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 Mary Joyce from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Joyce

Secondary School Teacher

Department of Education and Skills

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  Mary Joyce
Teaching as they say is a vocation, it is a job that requires patience and enthusiasm. If you are considering teaching you need to look beyond the holidays and think of the 9-4 Monday to Friday spent dealing with children or teenagers and the challenges which they might pose.

I would advise anyone thinking of teaching as a career to speak with Teachers and learn of their experiences, both positive and negative. I personally would encourage people to consider teaching as it is an extremely rewarding profession in terms of the interaction you get daily with young people and the colleagues you meet in the job.

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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CAO application deadline fast approaching

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CAO application deadline fast approaching

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 

CAO application deadline fast approaching

The  Central  Applications  Office  (CAO)  application  deadline  for  undergraduate  courses  in Irish Higher Education Institutions is this Sunday, 1 February at 5:15pm.

Applicants who have not yet completed their application are urged by CAO to do so immediately, particularly  restricted-category applicants or applicants applying for one or more of the restricted courses on offer.

Restricted-category applicants, and applicants for restricted courses, must have applied by the 1 February deadline and may not be able to use the late application facility which is available up to 1 May at 5:15pm.

Restricted-category  applicants  include  mature  applicants  and  applicants  for  the  HEAR  and DARE schemes.

General Manager of CAO, Joseph O’Grady, asks potential applicants who have not yet started their application to carefully read the CAO Handbook and to go to the CAO website and click on ‘Apply’ to start their application.

“It is extremely important that applicants start their application before the weekend in order to avoid any issues which may arise if they leave their application to the last minute,” said Mr O’Grady. “We appreciate that the completion of a CAO application can be quite a stressful time for applicants, but the most important step at this stage is to get registered on the system in order to avoid disappointment. “Our website contains a number of guides and supports for applicants which  should make the application  process  easy  to  navigate,  including  a  demo  application  facility  and  video resources,” continued Mr O’Grady.

“Every year a number of applicants leave the submission of their application to the last couple of hours, or even minutes, without thinking about the consequences of their browser timing out, their internet connection failing, or payment issues. In order to be fair to all applicants strict deadlines apply, and applicants should submit their application in a timely manner,” he added.

Applicants who do not process their application in advance of the deadline can submit a late application at an increased fee of €50 for an online application or €80 for a paper application.

This facility closes at 5:15pm on 1 May and restrictions apply.

Still not sure about courses? Use the Course Search Tools available here.

Applicants who have already submitted their CAO application have up to 5:15pm on 31 January to add, remove or reorder courses free of charge. If an applicant is considering applying for a restricted course  they  should make sure to include the course details  in their application before  this  deadline  –  if  they  do  not  apply  for  a  restricted  course  before  the deadline an additional  fee  of  €10  applies for the use of the Change  of Course  Choices  facility which  is available to registered applicants only from 5 February to 1 March at 5:15pm.

To apply to CAO go to and click on ‘Apply’.

Information for applicants is available in  the  ‘Student  Resources’  section  of  the  website  which  includes  the  CAO  Handbook, checklists, and CAO video guides.

Key Dates:

  • CAO Normal Application Deadline is 1 February at 5:15pm.
  • 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 apply to CAO by 1 February at 5:15pm. HEAR or DARE applicants have until 1 March at 5:15pm to complete their online HEAR or DARE form. HEAR or DARE applicants must submit their supporting documentation to CAO by 1 April at 5:15pm.
  • The CAO Late Application facility closes on 1 May at 5:15pm – restrictions apply.
  • The CAO  Change  of  Mind  Facility  opens  on  5 May and  closes  at  5:15pm  on  1 July. This facility is free of charge – restricted courses cannot be added using this facility and some restricted-category applicants may not be able to use this facility.

A number of CAO video guides are available here.

A full List of CAO and Leaving Certificate Key Dates 2015 are available here.

Source: CAO Press Release 27/1/15

The CareersPortal Team