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 Shane Callanan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Shane Callanan

Electronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Shane Callanan
Being an Engineer is a great career choice. It offers so many opportunities both in Ireland and world-wide. Most positions will have terrific travel opportunities after a few years experience under your belt, and if you choose you course carefully your qualification will be recognised by employers all over the globe. Also an engineering qualification will open doors into management roles if that is your preferred career choice, but the reverse is not the case (if you do a course outside of engineering, you will probably not be able to branch off into engineering a few years after graduating).
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Creative?
Creative 
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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What Subjects to Take

Choosing which subjects to study occurs in both Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle. The choices made should reflect the interests and ability of your child, and take consideration of the possible career aspirations he/she may have.

In general, the Irish education system is not geared towards specific occupations or career pathways (the exception being the Leaving Cert Applied) - its aims are to provide a more fuller, rounded education. Therefore, for the most part, students can choose anything from the curriculum in order to gain a respectable and internationally recognised qualification.

This is particularly so for the Junior Cycle - which is very general in nature. Though is is normal to follow through with similar subjects from Junior Cert to Leaving Cert, it is not necessarily so - you can, for example take up Business or a Science subject in Leaving Cert without having studied it for the Junior Cert.

If your child is in Junior Cycle, follow the links for 1st year and 2nd year students to understand the options available.

If your child is in, or entering Senior Cycle, then follow our discussion in the Senior Cycle Choices section.
 
The following are some general tips and factors to consider when choosing subjects:
 
  • Ability & Aptitudes: All students have different strengths so consider their abilities in different subjects and choose subjects in which the student is likely to get good grades. 

  • Interest: Choosing subjects in which your son/daugher has a genuine interest in means they are much more likely to study them and do well.

  • Career: There are some subjects that are essential for some college courses and careers. It is important to check out these subject requirements with a Guidance Counsellor or the course provider.
 

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