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 Nora Barry from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:


Nora Barry

Third Secretary

Civil and Public Service Jobs

Read more

  Nora Barry
A keen interest in current affairs, a willingness to travel and an acceptance that this role is a lifestyle choice are all necessary. I believe having lived abroad for a period of time and experiencing different cultures are also an advantage.

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.
All Courses
PLC Progression Routes
PLC Points Calculator
CAO Points Calculator
CAO Video Guide

Ballsbridge College of Further Education 
IT Tallaght 
Ballyfermot College of Further Education 
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation
Junior Cycle Subjects
Sub Menu menu button
logo imagelogo image

Junior Cycle Subjects

On entering First Year of Junior Cycle most students are offered seven 'core' subjects and 2-3 additional subjects from options available at the school. Teachers normally recommend subjects for students based on their interests and previous performance. First Year often provides some flexibility for students to sample different subjects, with the final choice of subjects being settled on for Second Year.

Subjects are offered at Higher and Ordinary level, or Foundation level in the case of Irish, English and Maths.

Choosing whether to take a subject at Higher or Ordinary level in the Junior Cert can matter in terms of career. This is because entry into some college courses after school requires some subject grades at Higher level, which means the subject must be taken at Higher level for the Leaving Cert. It is unusual for a subject to be taken at Higher level for the Leaving Cert if it is not also taken at Higher level for the Junior Cert.

Choosing Subjects

The subjects you study can be placed together into six 'Subject Groups' based on what is studied. For most students, choosing subjects from each group is a good idea, as you will get a good rounded education as a result. However, if you particularly dislike a subject at this stage, you should look to find one that would be of greater interest to you.

The Subject Groupings

  • Practical
  • Science
  • Artistic
  • Humanities
  • Social
  • Business

It is important that you choose subjects that you have an interest in, and not because you like or dislike the subject teacher, or because your best friend chooses it.

You also need to know what you will be studying, and what you might expect to learn after your years of work and effort. Most subjects build up your general knowledge and provide valuable learning for all careers. Some subjects are more specific and prepare you for similar subjects in your Leaving Cert.

Explore Junior Cycle subjects here

As you continue your studies from Junior Cycle onwards, you will learn how the subject groups, and choice of subjects within them, continue to grow and expand. By the time you leave school you will be able to choose what to study from a selection of hundreds of courses.

"I’m not sure what my dream job is exactly but it would probably have something to do with clothes, shoes and shopping in general!"

Hint: ESB

Who said this? Find out here: go

Watch Careers Videos... 113

Rasaq Falade - An Garda Síochána
Garda Reserve     

Mariya Levchuk - McDonald's
Crew Trainer     

Dr Arlene O'Neill - Smart Futures