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 Mark Maguire from Construction Industry Federation to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mark Maguire

Apprentice Electrician

Construction Industry Federation

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  Mark	Maguire
The advice I would give is firstly talk to someone you may know that is already in the trade and ask them any questions that you may have or ask them about some of there first hand experiences.

Another good piece of advice would be to go onto YouTube and search some basic electrics, keep in mind that these are the kind of things that you will face when you go to the college phases of your apprenticeship . There are books and e-books that can be purchased to get an understanding.

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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Leaving Cert Results - What Happens Next?
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CAO Offers

The first round of CAO offers (Round 1) are made available to applicants a few days after the Leaving Certificate results, on the 22nd August.

Those who applied online will receive their CAO offer online. A postal offer will also arrive.

This Round 1 offer will contain the highest choice, for which your son or daughter has achieved the required number of points, from their 1-10 CAO application lists.

(Note: In some instances, Round 2 may offer an option from higher up a candidates list of choices, but there is no guarantee that this will be the case. e.g If the points for a particular course drop in Round 2 and your son or daughter now meets this points requirement, they may get a higher offer).

It can be useful to have the following information available at CAO offers time:

  • Statement of course choice
  • NPC / IGC helpline number 1800 265165
  • Access to relevant websites including and college sites 

The college applicant may receive two offers:

1. Level 8 Honours Bachelor Degree offer (the highest undergraduate level)

2. Level 6 & 7 offer (Most of these courses are run at Institutes of Technology but there is an excellent links system into level 8 at both IT and University levels)

The CAO publishes the points required for all  Round 1 offers on the CAO website on the same day (22nd August).

The new points will also be published here from 6.00am on that date, indicating if points have risen, fallen or remained the same for this year. Any change in points also highlights trends in certain course areas and is a reasonably good barometer of course and career popularity.

It is worth noting that points may go up or down from year to year.

CAO offers and acceptances

  • CAO Round One course offers will be made a few days after the Leaving Cert results.
  • Offers are made online from 6.00am on the day and also by post and SMS text.
  • The cut-off points for CAO courses will be available online here from 6.00am, and on the CAO website.
  • Applicants must decide whether to accept this offer or not. Round One offers must be accepted within a week.
  • Further rounds of offers continue until all course places are filled.
  • Applicants who have not received an offer will receive another Statement of Application Record from the CAO.
Tip: Check out the CAO Vacant Places list for remaining available courses: click here


As parent or guardian you will wish to be as supportive as possible, allowing for open and thorough discussion of all options, but keeping an eye on the practicalities at the same time. At this time many parents feel much like a board chairperson, facilitating and enabling the young person to make the best possible decisions at this time, whilst also ensuring that everything runs efficiently and cost-effectively, and that there are no unfortunate slip-ups or oversights.


  • How does the system works and how can I make sure all acceptance deadlines are met and all important correspondence is dealt with
  • What course will my child end up on this year
  • What supports does s/he need put in place
  • Do we need to arrange accommodation
  • How much is this going to cost and what’s the best way to manage our finances in the coming years
  • Are there hidden costs and pitfalls that we should be aware of?

In the area below we answer some of the most frequently asked questions confronting parents at CAO Offers Time:

How does the system of CAO offers work?


Will points go up or down?


If my son doesn’t get his first choice what other CAO options are available to him?


How is a CAO offer accepted?

My daughter got exactly what she wanted. She applied for LM065 Applied Physics in University of Limerick as her first choice on Level 8 CAO and has been offered a place in the first round of offers. She plans to accept. What is the procedure for accepting an offer?


My son has been offered Level 7 Engineering. If he accepts this offer can he still be offered a Level 8 Engineering course in the next round?


My daughter is hoping to get into Nursing in NUIG. On the basis of the current Leaving Cert result, she may fall short of the points. However she thinks she may be upgraded on appeal. What should she do when the first round of CAO offers comes round?



Our daughter has been offered a Childcare course at Level 7. Her first choice is Childcare at Level 8 in the same college but she fell short by 15 points. She has been offered a Level 8 course in Psychology at another private college which charges full tuition fees. What should she do?



Is it possible to accept a Round 1 offer while also planning an appeal of scripts with a view to being upgraded to a higher course choice?


What should we do if Amy decides to defer her preferred LLB option until next year?



My son is now five weeks into a Physiotherapy course in UL but has just been offered a deferred place on Medicine in NUIG for next September. He is enjoying Physiotherapy and feels it is a good bridge for him between school and the study of Medicine. However, we need to be sensible about money and don’t want to be charged a year’s full fees on 1st year Medicine when the time comes. We can budget for the standard registration fees but would have to reconsider if it meant being charge full fees. What is the situation with fees in this case?



My son applied to do Engineering in DIT. He got the required number of points but failed Maths and hasn’t been offered a place. Does he have to repeat Leaving Cert Maths in the coming year?


What if my child accepts a Round 1 offer and receives a better offer in Round 2?


How does The CAO RANDOM NUMBER PROCESS of allocating places work?


If my son is awarded a place on a course (eg by Random Number) and another student with is upgraded on appeal, can my son lose his place on the course?


How is it possible to get more than the required number of points for a course and still not be offered a place?


What is DEFERRAL and why do some students opt for this?



My son worked very hard for his exams but got no offer of a college place in the first CAO round. He did not appeal his LC results as he felt they were a fair reflection of his performance. Does he have any chance of a place this year through the CAO?


My son received two offers from the CAO - a Level 8 and a Level 7 course. Can he accept both and make a final decision later?


I missed the points requirement for my first choice by 20 points - and did not get offered it in round 1. Does this mean I can never be offered my first choice?


I was offered my first choice but I'm no longer interested in this course. Can I apply for a course with vacant places even though I was offered my first choice?


If I defer my second choice offer, will I still be offered my first choice if points come down in round two?


If I accept my offer of law in Galway, what are the possibilities of being able to transfer to law in Trinity after my first year, which I missed due to points?


It looks like my son won't get any other offers. If he accepts current one, does it necessarily mean he has to go on the course until he weighs up some other options?


If I accept my first choice for a Level 7 course in CIT, can I still get my first option for Level 8 offered to me in round two, if the points were to drop?


My daughter got offered a place on physio course in UCD and had medicine as her first choice. Can she accept the offer and then later decline it?