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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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Enterprising 
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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Options after School

Leaving school is one of the major milestones for all students, and choosing what to do next is not always an easy decision. Most students will continue their education or enter training of some form, and some of the many pathways are shown below.

The majority of students will go on the Higher education (through the CAO) and Further education (PLC colleges).

Opportunities for apprenticeships and training roles are now changing and widening to include degree level apprenticeships. There is also evidence that more students are studying abroad now than in the past.

Most of the available Education and Training options can be seen from the diagram below:


Click image to enlarge.

Click on the icons below for further career and progression information in each area:

 
Apprenticeships - This is the route by which people are trained to become craftspeople in Ireland.
STATE BODIES
Teagasc - The Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland
BIM - the State agency with responsibility for developing the Irish Seafood Industry in Ireland
Coillte - commercial company operating state forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and panel products.
SOLAS - the new Further Education and Training Authority in Ireland.
An Garda Síochána - The Irish police service responsible for law enforcement
The Defence Forces - responsible for the security of the State
Degree Level Apprenticeships

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is a three-year nationwide programme and is one of the best ways to begin a career in insurance.

This ‘earn and learn’ scheme allows career starters to begin working in an insurance company straight away, earn a salary and work towards a degree – the BA (Hons) in Insurance Practice.

Learn more here.

Other Useful Links:

Repeat Leaving Certificate 
Part Time Courses [from Qualifax.ie]
Correspondance Courses [from Qualifax.ie]
Private Colleges
PLC Courses