What to study? Take your pick

With the Leaving Cert finally behind you having completed your exams in the midst of one of the most challenging years in living memory, you may not wish to make the step to university level yet, or maybe you want to start earning money sooner.

Whatever your reasons, there are a wealth of options in the further education and training (FET) sector that could be the right choice for you. If you decide this is the path, Solas, the State agency charged with developing the sector, should be your first port of call.

“FET offers different education routes for school-leavers including Post Leaving Certificate [PLC] courses, apprenticeships and traineeships,” says Solas spokeswoman Maria Walshe.

“These courses can act as a stepping stone into further learning and higher education, a way to try out an area of learning, as well as being the right course to progress directly into a huge variety of careers.”

Walshe says there are “many advantages” to choosing the FET route including the opportunity to earn and learn with hands-on experience in an apprenticeship or in smaller class sizes with no tuition fees on PLC and traineeships.

Popular fields

The most popular fields of study include engineering, manufacturing and construction, as well as health and welfare. The most popular courses last year were nursing, early childhood care and education and applied social studies.

The most popular traineeships in 2020 included aircraft maintenance technician, beauty therapy, medical administration and outdoor activity instruction.

The most popular craft apprenticeships last year included electrical, carpentry and joinery, as well as plumbing and motor mechanics. Of the newer apprenticeships, the most popular…