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Choosing a Career
Some people know at an early stage what they
would like to be - a teacher, an engineer, a salesperson, a
bus-driver perhaps - but there are many who have no definite
ideas about the kind of work they would like to

One of the principal needs of young people
in choosing a Career, is information on the
opportunities available and awareness of their
own qualities, skills and potential.

Research should be made into specific details of
your chosen career.

Information is the Key:
Good decisions are based on good information.
Towards the end of their third year or in Transition Year in
second-level schools most young people face the
first big decision of their lives - the choice of
school subjects which can affect the choice of a
career. The choice is important because, once
made, it affects the course of their working

In order to make an informed decision it is
essential to know the subject requirement for your chosen
career. The most common mistakes made in choosing subjects are:

  • not opting for a modern foreign language
  • not opting for a science subject
Points about Choosing a Career:
In Choosing a Career you must take into
consideration a number of factors:
  • what employment opportunities are available
  • what you would like to do,
  • what your talents and attainments in school examinations are,
  • what your family and financial circumstances are
  • whether you are in a position, to take a professional course of training in a technical college or University
  • other factors to be considered are general are intelligence, physique and talent.
Most people are capable of doing any one of a
number of different jobs with some success and
satisfaction, provided the jobs give scope to the individual's qualities and gifts.

How to set about Choosing a Career:
A good way to approach the problem would be to
list on one side your tastes and talents:

  • which school subjects are you best at?
  • do you write well?
  • are you artistic?
  • do you get on well with people?
  • do you work best with a group or do you like to work alone on an exercise or a problem?
  • are you a leader, the kind of person your classmates pick as prefect or team captain, etc?
  • would you like outdoor or indoor, manual or desk work?
Against this, list the careers that interest you
and the educational qualifications and any personal
qualities required for them.

By comparing your two lists you should be able to narrow down the choice of occupations which you consider would suit you.

Begin drawing up these lists from Junior
Certificate year onwards, and update them often during your Senior Cycle. This will help the decision-making process in
your final year.

Information is the key:
Study the various career leaflets, noting the
entry qualifications required, the work involved and
the training you would have to undergo either before starting
or while at work.
Your first source of advice should be your parents.
If you are attending a secondary or vocational school in which there is a Guidance Counsellor you may seek his/her

Second Level schools generally give guidance to
students in the choice of courses and careers. You will also
have to consider, with the help of the school's advisers
and your parents, such questions as:

  • whether you would be able for any necessary training
  • the cost of University or training needed in some careers
  • whether it would be possible for you to attend such courses of study or training
  • if you would qualify for grants
The question of whether employment in certain kinds of work does in fact exist at home or whether it is confined to certain areas, large centres of population, etc, must be faced.
Opportunities to study/train abroad must also be considered. Collect all the information and then decide on the possibilities.

Where to go for Further Information:

Parents, family and friends who have followed different career paths.

Guidence Counsellors to whom students can drop in and ask for advice and information. The following are Guidance Counsellors in the Schools of Castlebar:
Sr Connor in St. Josephs Secondary
Mr Woods in St. Geralds College
Mr Devilly in Davitt College

Castlebar Youth Infromation Centre,
 (094) 28674
will assist in seeking out information on careers, education, and training possibilites.
It has a range of books and leaflets in which you will find the titles and addresses of Professional Institutes, Trade Associations, Colleges of Training and Education, Major Employer Bodies who will be prepared to answer specific enquiries or to furnish more detailed information to young people interested in particular careers.