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 Tom Tooher from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:


Tom Tooher

Lieutenant - Army

Defence Forces

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  Tom Tooher

Look up the Defence Forces website at and talk to serving personnel. If its possible try to visit a barracks.


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.
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Sector Organisation

Department of Education and Skills

Department of Education and Skills

Department of Education and Skills Organisation Profile Organisation Profile

Contact details:
Contact Name:
Marlborough Street,
Dublin 1
What the Experts Say...
Go Questions about the sector
Go Questions about the career opportunities
Go Questions about education and training
Go Questions about global opportunities
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 Questions about the sector
What advice do you have for school leavers?
Please give an overview of your sector?
What are the main occupations in this sector?
What qualifications are required?
Are there overseas opportunities available?
What advice do you have for graduates?
What are the typical routes into this sector?
Are there opportunities in this sector for non-Irish nationals?
What types of employment contracts are there?
What is the size and scope of the sector?
What advice do you have for career changers?
What are the typical earnings of these occupations?
What are the current issues affecting this sector?
How do you get a job in this sector?
What changes are anticipated over the next 5 years
What advice do you have for non-Irish nationals?
What advice do you have for those wishing to go back to work?
Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?
What advice do you have for older workers?
Are there any areas in your sector currently experiencing skills shortages?

Please give an overview of your sector?

Education affects all citizens and the Department faces many challenges in ensuring that it meets the needs of many stakeholders – students, parents, teachers, management, schools and further and higher education providers, employers, and society generally.

It plays a major role in shaping the values and skills of our young people, in equipping learners for participation in social and economic life, in promoting equality, social inclusion and citizenship, and in providing a skills base in the knowledge society which will support competitiveness and growth.

Some  1 million full time students use the education system in Ireland each day, attending first, second level, further and higher education institutions aided by the Department of Education and Skills. There are some 870,000 students following first and second level programmes in schools, with approximately 112,000 sitting the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate examinations each year.

Over 59,000 teachers are paid from funds administered by the Department across first and second level.

Source: Ireland's Education & Training Sector ~ Overview of Service Delivery and Reform, DES, 2015.

Key concerns within the system are to

  • Ensure the supply of school places for the expanding population
  • Promote social inclusion, address educational disadvantage, and provide supports for the successful integration to the optimum extent of students with special needs into mainstream settings at every level of the system
  • Ensure a broad and balanced education which meets personal, social, and economic needs and provides a range of choices to meet the diverse needs and interests of students
  • Promote intercultural education, the integration of newcomer pupils and addressing the needs of those for whom English is not the mother tongue
  • Strengthen ICT, vocational and language skills and promote increased participation in mathematics, science, engineering and technology in second level education, and encourage more students to seek third level and career options in this area
  • Promote the national strategy for Science Technology and Innovation, enhancing third level industry collaboration, promoting excellence and strategic innovation, significantly increasing the numbers of post graduate students and researchers in the system, and promoting world class transnational research and development capability in areas critical to economic and social development
  • Promote and market Ireland as a centre of excellence for international students in further and higher education and in English language training centres.

Our education system must continue to evolve in order to maintain quality relevance and inclusion in a changing world.

The Irish education system is structured as follows:

Early childhood education ~ This applies to children aged 0-6. In general, early childhood education is provided in the private sector in crèches, naíonraí (through the medium of Irish) and childcare settings, and in childcare programmes funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.   These programmes include a free pre-school year for children aged from 3 years and 2 months to 4 years and 7 months, which was introduced in January 2010. The Department of Education and Skills funds intervention programmes for children at risk of educational disadvantage and for children with special needs. Provision in primary schools for children aged 4-6 is classified as pre-primary education.

The Department has funded the development of Aistear a curriculum framework for early learning which was developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and Síolta, a quality framework for early childhood development, which was developed by the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education.

Primary level ~ Nearly 40% of four-year-olds and almost all five-year olds are enrolled in infant classes in primary schools.  They complete 8 years in primary school.  There are some 3,300 primary national schools, catering for of the order of 536,317 pupils.  Approximately 32,800 teachers are employed at primary level.

Post Primary level ~ The post-primary education sector comprises secondary, vocational, community and comprehensive schools.  Secondary schools are privately owed and managed.  Vocational schools are state-established and administered by Education and Training Boards (ETBs), while community and comprehensive schools are managed by Boards of Management of differing compositions.

Post-primary education consists of a three-year Junior Cycle (lower secondary), followed by a two or three year Senior Cycle (upper secondary), depending on whether the optional Transition Year (TY) is taken.

Students usually begin the Junior Cycle at age 12.  The Junior Certificate examination is taken after three years.  The main objective of the Junior Cycle is for students to complete a broad and balanced curriculum, and to develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to proceed to Senior Cycle education. A new Framework for Junior Cycle is being implemented on a phased basis beginning in September 2014 with the introduction of a new specification in English.

The Senior Cycle caters for students in the 15 to 18 year age group.  It includes an optional Transition Year, which follows immediately after the Junior Cycle.  TY provides an opportunity for students to experience a wide range of educational inputs, including work experience, over the course of a year that is free from formal examinations.

During the final two years of Senior Cycle students take one of the three programmes, each leading to a State Examination: the traditional Leaving Certificate (LCE), the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) or the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA).

  • The Leaving Certificate ~ The traditional Leaving Certificate examination is the terminal examination of post-primary education and is taken when students are typically 17 or 18 years of age.  Syllabuses are available in more than 30 subjects and students are required to take at least five subjects, one of which must be Irish.
  • The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme ~ The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) is similar to the traditional Leaving Certificate Programme, with a concentration of technical subjects and some additional modules which have a vocational focus.
  • The Leaving Certificate Applied Programme ~ The Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) Programme is a self-contained two-year course, intended to meet the needs of those students who are not adequately catered for by other Leaving Certificate programmes.  It is a person-centred course involving a cross-curricular approach rather than a subject based structure.

Related Links:

Syllabuses and Prescribed material

Curriculum and Syllabus 

Further Education and training is available in a wide range of disciplines covering such areas as business administration, ICT, electronics, multi-media, art craft and design, journalism, tourism and catering, childcare, construction, film, radio and sound, animation and equestrian studies. Certification is provided through the National Framework Qualifications.

SOLAS operates under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills and will, in conjunction with the sixteen Education and Training Boards, be responsible for the integration, coordination and funding of a wide range of further education and training programmes.  In 2014 the Further Education and Training Strategy 2014-2019 was published.

SOLAS is now tasked with ensuring the provision of 21st century high-quality FET programmes which are responsive to the needs of learners and the requirements of a changed and changing economy.  For example, some 34,000 learners participated in Post Leaving Certificate Programmes in 2013/2014.

Third Level or Higher Education ~ 31 Third Level colleges are funded by the Department providing services to over 164,800 full time students (7 Universities, 14 Institutes of Technology, including the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and 7 Colleges of Education*).

A number of other third level institutions additionally provide specialist education in such fields as art and design, medicine, business studies, rural development, theology, music and law.

Click here for a full list of these institutions.

*In May 2013, the Minister for Education and Skills approved a re-configuration of the higher education system. Under the new configuration Teacher Education is part of the university sector as follows:

  • DCU—St. Patricks College, Drumcondra—Mater Dei Institute of Education—Church of Ireland College of Education (full merger)
  • NUIM—Froebel College (full merger)
  • TCD—UCD—Marino Institute of Education—NCAD (collaborative centre)
  • UL—MIC—LIT (collaborative centre)
  • UCC—CIT (collaborative arrangements)
  • NUIG—St. Angela’s College—GMIT teacher education programme (full merger)

What are the main occupations in this sector?

The primary occupations in this sector comprises of the Teachers, Lecturers and Trainers operating in the Primary, Post-Primary and Tertiary education system.

In addition the Department itself is staffed by Civil Servants under the management of a Secretary General. These staff work in various units, such as:

  • Primary Allocations
  • Post-Primary Teachers Allocations
  • Further Education
  • Higher Education
  • Teacher Education
  • Social Inclusion
  • Special Education
  • Information Technology
  • International
  • Planning and Building Unit
  • Inspectorate
  • School Transport

Additional information on the structure of the Department can be found on the Department’s website 


What qualifications are required?


There are five state funded Colleges of Education* which offer primary initial teacher education courses which are recognised by the Teaching Council for primary school teaching:
Institution Web Address
Marino Institute of Education, Dublin 
Mary Immaculate College Limerick 
St. Patrick's College Drumcondra, Dublin 
The Church of Ireland College of Education, Rathmines, Dublin 
Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, NUI Maynooth, Kildare 

*In May 2013, the Minister for Education and Skills approved a re-configuration of the higher education system. Under the new configuration, Teacher Education is now part of the university sector as follows:

  • DCU—St. Patricks College, Drumcondra—Mater Dei Institute of Education—Church of Ireland College of Education (full merger)
  • NUIM—Froebel College (full merger)
  • TCD—UCD—Marino Institute of Education—NCAD (collaborative centre)
  • UL—MIC—LIT (collaborative centre)
  • UCC—CIT (collaborative arrangements)
  • NUIG—St. Angela’s College—GMIT teacher education programme (full merger)

Becoming a Primary School Teacher

There are two routes to primary school teaching - The Bachelor of Education Programme and the Post-Graduate route.

Bachelor of Education Programme

A full-time course leading to a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree is held in each of the state funded Colleges of Education for primary teachers.

Persons who successfully complete the course may be registered by the Teaching Council.

Post-Graduate Courses

Certain Colleges of Education also offer a two-year* post-graduate Professional Masters in Education:

- Mary Immaculate College - Course Details

- St Patrick's College, Drumcondra - Course Details

- Marino Institute of Education - Course Details

(* This programme replaces the 18 month Graduate Diploma in Education is two-years in duration from September 2014).

Certain prior academic qualifications are required for entry - see individual course details.

In addition, an on-line Higher Diploma in Arts in Primary Education, accredited by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC), is provided by Hibernia College. Hibernia College is a privately-owned, non-state-funded, company. This is a part-time blended learning course which takes place over 2 years and the Higher Diploma is recognised by the Teaching Council for the purposes of primary teaching.

Entry Requirements for Primary Teaching

To view the entry requirements to the most recent Bachelor of Education and post-graduate courses click on the following links:

Entry Requirement CAO 2014

Entry Requirement Post Grad 2014 [pdf]

Entry Requirements Mature Students 2014 [pdf]


Post-primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) is provided through programmes of a consecutive or a concurrent nature.

The most common route to qualification is the consecutive route, which comprises a suitable degree and a teacher education qualification.

A suitable degree is defined as an award from a state-recognised university or similar third-level college, which enables the holder to teach at least one curricular subject to the highest level within the post-primary schools curriculum. For most subjects, this means to Leaving Certificate Higher Level.

A suitable ITE qualification is defined as a qualification from a state-recognised university or similar third-level college, incorporating three specific elements (Foundation Studies, Professional Studies and School Placement) and which is directed towards the 12 to 18 age range (first year to sixth year). The ITE programme must extend over at least one year of full-time study or equivalent.

Note: With effect from September 2014, postgraduate programmes of ITE accredited by the Teaching Council have been extended to two years full time study or 120 ECTS credits.

The Teaching Council website provides details of the individual subject requirements (subject criteria) for all post-primary curricular subjects.

The Teaching Council website also provides a list of degrees which have in the past been deemed to meet the requirements for named curricular subjects. Given that degree programmes and elective modules within degrees can change over time, it is important that this list should only be considered as a guide.

The following institutions in Ireland currently provide Post Primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes, more commonly called the Profressional Master's in Education (PME):
University College Cork
Concurrent &
University College Dublin
NUI Galway
NUI Maynooth
Trinity College Dublin
Concurrent &
Dublin City University
University of Limerick
Concurrent &
Mater Dei, Dublin

St. Angela's College, Sligo

National College of Art & Design
(NCAD), Dublin
Concurrent &
Crawford School of Art & Design,
Limerick Institute of Technology,
School of Art & Design
St. Patrick's College,
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology,
Hibernia College


Registration and Recruitment Process for Teachers

Registration with the Teaching Council is essential for those wishing to work in State-funded teaching positions in the primary, post-primary and further education sectors as only registered teachers can be paid from State funds. 

Primary Teacher Posts - these are advertised by the Boards of Management of individual schools. Selection is by interview.

Second Level Teacher Posts -  Voluntary Secondary Schools and Community and Comprehensive Schools: Teaching posts are advertised by the Boards of Management of individual schools and selection is by interview. In order to be entered onto the Register of Teachers on the basis of qualifications in post-primary teaching, applicants must comply with the requirements as set out in Regulation Four of The Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations 2009, i.e. Candidates must hold:

  • A recognised third level degree, consisting of at least three years of full-time study or equivalent (180 ECTS credits) , and,
  • An approved initial teacher education qualification directed towards First to Sixth Years (typically students in the 12 to 18 year age range).

Vocational schools - Teaching posts are advertised by the Education and Training Board. Teachers are appointed as teachers of a specific subject, and must have a qualification to Degree level in the relevant subject area. In the past it was not essential for a graduate to have professional teacher training.

Note: With effect from 1 April 2013, a teacher education qualification is a requirement for all applicants applying to teach, in accordance with Regulation 4 of The Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations 2009 for all post-primary curricular subjects.

How to Apply for Teaching Posts

In general, teachers are recruited by the school board of management, or by the Education and Training Board. Teaching posts are usually advertised in the national and local press. Lists of schools may be obtained from: Government Publications, 52 St Stephen’s Green Dublin 2, and can also be accessed on the Department of Education and Skills website. Information on pay scales can be obtained by accessing the relevant circulars at 


There is no Irish language requirement for appointment as a Post-Primary teacher in the case of the majority of teachers (i.e. those who do not need to use Irish to carry out their daily duties). There is still an Irish language requirement in the case of teachers in the following categories:

1. Those employed in Gaeltacht schools 
2. Those employed in schools in which Irish is the daily teaching medium (in the case of subjects other than Irish) 
3. Those who teach any subject (except Irish) through Irish in any school.

Teachers in these three categories are required to hold the An Teastas Gaeilge do Mhúinteoirí Iarbhunscoile (TGMI) certified by the State Examinations Commission Exemptions, as follows, apply to those who:

  • Hold a degree in Irish, with Irish as a subject in the final examination, from a recognised degree-awarding authority
  • Have passed the Oral Irish Examination for registration as a Secondary Teacher
  • Have passed the Oral Examination in the Certificate for Teaching Irish
  • Have passed the Oral Examination in the Vocational Certificate for Irish. 
For Primary School teaching: applicants to the programmes of Initial Teacher Education must meet the entry requirements in Irish i.e. a Grade C3 on a Leaving Certificate Higher Level or a recognised equivalent. 

Where an applicant for registration as a Primary teacher with the Teaching Council has completed a programme of teacher education outside Ireland, an Irish Language Requirement (ILR) condition normally applies to his/her registration. The applicant can either complete an Aptitude Test (SCG – An Scrúdú le hAghaidh Cáilíochta sa Ghaeilge) or an Adaptation Period (OCG – Oiriúnú le hAghaidh Cáilíochta sa Ghaeilge), which confirms the applicant's competence to teach the Irish language as well as a range of primary school curricular subjects through the medium of Irish. 

Conditional registration is granted to those in the process of completing this requirement. A maximum period of three years is permitted to satisfy this condition. 

Both the SCG (Aptitude Test) and OCG (Adaptation Period) are administered by Institiúid Oideachais Marino, Dublin 9. Full information is available here.

Montessori Teaching

Applicants wishing to be registered on the basis of qualifications as a Montessori teacher must meet the qualifications requirements set out in Regulation Three of the Teaching Council [Registration] Regulations 2009 [click here to view]. 

Under Department of Education and Skills regulations, such teachers are eligible for employment as a teacher in restricted school settings, i.e. in certain categories of special schools and in certain classes in mainstream schools where Irish is not a curricular requirement.

What is the size and scope of the sector?

There are over 4,000 schools between primary and second level in Ireland employing over 59,000 Teachers. Schools also employ almost 12,000 Special Needs Assistants as well as Secretaries and Care-takers.

In Higher Education, 31 colleges provide services to over 173,000 full time students and employ over 23,000 staff.

Source: Ireland's Education & Training Sector ~ Overview of Service Delivery and Reform, DES, 2015.

Education policy in Ireland is the responsibility of the Department of Education and Skills. The Department is headed by a Minister who may be assisted by a Minister(s) of State. 


What are the typical routes into this sector?

In general teachers are recruited by the school board of management, or by the Education and Training Board. Teaching posts are usually advertised in the national and local press.  Lists of schools may be obtained from:

Government Publications, 52 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, and can also be accessed on the Department of Education and Skills website at

Information on pay scales can be obtained by accessing the relevant circulars at

Please see information section above for detail of entry routes and recruitment process. You can also visit


Career Structure

At Primary level a teacher will be required to teach all the subjects across the Primary Curriculum.  It is possible to start in a temporary capacity or as a substitute for another teacher who is on leave, or to enter a permanent post directly. Teachers can be promoted into Posts of Responsibility where they undertake duties delegated by the Principal Teacher in addition to their teaching activities.

The next level of progression is to Vice Principal or Principal. The Principal Teacher manages the day-to-day operations of the school. Learning/language support and resource teachers are also employed in schools with a particular focus on providing additional support to children experiencing learning difficulties, pupils with special needs or children needing additional language assistance.

Second level schools are generally larger than Primary schools. Teachers usually provide classes in a particular subject area. Individuals can aspire to posts of Principal and Deputy Principal. There is a moratorium in place since March, 2009 on the filling of Posts of Responsibility. Some limited alleviation is in place for schools acutely affected by the moratorium at Assistant Principal level.  At second level, learning/language support teachers and resource teachers are also employed. There are also opportunities within second level schools for part time work for teachers in particular subject areas.

Teachers registered with the Teaching Council and working in a school where the post is full-time may apply through an open selection process for secondment to the various Support Teams which form part of the curriculum support services funded by the Department of Education and Skills which provide professional development for teachers, usually based in the network of 21 Education Centres. These teams work for a period designing and delivering training programmes to teachers around the country, for example when a syllabus is revised, or in a key area of policy, such as assessment, addressing disadvantage, catering for children with special needs etc.

Teachers may apply for career opportunities in the Inspectorate Section of the Department. The role of the Inspector is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning for children and young people in Irish schools, centres for education and other settings and to support the development of the Irish education system. It does this through providing high quality evaluation, analysis and advice.

Professional development

All teachers are expected to engage in continuing professional development. This can be through in-service courses provided by the Department and through summer and local courses offered by the network of education centres, or through pursuit of formally certified higher education programmes.  In some cases substitution may be granted and appropriate levels of expense are met. Teachers may also seek unpaid leave and longer term sabbaticals.


Are there opportunities in this sector for non-Irish nationals?

The Teaching Council is the statutory body that sets the standard of academic achievement and professional training required for teaching at post-primary school level. Qualifications that have general recognition by the Council are awarded by institutions in Ireland, with a small number being awarded by UK educational institutions. If your qualification does not have general recognition by the Council, you must submit a detailed statement of your third-level education and qualifications for assessment on an individual basis.

English Language Requirement

To be eligible to teach in the school system in Ireland at either primary or post-primary level, you must be competent to teach the various aspects of the curriculum in the English language. In the event that English is not your first language, or if your teaching qualification was granted from a country where English is not the first language, The Department of Education and Skills require that you take an oral and/or written test. You will not be granted recognition to teach in any capacity in a national school until you establish your competence in English.

Recognition of Qualifications

Primary level or post-primary school teachers who qualified outside Ireland must apply to the Teaching Council for recognition. Teachers who qualified in an EU member state can get recognition in Ireland. Qualifications obtained from outside the EU must be acceptable to the Teaching Council.

Primary Teachers who trained in another EU member State

Currently, primary school teachers who completed their training either in an EU state, or outside the EU, may teach (for up to 5 years) in an Irish school if they have been assessed by the Department of Education and Skills. They will be granted provisional recognition to teach, subject to working towards meeting the Department's Irish language requirements, within the 5-year time frame.

Post-primary Teachers who trained in another EU member State

According to EU law, an EU citizen who is recognised as a post-primary teacher by another EU/EEA country may seek similar recognition in Ireland. While they are awaiting a decision on their application for full recognition, they will be granted provisional recognition, while the suitability of their qualifications is being assessed. Any shortfall in terms of qualifications can be bridged by taking an aptitude test or by undergoing an adaptation period.


What are the typical earnings of these occupations?

The basic salary for a new teacher is in the range from €30,702 to €59,940 but there are also some additional allowances payable.

Employment in primary and post primary schools is mainly full time, but there are opportunities for part-time work particularly in second level schools. Primary schools close in July and August for holidays, and post primary schools are closed for most of June, and July and August.

At second level, teachers can avail of seasonal opportunities to work as examiners for the State Examinations Commission to assist in the management of the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations.


What changes are anticipated over the next 5 years

Teacher Training ~ The National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011-2020 and the work of the Teaching Council are the driving force for a number of reforms affecting initial teacher education. This is important work which will benefit future generations and society as a whole.

A major programme of reform of initial teacher education courses as part of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy is taking place. Significant and substantial improvements have been made to primary and post primary initial teacher education courses, which include both the reconfiguration of the content and increasing the duration of many courses.

A new Digital Strategy has also been published that will transform our approach to using technology to improve teaching and learning.

Junior Cycle ~ The New Framework for Junior cycle will be implemented in a phased manner, commencing in September 2014 and thereafter.

Senior Cycle ~ A new CAO points system has been published, which will remove some of the unnecessary pressure on students and encourage them to be ambitious with their learning.

Further Education and Training ~ The Further Education and Training Strategy 2014-2019 outlines clearly what is to happen in the next 5 years in this sector.  16 local Education and Training Boards have been established to replace the existing 33 Vocational Education Committees. As part of the establishment of the Education and Training Boards, 19 training centres have been transferred from SOLAS to the Education and Training Boards. 

Apprenticeship ~ 25 new apprenticeships have been identified, and are currently being developed so that they can enrol students during 2016.

Higher Education - A major reform programme is being advanced in line with the Higher Education Strategy, to improve the quality of the experience of students, to improve the quality of the outcomes from the system and to enhance accountability and the efficient use of resources.

The Technological Universities Bill is to be published in 2015, subject to Government decision. It provides the legal underpinning for the mergers of Institutes of Technology, the establishment of Technological Universities and the reform of governing bodies in the Institutes of Technology.


Are there any areas in your sector currently experiencing skills shortages?

Teaching at primary and second level is a sought after career, and skill shortages are not being experienced. The work is challenging and teachers are expected to continue to engage in continuing professional development to keep pace with changing needs, curriculum reform, integration of ICT and innovation in teaching and learning approaches.

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) plays a key role in advising on future enterprise skills needs and any emerging gaps. Recent reports published by the EGFSN indicate that the current needs of enterprise are in the following areas, High-Level ICT, Manufacturing, Skills to Trade Internationally combined with a Foreign Language, International Financial Services and Entrepreneurship. In supporting unemployed people to upskill and reskill in order to return to employment the Department of Education and Skills has launched two new competitive funding streams at higher education level that address the specific skills needs of industry and support jobseekers into employment - Springboard and the ICT Skills Conversion programme.


Springboard is a specific initiative that strategically targets funding of free part-time higher education courses to enable unemployed people who have lost jobs in sectors where employment levels will not return, to upskill or reskill in areas where there are identified labour market skills shortages or employment opportunities. The courses, which are at level 6 (higher certificate) to level 9 (master’s degree) on the National Framework of Qualifications, are delivered in public and private higher education providers around the country. All courses approved for funding under Springboard are in areas of identified skills needs and are selected by an independent panel with industry and educational expertise, following a competitive call for proposals. Details of Springboard courses and the eligibility criteria for participation are available on the dedicated information and applications website

ICT Skills Conversion Programme

The ICT Skills Conversion programmes are provided as part of the joint Government-Industry ICT Action Plan which was launched in 2012. Jobseekers with a level 8 qualification are eligible to apply for the conversion programmes. The course, which are free of charge to participants, are all highly intensive and lead to an honours degree level award (NFQ level 8) in computer science. The courses are all designed and delivered in partnership with industry and include a work placement of 3 to 6 months duration. Further information is available at 


  Continue to...
  Go Questions about the sector
  Go Questions about the career opportunities
  Go Questions about education and training
  Go Questions about global opportunities
  Go Advice for people interested in this area

  Department of Education and Skills

School Principal
Paul Meany
"The workload is massive but the job is rewarding. In a sense it is still a vocation"
Paul Meany
Teacher - Special Needs
Padraig Parle
"Last year our school did very well in our Whole School Evaluation. Whenever I receive positive feedback from an inspector, I feel a combination of relief and pride"
Padraig Parle
Guidance Counsellor
Brian Howard
"there is great satisfaction from helping young people make important decisions on their journey through school life"
Brian Howard
Primary School Teacher
Brian Cadigan
"I feel I am good at dealing with people and teaching is all about human interaction"
Brian Cadigan
Aoife Mc Dermott
"While I work hard, I do so in my own office, organise my own time, and am free to do so once I do my job well."
Aoife Mc Dermott
Secondary School Teacher
Mary Joyce
"A lot of organisation goes with delivering a PE lesson as you must take into consideration equipment, location and safety issues"
Mary Joyce
Resource Teacher
Paul Galvan
"Prioritising learning needs for students can be challenging, as there are often subtle learning difficulties which can prove difficult to target"
Paul Galvan
Primary School Teacher
Deirdre Sayers
"There is a great sense of satisfaction in seeing another person develop both academically and emotionally"
Deirdre Sayers