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 Tom Tooher from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:


Tom Tooher

Lieutenant - Army

Defence Forces

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  Tom Tooher

Look up the Defence Forces website at and talk to serving personnel. If its possible try to visit a barracks.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Record Number of CAO Applicants

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Record Number of CAO Applicants

Monday, February 02, 2015 

Record Number of CAO Applicants

The Central Applications Office (CAO) normal application deadline closed at 5:15pm on Sunday, 1 February. The application figure to this deadline was 74,499.

This figure does not represent the total number of CAO applicants as a late application facility opens in March and runs until May 1 at 5:15pm.

Restricted courses and the HEAR/DARE schemes cannot be applied for by late applicants.

Change of mind facility

A Change of Course Choices facility will become available on the CAO website on Wednesday, 5 February for all registered applicants. This facility is provided for restricted-category applicants such as mature applicants to add course choices and for applicants who want to include a restricted course on their CAO application.

Note: A fee of €10 applies.

Most applicants will use the free Change of Mind facility which opens in May and closes on 1 July at 5:15pm, but there are some restrictions at that stage. Speaking about the application process, General Manager of CAO, Joseph O’Grady, commented: “Applicants who have already applied to CAO will have opportunities to change their course choices in May or June for no extra charge. If an applicant has forgotten to apply for a restricted course, or if they are a restricted-category applicant, they should avail of our ‘Change of Course Choices’ facility which opens on Thursday and is available until 1 March”.

Mature applicants

“Restricted category applicants, such as mature applicants or applicants for the HEAR or DARE schemes, should have applied to CAO by today’s (1 February) deadline. Some mature applicants may be required to apply directly to a Higher Education Institution (HEI) and not through CAO; potential applicants should check with the Admissions Office of the HEI.

“Leaving Certificate students and other non-restricted category applicants can still apply to CAO up to 1 May at 5:15pm using the Late Application facility which becomes available in March for a fee of €50 for online applicants and €80 for paper applicants,” he said.

“Students with concerns about their options or their application should consult their Guidance Counsellor, the Admissions Officers in individual institutions, and read the CAO Handbook.

If they cannot find the answer to their application query they can e-mail CAO using the ‘Contact’ page on the website,” he added. The CAO website contains a number of resources for CAO applicants including an ‘Applicant News’ section, CAO Video Guides, and resources for parents and guardians.

Visit for more information.

Source: CAO Press Release 

The CareersPortal Team