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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

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  Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.

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Administrative?
Administrative 
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Information from National Skills Bulletin 2014, compiled by SOLAS and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs
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Building, Construction & Property 

   Working in the planning, building, selling or management of construction projects (housing estates, roads, warehouses etc.).

Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences 

   Creating high quality drugs or chemicals, testing them to ensure they are effective and safe, and monitoring their effect on people and the environment.

Computers & Software 

   Working in the manufacture, sales or support of all forms of computers and computer systems, or in the creation and development of software.

Electrical & Electronic Engineering 

   Designing or manufacturing electronic or telecommunication devices, or being involved in the generation and supply of electricity.

Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing  

   Working in the design, use, maintenance and control of all forms of mechanical devices, e.g. in construction, manufacturing, aviation, automobiles and related areas etc.

Physical & Mathematical Sciences 

   Researching and investigating aspects of the physical universe, or using Mathematics to solve complex issues in science or business.

Earth Science & Environment 

   Work with technologies that monitor and predict changes in our environment, with the development of renewable and sustainable energy sources and on the protection and conservation of natural resources.

Medical Devices 

   Work on the development of technology that enhances the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, and treatment of diseases and disabilities.

Space Science and Technology 

   Exploring and developing the technology used to build satellites, space vehicles and the instruments and experiments that they carry.

Featured Interview

Name:
Occupation:
Dave McDonald
Astronomer

Science Ambassador Dave McDonald is a health and safety representative by day, and amateur astronomer by night. In 2008 he became only the second person to discover an asteroid from Ireland, 160 years after Andrew Graham in 1848. This was followed by a second discovery in March 2009.

In this interview – before he became famous – he talks about how he chose his career, the cool things in his work, and his tips on work experience and what to study.

Dave McDonald, Astronomer
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