Careers Ireland

Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

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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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Here are some handy tips for parents…CAO

Posted by Francis O' Toole on February 1, 2017

Completing the CAO application can be a daunting experience for both parents and students alike, but it doesn’t have to be this way. As parents, we must remember that the student is the most important person in all of this discussion. Choosing a good study path requires a lot of time and patience.

Completing the application at this time serves two functions: it completes the registration process and gives students time to focus, knowing that there will be plenty of opportunity to revisit the application in the months ahead.

Choosing the wrong course is one of the major factors which leads to student drop-out at college. Each year, I meet a lot of these students attending colleges nationwide who are disillusioned and find that college just doesn’t meet their expectations, leading to unhappiness and a sense of failure. This can be difficult for parents and the family as a whole to deal with.

Here are some handy tips for parents…

Encourage the student to take control and ownership of the search for college courses. They will value the experience more, work harder and get more out of it.

Be upfront about the cost of a third-level education. Students will welcome this. Who is paying for what? While wrong course choice is listed as one of the major factors in the high drop-out rates, having financial worry is also a major factor. Be positive. This is an opportunity to have open-ended discussions exploring life choices.

Pick your moment. Don’t leave such an important issue to the last minute to discuss, as this will cause tension and negativity, and students will clam up. Take a practical approach to the registration – it’s a fixed date with a fixed price, so get in there. Remember that choices made now can be changed right up to July 1, with the exception of restricted-application courses, which have early assessment procedures (check the relevant prospectus for details).

It’s OK to work quietly apart in the search for the right course and college. It doesn’t matter who finds the right course – what matters is that it is a good choice. Get out a notebook and jot down any information from your research that you feel might be relevant to help your son or daughter on their journey.

Observe what the student likes to do, the type of discussions they engage in, who they admire and why, what makes them tick. Encourage them to make their own notes. This is an incremental process. It’s like a slow-burning candle: there are no instant answers. These notes don’t have to be shared but patterns may emerge and may be useful points to raise in future discussions.

Asking the right questions is important. There will be many questions and, as the student matures, these questions will change many times before the final course choices are made at the end of the academic year. It is vital that students list courses in order of genuine interest. They also need to have lots of choice in their area of interest. Every course listed on the application requires the same level of research.

Given the highly competitive nature of the college entry process, students will need to have a wide range of choices available in their area of interest. For each course listed on the CAO application, there is one question that students need to ask themselves: how would I react if this course was offered to me in August 2017? The answer will speak for itself.

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order of preference / CAO

Posted by Francis O' Toole on February 1, 2017


Thousands of students around the country are now in the process of filling out that all-important CAO application in time for the 1st February deadline, in the hope of securing a college place for September.

One of the many questions students and their parents typically have each year concerns the order of preference when listing course choices the CAO application. It is really important to order your course preferences correctly. It will prevent much frustration and disappointment when it comes to offers time.

Order of preference

In a nutshell, in August 2017, when the first round of CAO offers are issued, each applicant receives the highest course they have listed in their order of preference, for which they have achieved all entry requirements and are above the points cut-off level.

Find out more about the points history of courses using the detailed information in the CourseFinder.

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Wednesday 1st February

Posted by Francis O' Toole on February 1, 2017


The CAO has been open for applications since 4th November 2016 for students wishing to secure a college place for Autumn 2017. Wednesday 1st February today is a  key deadline. Why is it important?

All students planning to go to college when they finish school this year, or who wish to simply leave that option open, should register to CAO by 5.15pm on or before this date.

The 1st of February date is particularly important for any students who wish to include ‘restricted’ application courses in their course choice lists (these are any courses that have an additional assessment such as HPAT for Medicine, or a portfolio requirement for Art, or an interview for Teaching).

Also, students who are applying to be considered for the HEAR and/or DARE schemes must have registered on the CAO system by 1st February 2017 at 5:15pm and must then have completed the HEAR/DARE application form by 1st March 2017 at 5:15pm, with all supporting documents sent to CAO before 1st April 2017 at 5:15pm.

Amending or changing your course choices

At different stages in the process, there are periods when you can amend or change your course choices, using the CAO Change Courses Facility or Change of Mind Facility:

A. Change of Mind – 5th November to 31st January (17:15)

B. Change of Mind – 5th February (12:00 noon) to 1st March (17:15)

C. Change of Mind – 5th May (12:00 noon) to 1st July (17:15)

Note: You must be registered on CAO by the 1st February deadline to avail of these facilities.

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Careers News

Posted by Francis O' Toole on February 1, 2017


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