Francis O' Toole Author – Careers Ireland

Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

  • December 2011
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Agricultural opportunities are out there

Posted by Francis O' Toole on December 19, 2011

With just six weeks to the CAO deadline — February 1, 2012 — Leaving Certificate students are now considering their options for further education.

After being largely ignored during the Celtic Tiger era, the agriculture and food sector in Ireland is now being referred to as a pillar of the Irish economy again.

This renewed political interest in the sector was preceded by a massive surge in the number of students applying for places in agriculture and food-related courses.

The Food Harvest 2020 report has set ambitious targets for the sector and one of its central themes was that of a ‘smart and green’ industry.

One of the key factors in achieving this smart, green industry will be skilled employees throughout the food chain from farm to fork.


This is an exciting time for any student who wants to carve out a career in the agri-food sector and there are thousands of potential career opportunities within the sector.

While some students will already have a clear idea of what they want to study and how to go about it, others will need to spend some time researching their options.

Career guidance teachers, college open days, current students and former students are just some of the ways to find out more about college courses and job opportunities that might interest you.

Work experience is a top class way to dip your toe into an area that interests you so ask if you can spend a day shadowing a vet, sales rep, food producer or anyone whose career you are interested in. Remember to research all the possible careers you might like and only when you have thoroughly examined each one, make a decision on what plan of action to take.

There are courses to suit everyone, from part-time evening courses to full-time residential courses, all ranging from further education to degree level.

Caitriona Murphy, Irish independent


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