Careers Ireland

Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

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Careers News

Posted by Francis O' Toole on April 24, 2017


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Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI)

Posted by Francis O' Toole on April 3, 2017

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) – the centralised  grant application scheme for college students, reopens for both new and renewal applications today –  Monday 3rd April 2017.

Application Process

SUSI administers the student grant scheme in its entirety. Last year SUSI awarded grant funding to 76,000 students for the 2016/17 academic year. It is anticipated that it will receive over 110,000 applications for 2017/18 from today, and will provide around €380 million in support to some 80,000 students.

Who can apply

Eligible students in approved full-time, third-level education in Ireland and, in some cases, students studying outside the State can access grant funding. All types of students, from school leavers to mature students returning to education can apply.

Any student who thinks they might be eligible for a SUSI grant is urged to submit their application online to SUSI as soon as possible to ensure that it is processed as quickly as possible.

The priority closing dates for the 2017/18 student grant scheme are:

  • 13th July for new applicants
  • 15th June for renewals from students already in college.

Note: As a new grant applicant, you do not need to have accepted a place on a college course in order to apply for a grant. You can do this later in the process.

The student grant scheme is quite a detailed application process so it is crucial that you apply as early as possible if you plan to take-up a course of study this year. Grant applications are processed in the order in which they are received, so the earlier you apply and get any supportiung documents required submitted to SUSI, the earlier you will have a response on the outcome of your application to put your mind at ease when it comes to starting college.

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton said “I would encourage students who think they might be eligible for support to submit their online applications to SUSI as soon as possible.”

Changes 2017/18

Postgraduate – Added demand is expected this year due to the reintroduction of maintenance grants for postgraduate students. The postgraduate maintenance grant scheme to support students at third level was abolished by the Government in 2012 in order to save €50 million per year. Additional funding of €4 million was secured in Budget 2017 to facilitate the reinstatement of full maintenance grants from September 2017 for disadvantaged postgraduate students.

PLC – A change to “Second Chance” provision will allow mature students who attended college and dropped out, not successfully completing an approved course, can now apply to SUSI again as a new applicant, following a break in study of five years.

For full details and online application see


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Careers News

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 20, 2017


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Recruitment for army and naval

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 13, 2017

Recruitment for army and naval general personnel has already begun. Army applicants must be aged between 18 and 25, while naval applicants should be between 18 and 27 on the closing date for applications, Wednesday April 5. Interested applicants should log on to and complete an application form. Applications may only be submitted online.

While no formal qualifications are required, candidates must undergo a fitness test, interviews, psychometric testing and a medical exam.

The recruitment competitions for cadetships and apprenticeships have not yet begun, but anyone interested should keep a close eye on for news of these.


Although the Defence Forces are not currently advertising cadetships, many school leavers and graduates will be looking forward to the beginning of that recruitment drive. The cadetship is the programme through which the Defence Forces recruit and train future officers for the army, navy and air corps.

Applicants for this programme should present with Leaving Cert results similar to the matriculation requirements for the National University of Ireland (NUI). These include a ‘passing’ grade in Irish, maths, English and a modern European language, as well as at least two ‘honours’ grades in higher level subjects and a ‘pass’ in another four subjects.

This is the only way for potential candidates to become an army officer. As part of the recruitment process, candidates will participate in psychometric testing, a fitness test, an interview and a medical exam.

While it is possible for school leavers to be successful, it is likely they will be competing with a large number of graduates. Therefore, if candidates find they are not recruited first time around, it may be helpful to complete a degree and reapply. An applicant who is recruited to this programme and who does not hold a third level qualification may be assigned to a third level course. Therefore, applicants should be open to third level study if applying for a cadetship. Apprenticeship

Under the Defence Forces apprenticeship scheme, successful applicants will be trained in a technical area, as well as defence training, over a four year period. Technical training takes place in third level colleges.

The Defence Forces are expected to launch a recruitment drive for aircraft technicians at some point in 2017. Aircraft technicians provide maintenance and servicing for weapons, equipment and aircraft.

It is likely that candidates will be required to be between the age of 18 and 21 and hold minimum Leaving Cert qualifications, which may include five ‘passes’ including English or Irish and maths and in any one of the following: physics, chemistry, engineering or construction. Students interested in any of the above opportunities should keep a close eye on the website,, for announcements. With 860 posts to be filled there are sure to be many interesting opportunities coming soon.

Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

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The Intel Women in Technology Scholarship is now accepting applications. 

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 13, 2017


Closing date for the programme is October 2nd 2017.

Intel’s success in Ireland has been built on the quality of highly skilled and educated people available in the country. Through the ‘Women in Technology’ scholarship program, Intel hopes to increase awareness and encourage a new generation of high-achieving women to take up the challenge of a career in science and technology.

Intel works closely with local schools and colleges to help ensure that our educational system continues to produce the exceptional quality of graduates that has helped to make Intel in Ireland so successful.

With that in mind, Intel is pleased to this year continue, and indeed grow, the Women in Technology scholarship program for females who have just embarked on third level education.

  • Scholarships are open to female school leavers entering specified undergraduate honors degree courses in science, technology, and engineering (full selection criteria is included below) and up to €3000 for each student per annum.
  • Scholars will complete intern placements or summer internships at an Intel campus.
    (The scholarship program is supported by Intel in Leixlip, Shannon, and Cork and successful scholars are linked to an Intel campus based on their course selection and geographical location).
  • To assist with career progression and further education, each scholar will be assigned an Intel mentor who can assist and provide advice on managing their academic career.

Full criteria for selection available here.

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International Women Day

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 8, 2017

International Women’s Day as a vehicle for change, is it possible?

Last year, organizations and individuals around the world supported the #PledgeForParity campaign and committed to help women and girls achieve their ambitions; challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men’s contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures. From awareness raising to concrete action, organizations rallied their people to pledge support to help forge gender parity on International Women’s Day (IWD) and beyond.

But the World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait. Around the world, IWD can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity.

What if the world truly stepped up to take bold action?

Will you #BeBoldForChange on International Women’s Day 2017 and beyond by taking groundbreaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women.

Each one of us – with women, men and non-binary people joining forces – can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.     Sing along to the Galway girl.

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Career Guidance for schools

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 8, 2017

Michéal Martin TD has formally delivered strong reassurance to more than 400 members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC), on the additional guidance counselling posts for schools next year.


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Career Guidance – In schools from September 2017

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 8, 2017

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Careers News

Posted by Francis O' Toole on March 8, 2017


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Choose subjects that interest you / Junior Cycle and TY Students

Posted by Francis O' Toole on February 1, 2017

This is the time of year when Junior Cycle and Transition Year students in Ireland make important decisions about Senior Cycle Subjects – decisions that may influence the options open to them after school. Here is some advice for students, and their parents, currently making those decisions.

Choose subjects that interest you

It is important to choose subjects that are appropriate to your interests, skills, and abilities. Do some research. Look at the practicalities as well as the career, educational and personal consequences of each subject option available.

Visit the Leaving Cert Subject Choice area for a detailed look at individual Leaving Cert subjects, including subject grades explorer, links to curriculum and syllabi and related college and career articles and information.

Focus on the practicalities before making final decisions on subjects:Practicalities

  • What subjects are available at your school?
  • Is there a clash between two required subjects?
  • Be aware of any issues such as the level of difficulty of the course material.
  • Check if there there are requirements such as a portfolio as part of the assessment etc.

Keep your options open


It is always advisable to keep as many options open as possible. Many college courses build on your learning in the Leaving Cert, but not all. A good example is Science.

Holding on to one Science subject for Senior Cycle (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Physics & Chemistry, Agricultural Science) keeps several college options open including all Healthcare courses, most Science courses, Sports & Physical Education and Engineering courses. Home Economics S&S is acceptable as a lab science for some courses, such as Veterinary Nursing in UCD. However, to study Veterinary Medicine in UCD you must have a H5 in Chemistry.


It is widely believed that if a student does not study a language for the Leaving Cert they will not be able to attend third level – this is not entirely the case, but having a language in the Leaving Cert can greatly impact choices. Some schools allow students not to take a language for Leaving Cert – the decision to drop a language should not be taken lightly.


Most third level colleges do not require entrants to have a European language in order to meet the matriculation, or minimum entry requirement.

  • At Trinity College Dublin, students are required to pass English and another language, and Maths or Latin.
  • The matriculation requirements for DCU are Maths and English or Irish.
  • UL – The University of Limerick requires students to have English, Maths and Irish or another language.

So, a student who does not take a foreign language at Leaving Cert will typically meet the entry requirements for these universities, as long as they take Irish, or have an Irish exemption.

Exemption from Irish

A student with an Irish exemption may apply for exemption from the requirement to present Irish as a matriculation subject from the university they will be applying to [Find out more here]. Students can also apply to NUI for an exemption from the requirement to have a third language* [Find out more here].

Matriculation requirements

To be allowed into a college for any course offered at that college, you first meet the college entry requirements – each college has their own rules, so you must research them individually. For example, particular subjects required, grades, the number of points required etc.

From 2017 onwards, all Level 8 college courses require students to achieve two H5 grades and four O6/H7 grades in the Leaving Cert. Trinity College Dublin requires students to achieve three H5s and three O6/H7 grades.

Subject Requirements

Many college courses require that you have acheived a specific grade or above, in a particular subject to Leaving Cert level, to be eligible for entry. It is important to be aware of this when choosing Senior Cycle subjects.

The NUI universities (UCC, NUI Galway, UCD and Maynooth University) require students to have passes at ordinary level English and Irish. Students must also pass a third language* to take courses in the arts, human science, law, social science, commerce, medicine and health sciences and some other degrees.

  • *Note re Maynooth University: The National University of Ireland (NUI) have recently approved the removal of the third language requirement for Maynooth University’s Business, Accounting, Finance and Law degree programmes. For entry 2017 and subsequent years, a third language is not required for any of the MH400 and MH500 degrees; namely MH401, MH403, MH404, MH405, MH407, MH411 as well as MH501 and MH502.

Students are not required to pass a language for entry to engineering or agricultural science.

The Institutes of Technology generally expect students to have passes in English and Maths – not choosing a language should have no impact on a candidate’s ability to get place in one of their programmes.

PLC colleges do not require students to have taken a language.

A modern European language will also be required for application to cadetships in the Defence Forces.

So, while not choosing a language will not affect entry to the majority of third level institutions, it will restrict choice to some extent.

Advice: keep as many options as possible open.

The exact requirements for entry to individual college courses are presented each year in the college prospectus and online – use the available CourseFinder filters to explore:

Read the rest of this entry »

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