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


Paul Meany

School Principal

Department of Education and Skills

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  Paul Meany

Need to have a belief about the value of the sort of education provided by the school to which you are applying.

Need to be able to cope with ambivalence - being leader in the school is not a black and white thing.

Need to believe in people, whether it is staff or students.


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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CAO 1st Preference data released

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CAO 1st Preference data released

Monday, March 09, 2015 

CAO 1st Preference data released

The Central Applications Office (CAO) has released 2015 application data up to the Change of Course Choices closing date of March 1st.

The data shows applications by category, level and by address group.

There are 17 statistical categories used to present the CAO data for Level 8 and Level 7/6 courses, and figures are based on CAO applications to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Republic of Ireland.

First Preferences 2015 compared to same CAO stage 2014:

Built Environment up by 27.5%

Architecture up by 15.77% 

Dentistry up by 13.48%

Law up by 12.76% 

Engineering/Technology up by 9.32% 

Physiotherapy up 3.59%

Administration/Business up by 3.62% 

Pharmacy up 2.84%

Education up by 1.57%

Human Medicine up by +0.18%

Art and Design – no change

Agriculture/Horticulture down by 18.94%

Science/Applied Science down by 2.84% 

Arts/Social Science down by 2.68% 

Veterinary down by 2.59%

Nursing down by 2.22% 

A total of 74,424 applications were received by CAO by the February 1st closing date, an increase of almost 1,333 applicants on the previous year; 336 of these applicants were Advanced Entry applicants only. From 2015, the CAO processes applications for entry to years 2, 3 and 4 of undergraduate courses in some Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This entry route is known as Advanced Entry.

There was a total of 10,763 applications from Applicants over 23 years of age – down 316 applications from 2014. Included in the figure for mature applicants are 152 applicants aged 23 years or over who applied for Advanced Entry only. 

The data provided at this stage is interim data and is subject to change when Late Applications are taken into account and when the ‘Change of Mind’ facility closes on July 1st at 5:15pm.

Speaking about the application figures, General Manager of CAO, Joseph O’Grady, commented: “The majority of CAO Applicants will be permitted to use the ‘Change of Mind’ facility when it opens on May 5th to add, remove or re-order course choices, which will result in changes to the figures released today”.  Late applications are currently being accepted up to May 1st at 5:15pm.

All CAO Applicants will receive a ‘Statement of Application Record’ before the end of May, and CAO advises Applicants to read this document carefully. The Statement of Application Record will contain details of important information held on file for an Applicant - including course choices and examination details - and any errors or omissions identified in this document must be communicated to CAO immediately. Applicants are advised to contact CAO using the ‘Contact Us’ page on the CAO website.

The CareersPortal Team