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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

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  Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.

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Social 
The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Researching Occupations

Students, as well as parents, may not realise the actual work of many occupations outside those they have experienced, or have seen on TV and films. If your child has a particular occupation in mind, then it is well worthwhile exploring the 'typical' characteristics associated with it.

In school, many students undertake a 'Career Investigation' of an occupation they think may be of interest. These are structured investigations designed to ensure the student is familiar with the more typical aspects of an occupation, as well as research into what courses or training may be required to be qualified to work.

Ask if your son or daughter has completed an investigation, and take the opportunity to discuss it with them if they have. If not, encourage them to do the research, even informally. The information required can be completed in a worksheet (or simply use it as a guide), and can be found through our occupational database.

Occupational information for Ireland is mostly compiled by FAS, and is available free through the Career Directions website. Our database links to the Career Directions profiles along with information from other UK and American sources. As many occupations are similar across the globe, these international links often provide additional useful information.

For each occupation we provide:

  • Simple job description
  • Video / Interviews (where available)
  • Typical Tasks (where available)
  • Job Zone (a guide to education and or experience required)
  • Qualifications Required
  • Typical Entry Routes
  • Related Sectors
  • Salary Information (where available)
  • Labour Market Information (where available)
  • Job Search (search for the occupation in recruitment sites)
  • CAO / PLC courses that may be of interest 
  • Links to Career Directions database (where available)
  • Links to international databases and videos (where available)

To find occupations to explore on this site you can select:

Action Point: If you want to research a particular occupation, use the A-Z search, otherwise explore by career sector or career interests. When you find an occupation you want to research, read through the material on the page, and follow any links that appear relevant. In particular, read any interviews or watch any videos available.