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 Deirdre Kelleghan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Deirdre Kelleghan

Amateur Astronomer

Smart Futures

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  Deirdre Kelleghan
Being a self-employed artist is probably the most difficult job really. You need to be highly motivated in the tasks you set for yourself. You need to be able to work on your inspirations and be totally focused on your targets. If your painting does not work first time you need to be able to learn from your experience and use what worked in another piece. Your ability to have confidence in your journey exploring your choice of subjects in paint is important. As regards doing workshops, bringing fun into the entire effort is the most important element to achieve. Your audiences will learn in a more sustainable way and produce drawings to be proud of.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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Record numbers applying for CAO courses

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Record numbers applying for CAO courses

Tuesday, February 02, 2016 

Record numbers applying for CAO courses

The CAO recorded 76,227 CAO applicants yesterday, 1st February, at the close of the CAO normal application deadline.

CAO applications are up from 74,499 at this time last year and from 71,151 on the same day in 2013. The increase in applications is linked to the ongoing rise in pupil numbers at second-level, higher numbers of mature applicants and demand for qualifications related to modern careers in business, technology and science. 

The 2015 figure is likely to rise further as potential third-level students take advantage of the CAO's late application facility which opens on 5th March and runs until 1st May at 5:15 pm. 

Last year, the final application tally was more than 79,214. It is anticipated that the final figure this year will rise well above 80,000.

Because CAO points are determined by the laws of supply (number of course places available) and demand (number of applicants wanting a place), the rise in applications is likely to see points increase in some areas.

It will be several weeks before the CAO issue its application breakdown data showing where demand has increased ot decreased this year.

First of new apprenticeship-style opportunities in the financial services sector announced

Alongside the CAO deadline, it's worth noting the new career pathways that are emerging. Last week saw the launch of the International Financial Services Apprenticeship Initiative which offers an 'earn and learn' option for career development in the financial services sector.

Apprenticeships have traditionally been confined to such areas as the construction sector, motor industry, aircraft maintenance and print media. Following a major review which took place in 2015, they are now being extended to new areas, including financial services and information technology.

Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with time in college and there has been demand from employers to broaden the offering to allow companies to meet all their skills needs.

The Financial Services Apprenticeship Initiative offers qualifications from Level 5 - the equivalent of a post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) course - up to Level 9, the equivalent of a master's degree. Apprentices will graduate with qualifications in areas such as international financial services, data analytics and risk and compliance.

The apprentices will spend 60pc of their time working in companies, gaining specific qualifications in the remaining 40pc of their time. 1,000 opportunities are to be made available up to 2020. 220 of these will be available this September, some for school-leavers or PLC students, with other more specialist roles open to career changers. The initiative is a partnership between financial services companies and the National College of Ireland (NCI), in Dublin's IFSC area.

Other new apprenticeships are be rolled out in the months ahead, alongside a noticeable resurgence in opportunities in the traditional trades as economic recovery continues.

More on Options After Leaving Cert here

Change of Mind

Speaking about the application process, CAO communications officer Eileen Keleghan 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 Friday and is available until 1 March”

Key CAO Dates

  • CAO Change of Course Choices Facility for registered applicants opens on 5 February and closes on 1 March at 5:15pm – a fee of €10 applies.
  • HEAR or DARE applicants must have applied to CAO by 1 February at 5:15pm.
  • HEAR or DARE applicants have until 1 March at 5:15 pm to complete their online HEAR or DARE form.
  • HEAR or DARE applicants must submit their supporting documentation to CAO by 1 April at 5:15 pm.
  • The CAO Late Application facility closes on 1 May at 5:15 pm – restrictions apply.
  • The CAO Change of Mind Facility opens on 5 May and closes at 5:15 pm on 1 July. This facility is free of charge – restrictions apply.

The CareersPortal Team