Far beyond CAO points, a world of possibility awaits anyone looking to take the next step in their education.

School & the Gang


It’s that time of year again, when school leavers across the country will dutifully line up to receive their CAO results. For some, it will represent the fulfilment of a dream; others may experience disappointment; others still may feel they are still searching for the right path in life. A record 76,000 people have applied through the CAO, and most are likely to be biting their nails up until those all important points are revealed.

One thing, however, is for sure; those results never mean the end. Across the country, more and more new and exciting paths are opening up, offering everyone – school leavers, those returning to education, those looking to upskill and advance their careers, and even those looking to expand their horizons and forge a fresh path – with opportunities the likes of which Ireland has never seen before. In countries across the EU – and Germany in particular – it’s been well recognised how the apprenticeship model is performing a valuable role in arming young people with the skills needed in the modern world. Trade schools are utilised within the Scandinavian system, proving valuable contributors to the economy are not just the product of a classroom. The burgeoning area of information and communications technology (ICT) is crying out for workers with specific skills that are frequently taught outside of degree courses. And recent research has suggested that more than 50% of our economy is, and will be, dependent on mid-level knowledge and skills; the fanciful notion we all need to become Phd candidates couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of the most inspiring and creative avenues to be explored can arise from simple qualifications to provide a basis in an industry. Look, for instance, at Ireland’s growing reputation as a gourmet haven. From the producers of top-notch produce to the chefs and kitchen staff who are wading through awards and Michelin stars in dining rooms across the nation – as well as the artisanal cheesemongers, butchers, and organic farmers – opportunities are plentiful for those who fancy a foodie future. The same is true of Ireland’s fashion industry, where up-and-coming names like Richard Malone and Simone Rocha look set to join the likes of Philip Treacy and Paul Costello among the internationally-renowned style gurus to emerge from our isle. Film sets the world over ring with the accents of Irish hair stylists, costume designers and make-up artists – many of whom begin their journey to the top with courses right here at home. Regardless of your area of interest, there’s a rewarding and lucrative road to be taken. Parttime and full-time courses in a staggering array of areas mean that there truly is something for everyone. Whether you’re leaving school and taking your first steps in further education, those looking to switch careers, or looking to further your knowledge in a specific field, then there’s never been a better time. Read on, and check out some of the options waiting for you; your bright new future starts here.

Crumlin College:

Food for thought for third-level students

Crumlin College of Further Education
Tel: (01) 454 0662 email: [email protected]

Celebrating 60 years at the centre of education in the capital, Crumlin College has long enjoyed a reputation for offering training programmes of the very highest quality. Their commitment to further education is epitomised by the wonderfully supportive environment cultivated at the college, where a highly motivated and dedicated staff deliver practical training to prepare students for long, fruitful careers. Whether aspiring to be a beautician or a chef, a sports therapist or an accountant, both full-time and part-time courses are carefully tailored to meet professional requirements and industry trends mean graduates will leave with the knowledge and skills to excel in their field. A range of adult education services also provides those looking to further their skills with a perfect opportunity to learn at their own pace.

Accounting Technicians Ireland
Tel: (01) 649 8100

If you’re thinking about a career change, consider this number: There was a 66% increase for qualified Accounting Technicians in Ireland last year. Accounting Technicians Ireland gives students the skills to meet this demand. Many of these jobs were filled by graduates who had gone back to study – part-time, fulltime or online – with Accounting Technicians Ireland. Some were unemployed, or working part-time, or working at home when they decided to change careers – and are now working in all sectors of industry, accountancy practice and the public sector. The course is comparable with Level 6 on the NFQ, and allows students to qualify as accounting technicians in two years and jump straight into their new career, or instead go on to study accountancy at the highest level with Chartered Accountants Ireland, ACCA, CPA, CIMA and IIPA. The Institute has nationwide reach, and its courses are run in 70 colleges across the country – and whether online, in their Pearse Street Academy, or through the new apprenticeship programme which launches in September, there’s bound to be an option to suit you. The registration process is simple, and can be completed online. Visit to get the prospectus and full details on how a course might kickstart your career in accountancy. An Open Day on August 9 will offer the chance to meet the team at Accounting Technicians Ireland and have all your questions answered.

The Open College
Tel: (01) 206 1828

Ireland’s largest dedicated provider of QQI / FETAC awards, The Open College offers more than 90 QQI Levels 5 & 6 component Certificates and Major award programmes in a variety of subjects. Those looking to take their next steps in the world of Healthcare, Business & Finance, Management, Digital Media, Childcare, Law, Journalism, Special Needs, Montessori, Psychology, and plenty more besides will be delighted by the choice on offer. The QQI awards you can achieve through The Open College are fully recognised by employers both nationally and internationally, and year-round enrolment provides more flexibility and choice to prospective students than you’ll find at any other private institution. Keenly aware of the challenge of balancing further education and wider life, The Open College ensures that your next step can be expertly tailored around your life – rather than the other way around.

Hibernia College
Tel: (01) 661 0168

Ireland’s only accredited online college, Hibernia College specialises in providing postgraduate programmes. Among the college’s most popular programmes are the Professional Master of Education courses in Primary, and Post-Primary, education. These programmes are delivered through a blended learning approach (45% online and 55% face-to-face tuition) and offer an accessible route into teaching, with its unique structure perfectly suited to those looking for a more flexible and time-friendly solution. Teaching has been long recognised as a career which provides a world of opportunities both in Ireland and further afield; a recent report by the Higher Education Authority showed that a teaching qualification provided the highest employment level among graduates, with about 80% of newly qualified teachers employed within nine months of graduating. Hibernia College could be the first step on your journey to a long career.

Hibernia College:

Students in the mood to celebrate

BIMM Dublin
Tel: (01) 5133 666

BIMM Institute Dublin is Ireland’s best connected music college. Part of the BIMM Group – Europe’s largest and leading contemporary music college - it offers degrees and diplomas in a number of different disciplines, including Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals, Songwriting and Music Production. If you still haven’t decided what you want to do in September, don’t worry – applications remain open for their part-time CPD Diploma in Professional Musicianship, validated by DIT, and our full-time BA (Hons) Music Production, validated by the University of West London. BIMM students enjoy access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment as well as opportunities such as guest Masterclasses (Hozier, Danny O’Donoghue and Imelda May have all appeared here), one to one tutorials and of course, all their students are taught by a team of successful music industry professionals. The likes of Little Hours and The Academic are examples of how BIMM can provide a platform for a sensational future in the business; an Open Day on August 6 and an Accelerated Application Day on August 24 could put you on the fast-track to success.

Hozier proves you're never too cool for school at BIMM

Dylan Bradshaw Academy

Recent winner of the L’Oreal Colour Trophy, the academy has a number of courses to choose from. Their full-time diploma course is designed to equip novice hairdressers with all the necessary skills to work in the industry. Classes are small and focused with a mix of theory and practical based learning. There are also parttime courses for hairdressers looking to enhance their technical abilities and build on their talent. Such courses include advanced colouring like balayage and strobing, cutting masterclasses and “trial to the aisle”- a class on the bridal industry. What’s more, quote “HOTPRESS2016” when signing up and you can get a massive 20% discount on their diploma course.

Music Industry Xplained
Tel: (01) 241 1500

The MIX course (Music Industry Xplained) is for anyone who is seeking a career in the music business or entertainment media. Brought to you by Hot Press magazine, the course is aimed at those who want to succeed in music, management, media, publicity, promotion, publishing, record labels – or any other aspect of the music and entertainment business. Perhaps you’re a musician who wants to maximise your income? Or you have started to manage a band? You want to work in PR or the media – or develop an experise on the digital side? Or do you simply want to find out more about the how the business works from top to bottom? And do a bit of smart networking into the bargain? If the answer to any of those questions is ‘yes’, this course is perfect for you. Recognised in Ireland and abroad, you’ll find MIX graduates in all areas of the music, media and entertainment industries. MIX is a 13-week series of lectures (one each week) by top professional exponents in the music industry. Key subjects include the role of (and how best to work and interact with) Record Companies, Music Marketing, Publicity, Image Development, The Independent Route, Record Production, Music Online, Radio, Working With The Media, Management, Finance, Law, Distribution and Music Publishing. Hot Press MIX includes a written examination and those who successfully complete the course are awarded an Industry Certificate acknowledging their achievement.

Irish music's leading lights ponder the big questions at the MIX course

IBAT College Dublin
Tel: (01) 478 4045

IBAT College Dublin is among Ireland’s leading industry-focused third level institutions. Its mission is to provide high quality undergraduate, postgraduate and professional education, in a range of subject areas, including Business, Accounting, ICT Sports, Tourism and Management. IBAT’s purpose-built Temple Bar campus houses five floors of facilities, including classrooms, auditorium, IT labs, a library, and an MBA debating chamber, as well as student recreation and study areas. There's high speed wifi throughout. Pioneering a new model of education that can innovate and evolve at the same pace as business and technology, the college aims "to equip students with the skills to progress in their chosen career or to provide upskilling to ensure they stay ahead." IBAT has links with more than 400 private enterprises, public organisations and NGOs in Ireland. Class-sizes are smaller than in many colleges, encouraging a more interactive learning environment. Applications are currently being accepted for all courses commencing in September 2016. To find out more, prospective students can meet staff and view the state of the art study facilities at the IBAT General Open Evening on Wednesday, 17 August (5.30pm to 7pm). Alternatively, anyone interested is invited to drop by ("no appointment needed,” we are told), Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm, to meet the Admissions team.

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