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By Sabina Trench, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers
For many students, their Leaving Certificate results have thrown up more questions than answers. Choices need to be made, but what are they? Sabina Trench, Sli Nua Careers, takes a look at some of the options available and how you might assess them.
The number of students repeating the Leaving Certificate in Ireland is in decline. However, it’s still an option worth considering if you feel you have the energy levels to give another year. Within the repeating route, you should consider where you might repeat (not necessarily your old school), if you should take on new subjects, and whether higher points are realistically achievable.
Ask yourself ‘why am I repeating?’ and if you have a good answer, then go for it.
Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses
There is a plethora of courses available out there, but how do you choose between them?
- Certification – does the course offer you a qualification? If so, does it fit within the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) or offer credits under the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)?
- Gateway – does the course offer a gateway to a degree course you missed out on? How many people typically make the transition?
- Quality – is the course any good? You will only be able to find this out by doing some research. Find someone who completed the course, talk to a teacher, or maybe someone has started a thread on boards.ie about the course (beware of misinformation here from disgruntled past pupils though).
Courses outside of Ireland
Have you considered a course in Northern Ireland or the UK? I know I mention this a lot in my columns, but we often forget about the opportunities across the border. It is particularly important to check the ECTS credits on the course to make sure that your studies will be recognised at home.
Take a year out
Taking a gap year is very common, and if you have the means to do it, why not? However, I like a plan. So, what is your gap year plan? Living at home with Mum and Dad until the CAO offers come around next year? I think not. Maybe a self-funded trip around the world, working as you go? Whatever you decide, it needs to be planned. A year can pass in a flash, and without some concrete goals, you will be no closer to being ready for life in the working/studying world.
Get a job
Getting a job can lead to many things, including further studies and qualifications. However, if you get a job and live at home, you should contribute to the household costs. This is as much about your transition to adulthood and responsibility as it is about earning a wage.
And if at all possible, try and get a job in an area of interest where you might see a future or opportunity for development. Even better, if you have a great idea why not create your own job through self-employment?
As someone who repeated the Leaving Certificate, I know what it is like not to get the points you needed or the course you wanted.
So, I recommend that you cry your eyes out, talk it out, and trust that the answers to the questions will come. Remember, everyone is rooting for you. There a lots of career options. Good luck.
You can read more blogs from Sabina HERE
Sabina Trench is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers. We have offices nationwide, plus a full online service. Our services include CV preparation, interview training, mock interviews, personal statements, career planning / direction, LinkedIn profiles and application forms.