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FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Questions frequently asked by Students about Career Guidance

1. How should I choose my career?

An individual may have many careers in the course of his life span. There are courses and opportunities to suit all interests and abilities. One’s fist career destination is now unlikely to be the last but may just be the foundation of a process that lasts for many years. It is thus very important to choose first an area of genuine personal interest, rather than a career which one believes will be simply financially rewarding or will have prestige or status.

The three important elements in career decision making should be:

A. Your INTEREST in a particular type of work or career. (Remember this may change over time) .What work would you LIKE to do? What work or occupation would make you happy? Think of any work you have experienced or observed which attracted you. Are your favourite subjects, hobbies or interests career associated?

B. Your APTITUDE: or potential to actually DO the work. Which are your best subjects in schools, those you find easiest?

C. Your VALUES in life. What aspects of a job are most important to you e.g. job security, financial reward, opportunities to be of service to others, job satisfaction, independence or teamwork?

2. On the CAO Form, what are the differences between Level 8 and Level 6/7 courses?

If you take as a starting point that the Leaving Cert is considered a Level 5 “qualification” then Level 6/7 are certificates, diplomas or pass degrees. Level 8 courses are Honours degree courses.

3. Can I study Medicine without having studied a science subject for Leaving Cert? What science subject would serve me best if I went on to study medicine in college?

All colleges require at least one science subject at Leaving Cert Level for entry to Medicine. College entrance requirements vary and in fact many demand two science subjects at higher level. Chemistry is considered to be the most important science subject for entry to Medicine. It is advisable to check minimum subject requirements for each college prior to choosing Leaving Cert subjects.

4. What Leaving Cert Business subjects do I need to do a Commerce/Business degree at university level?

No Leaving Cert business subject is required for entry to any business university degree.

5. What’s a CFE?

CFE stands for College of Further Education.

These are colleges funded by the VEC which offer a wide variety of courses which can serve as preparatory course for some Level 6 and Level 7 courses in Institutes of Technology. Modest Leaving Cert results are required for entry to such courses.

6. Do I need Honours maths to study engineering?

Honours Leaving Cert Maths are required to study Engineering Honours Degree level (Level 8). With ordinary level Maths access can be gained to Level 6 and Level 7 Engineering courses. Successful students may then progress to Level 8 if their result meets a certain standard.

7. If I fail Maths in the Leaving Cert what are my university options?

Maths is an extremely important requirement for entry to most courses. Without at least a pass in Ordinary Level Maths university options are very limited. Although Law and Arts courses in UCD do not require Maths, entry without Maths is denied to all Medical, Engineering, Scientific and Business courses in every university. Higher Level Maths should not be attempted by any students who feel they are at risk of failing the subject.