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 Sinead Kenny from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Sinead Kenny

Design Engineer

Smart Futures

Read more

  Sinead Kenny
If it is possible to get some work experience during the summer holidays or weekends, it would be great. Find out if there are any positions (voluntary or otherwise) available in your local IT or University. Get involved in a hobby such as model making, this would be very helpful as it would help with dexterity & impart an understanding of the ways in which different materials interact when assembled together.

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

Plunket College 
Killester College of Further Education 
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute 
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation
Leaving Certificate
Sub Menu menu button
logo imagelogo image

Options after school

Leaving school marks a significant milestone on your career journey. It's also a crossroads - with many possible pathways lying ahead. In Ireland, most students choose to continue their education by going to college using either the Further Education (FET) or Higher Education (HET) routes, but there are other options available too:

Click image to enlarge.

An increasing number of Irish students who choose the Higher Education route are opting to study abroad. Along with the UK, USA and Australia/New Zealand, many European colleges now teach their programmes through English.

Many students will choose to get a job and start earning money right away. Opportunities for school-leavers often exist in the Retail, Banking, Accountancy, Insurance and Manufacturing sectors for example. Some of these options will include going to college as part of the employment contract (Earn and Learn) - which means you get paid while you do your Degree!

Another popular destination is working with Government Bodies - these include the Civil Service, the Defence Forces, the Gardaí, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Teagasc, or state companies such as Coillte. Many of these organisations include significant further education as part of the training for the job, sometimes to Degree level.

Apprenticeships are another popular choice for school leavers, though in recent years there have been a disappointing lack of opportunities available. However, the future looks a bit brighter for apprenticeships as the government is finally putting some effort into creating more opportunities in the next few years.

Fortunately, most of these pathways will be available throughout your future, so if you start off along one route and it doesn't work out, you can always continue your journey along a different pathway from wherever you are at the time!

What are your Career Interests?

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.

  Go... Explore Career Interests here...