Once again it’s that time of year when thousands of students all over the country are looking at a piece of paper in their hand and trying to decide where to go from here?
Last week many will have received their Leaving Cert results and earlier this week the first round of the CAO offers were made which will mean it is D-Day - decision time for many students, for others it is a time to weigh up all the options and see what is on offer through further education or a training scheme.
Not everyone has had, or taken, the opportunity to receive a formal education. Adults who now want to develop their basic skills (eg. literacy, writing) can avail of specialised training run in VEC colleges around the country. These courses are free and can be tailored to the individual needs of participants.
Career planning is too important to be left to chance. After all, the decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life, especially the 25-40 years you will spend in the workforce.
If you want a satisfying career, you must prepare by following these steps:
○ Planning for your future may not be a steady progression up the steps. You may need to move up and down the steps as your life’s circumstances change - the career/life planning steps will continue throughout.
○ As we move on from Secondary school, the number of choices and opportunities expands dramatically. For those who continue their education, they may pursue courses in Third level or Further education programmes.
○ Education never stops. As humans, learning is part of what we are. There is always some question, some curiosity, something we would like to understand better ? whether it is something about the world of science, business, the arts, sport or whatever. Whether we follow our curiosity informally through conversation or books, or more formally by undertaking a course or classes, learning goes on.
○ Lifelong learning is a term used to capture a range of courses that tap into our desire to take a more formal approach to understanding a subject we are interested in. This could be anything from pursuing a hobby (aerobics, ballet, creative writing etc.) to courses that lead directly towards career advancement (ECDL, Accountancy etc.).
Thousands of courses are available to people of all ages and interests throughout Ireland. These courses typically run from 6 weeks to two years. As the name suggests, these courses are characterised by attendance from people of all ages, and all educational levels. Many of these courses provide no certification as they are simply for enjoyment, and this is reflected in the friendly and enjoyable atmosphere in which they are delivered.
Each year thousands of school leavers and adults undertake PLC courses (Post Leaving Cert) as part of the Further Education system funded by the State. These are (normally one-year) courses for school leavers and adults that are run throughout Ireland, mostly by local VECs (Vocational Education Committees). These courses cover a wide range of topics and are designed to prepare students for particular jobs, or as an alternative pathway into the Third Level system.