The most usual route is through taking a degree at a third level college, often following this with a post graduate qualification. Some courses offer work placements during the programme which is particularly beneficial in obtaining employment after completing the degree.
Higher certificate courses (level 6) and ordinary degree programmes (level 7) are also available often in areas such as instrumentation. These can lead to good jobs as lab technicians with many opportunities for further progression in companies who support additional learning.
What are the typical routes into this sector?
It helps to have taken physics at Leaving Certificate level. However it is not essential as many third level courses will cover this material in the first year of study.
Employment opportunities are available following all types of qualification levels, certificate, ordinary degree, honours degree, postgraduate.
Questions about the sector
Questions about the career opportunities
Questions about education and training
Questions about global opportunities
Advice for people interested in this area
Elva Bannon "I’m part of a team inventing something new that has the potential to provide clean renewable energy"
Cian O'Mahony "After studying science, I did a one-year Higher Diploma in Education in UCC. This involved studying the theory of educational practice as well as having practical work experience"
Deirdre Kelleghan "Giving talks in libraries, schools and arts centers to thousands of children each year is very satisfying"
Dave McDonald "For astronomy, a yearning for answering the unanswered questions is a must. You also need to be dedicated and focused and not put off by the weather."
Caitriona Jackman "I work with data from the magnetometer on the Cassini spacecraft which is in orbit around the planet Saturn"
Shane Callanan "Engineers are the same all over the world. There are technical problems to solve, and we love to solve them!!!"
Karl Stanley "The purpose of technology is to automate the things that people are bad at, so they can spend more time doing things they are good at"
Sinead Kenny "The coolest thing of all is to hear that the device has worked and that the quality of life of patients has improved."
James Stewart "at the moment I am working with a group of young people, teaching them how to plan, shoot and edit a short film"
Brian O'Connor "It is very cool knowing that I play a role in the production of this drug coming to the market."