Fingal Community College – A College for Every Student

21st Century School of Distinction 2015-16

College Awareness Week 23rd to 29th of November 2015

twitter: @CollegeAware
hashtag: #CAW15
LinkedIn: join the College Awareness Week group (where members can add discussions and then also post on their own profiles)


Career Choices

When you are deciding what to take for the Leaving Certificate, remember that your decision will have long-term consequences for the careers that are open to you. Not taking a science subject or a European language, for example, will have major implications later on.

The same does not apply to business subjects, as most business courses assume that you have come to the subjects as novices. If a student is making his/her subject choices but has not yet decided on a career, keep all your options open by taking a science and a foreign language from among your four optional subjects.

Remember that all third-level colleges and courses have minimum subject-entry requirements. If you do not meet them it does not matter how many points you receive in the Leaving Certificate, you will not get a place on the course.

It may seem very early to be raising the question of a career, but some are accessible only through particular courses, which are open only to students who have successfully taken particular subjects in their Leaving Certificate.

Unless you are certain that you want to pursue a career in a particular field and wish to concentrate on associated subjects, consider taking a range of subjects from different areas of study.

The most important factor is whether you enjoy the subjects you have chosen. You are always going to work harder at subjects that you enjoy most.

And last but not least . . . A pass in ordinary-level maths is required for most College courses. A grade B in Foundation level Maths is sufficient to meet minimum entry requirements for some courses. Up to 5,000 students each year fall below this level to Foundation Level Maths and a further 5,000 fail Ordinary Level. Whatever you do over the next two years, don’t neglect your work in this subject.


So what should you choose?
  •  Subjects you enjoy, you are good at – this will help to maximise your points
  • Subjects you need for your course or career interest
  •  Subjects from different subject groups e.g. Science group, Language group.
Tips for Choosing a Career

A good way to approach career choice is to list on one side your interests and talents:

  • Which school subjects are you best at?
  • Do you write well? Are you artistic?
  • 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 a 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
particular qualities required for each of them. By comparing your two lists, you should be able to
narrow down the choice of occupations that you consider would suit you.

Final Summary Guidelines:

Keep career options open by choosing a broad range of subjects for Leaving Certificate that interest you. In addition, a third language and a science subject are always an advantage.

Choose subjects that you have an aptitude/ability for, enjoy and have an interest in as a way to maximise your points. Final decisions on career plans should be delayed as long as possible, what you want to be at 16 may not be what you want to be at 18!

There are certain subjects that are essential for entry into particular courses, colleges and careers. The various Third Level colleges all give the subjects requirements necessary for entry into their colleges and courses in their prospectus and on their college website. Always check
matriculation and course requirements.


  • I t’s impossible to pursue any Science course or Science related course in Third Level unless one has at least one Science subject to Leaving Cert. Level.
  •  Honours Maths is necessary for most degree courses in Engineering.
  • A European Language is necessary for many degree courses at University.
  •  Points for all Third level courses are scored on SIX HIGHEST GRADES OBTAINED in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate
  • When deciding your subject options never pick a subject believing that it is easy.
  • Never pick a subject because your friends are doing that subject; your future career path may be totally different to your friends, and do not hesitate to ask for advice.
  • Subject choice should not depend on what teacher is teaching a certain subject at Leaving Certificate level.
  • Talk to your teachers, past pupils, students in 5th and 6th year currently studying the subjects that interest you, older brothers and sisters and parents to help you make a more informed subject choice.
  • Always, always get your information through RESEARCH and more RESEARCH.


College Open Days, click here.


Start researching now and use the following links: This website provides details on the HEAR and DARE access routes to higher education. This website provides information on college news and events and gives advice on student accommodation, study and money management. The CAO Website provides information on everything related to the CAO application process, including an online version of the handbook and video guides. This website brings together a wide range of career-related information aimed at students, parents, guardians and guidance professionals.


These websites provide information on how to become an accountant or tax adviser. The Citizens Information Board website provides information on public services and entitlements in Ireland. This website has an online budget planner, which you can use to work out what you are spending your money on and to compare that spending with your income. The Credit Union of Ireland publishes the Third Level Education Costs Survey and What’s Left Tracker, which gives details of household expenses and the cost of third-level education. This property website lists rental property by area, property type, room, rent charges and availability dates. The DIT website has a student cost-of-living guide, which is an excellent resource on the cost of living for a student in Ireland. EUNiCAS is an Independent European University application support service. This website is a useful database which you can search for third-level funding opportunities. The State Examinations Commission is responsible for developing and assessing the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate Examinations. This is the official tourism trade website for Ireland.  It provides up-to-date information on the Irish tourism sector. This website provides information on how to become a garda. This website has a database of courses and provides information on career paths and preparing for college. This website offers career advice and information on graduate jobs. The Higher Education Colleges Association website is a good source of information on most independent colleges in Ireland. This website provides information and advice on studying in Ireland and has an excellent resource on the cost of living in Ireland.  It has information on how to make your budget stretch further when shopping and how to get discounts. The Institute of Guidance Counsellors is the professional body representing over 1200 practitioners in second level schools, third level colleges, adult guidance services, private practice and in other settings.  The IGC website contains useful guidance information for both parents and students. This website provides information on training for entry to the Irish Bar. The Law Society is the educational, representative and regulatory body for solicitors in Ireland. This website provides information on careers in the army, air corps and naval service. This website provides information on careers in nursing and midwifery. This website provides detailed descriptions of the world of work to help students when considering careers. This is the website of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). The Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) website provides information on programmes, awards, providers and foreign qualification recognition. This website lists all courses on offer in Ireland. This website is for people of all ages who are interested in science.  It brings together information on many areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Ireland for students, parents and teachers. This website provides information on the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and associated careers. This website has information on financial assistance schemes and maintenance grants available in Ireland, the Back to Education Allowance, the Millennium Partnership Fund and many other schemes. This website gives an overview of international study opportunities and application processes. The SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) website is a comprehensive source of information on the student grant scheme and provides a handy step-by-step guide to eligibility and the grants process. The Teaching Council is the professional standards body for teaching.  It promotes and regulates the profession of teaching in Ireland. Teagasc is the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland.  This website provides up-to-date information on the sector. This website helps students find out about and apply to higher-education institutions in the UK. The Union of Students in Ireland website has a good section on accommodation and includes helpful checklists that you can print out and use.  There is a range of documents on advice, landlords’ rights and tenants’ obligations, which you can download.