is not granted, you may then accept the offer for the current year.

You must send all communications about deferral to the appropriate Admissions Office and NOT to the CAO.

Explore 'What's Next' where further questions are answered.

The CareersPortal Team