January 2014 E-News

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Education NewsMaking New Year Resolutions Work
Education News
Three of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to get in shape, lose weight, and stop smoking. The most obvious way to do at least two of the above is to start a fitness routine. Typically, fitness classes and gyms are packed full in January and then once March rolls around numbers have dwindled down. But New Year’s resolutions, carefully considered and with the right outlook, can last all year long.

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Featured Educator PCI College
Featured Educator
PCI College, one of Irelands leading providers of training and education in the field of counselling and psychotherapy, and in related fields such as supervision and suicide studies. PCI College are committed to making high quality training available in these areas, and many of the courses meet the accreditation criteria of the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy..

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Featured Courses
NEFPC Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Group Instructor Certificate

NEFPC Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Group Instructor Certificate, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Armagh

National Elite Fitness Professional Certificate. Become a Certified Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Group Instructor.After getting together with 8 of Ireland’s top Fitness educators and innovators, the NEFPC have launched a revolutionary curriculum of industry leading EHFA Accredited courses. Providing tools and strategies to get on the fast track to success as a Fitness instructor and Personal Trainer.

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Specialist Diploma in Lean Healthcare

Specialist Diploma in Lean Healthcare, Distance Learning

The University of Limerick in collaboration with the Irish Society for Quality and Safety in Healthcare, The Adelaide, Meath and National Children’s Hospitals at Tallaght and the Bon Secours Hospital Group have come together to develop an innovative, distance education, part-time programme which will allow participants to put Lean thinking into practice in Irish healthcare. Apply before January 12th if interested.

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Category Focus IT Training and Computers
Featured Category
From PC Basics for those unfamiliar with computing, to typing skills and Microsoft training for those wishing to advance their IT skills, onto Web Design, Programming, e-commerce and more for those who wish to pursue or further a specialist career in Information technology. Why not check out our IT Training Section for a full list of courses available in this field or see some Computer Training articles in our articles section
Featured Article Alternatives to FAS (now Solas) for Skills Training
Featured Article
If a career in hospitality, food, tourism, forestry, farming, crafts or fishing is what you are seeking, then it could be time to think beyond FÁS (now Solas) and discover the various other government funded agencies that are out there. Fáilte Ireland, Teagasc, Coillte, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the Crafts Council Ireland are all directly linked to a specific commercial or industrial sector and offer a range of full and part-time courses.

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College Open Days
Open days can be a great way of evaluating a college and getting a flavour of what you can expect in term of facilities, location and class tutors. See a selection of upcoming open days and open evenings on Findacourse.ie

College Open Days ››

Upcoming Open Days
upcoming courses
distance learning courses
Pitman Training
Findacourse.ie, 28 Glenrock Business Park, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Galway
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Evening Courses Cork

Whether it’s toning up in a Zumba class, studying to improve your chances of getting that promotion you’ve been after or learning a completely new language, there are lots of part time and evening courses available in Cork city and county.

Below is a sample of what’s on offer:

Cork College of Commerce provides a generous selection of evening courses ranging from QQI level 5/6 courses in subjects such as Event Management and Digital Marketing. It also offers courses in Leaving Certificate subjects such as Irish and English and a range of other business related courses. Visit www.corkcollegeofcommerce.ie

Ballincollig Community School commence their classes in January and September each year. They offer courses in the following areas; arts and crafts, community and education, computers, cookery, hobbies and skills, languages, social and development and sports and exercise. Visit www.bcsadulted.ie

The Irish Film Academy holds a 6 month Acting for the Camera evening course. Entry is by interview only. More details can be found at www.irishfilmacademy.com

West Cork College begins its new term of classes in January and again in September. The college offers evening courses in literature based activities including photography, Irish cinema and Philosophy. Visit www.westcorkcollege.ie for more information.

With the wealth of options that are out there, there’s no excuse for anyone not to sign up for a course, what better way to spend the long nights than learning something new in an enjoyable atmosphere with like minded people.

Find more courses in Cork at https://www.findacourse.ie/courses/cork/

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Less Lecturers, More Students in Institutes of Technology

it lecturers and studentsRecent figures released by the Teacher’s Union of Ireland (TUI) show that there has been a significant reduction in the number of lecturers in ITs while the number of students has increased. The union has expressed concern that the cutbacks are affecting the quality of student’s learning and is calling for investment in the sector to ensure that student’s needs are met.

Between 2008 and 2012 funding for ITs dropped by 22%. The number of students rose by over 17% during the same period and the number of lecturers fell by 8% due to the cutbacks. The General Secretary of the TUI, John McGabhann has expressed his concern over the cutbacks, saying that teaching and facilities such as laboratories are being put under pressure.

McGabhann stated that IT lecturers teach 18-20 hours per week, higher than the international average of 10-12, and that the addition of administrative responsibilities means there is less time for research, scholarships and other academic duties.  He also reinforced the important role of ITs as generators of business and how appropriate funding would help them to better meet the needs of the economy.

McGabhann said that it was “perverse and damaging” to be putting such a strain on teaching facilities in the current economic climate. With a record number of students applying for third level places through the CAO this year, there is no sign of student numbers decreasing and without financial support, ITs around the country will continue to struggle.

Author:
Fiona McBennett

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University of Limerick Plans City Development

ul limerick, city developmentThe President of the University of Limerick, Professor Don Barry, has just announced plans for the development of a city centre campus that will allow 500 students to be based full-time in the heart of Limerick city. The existing university campus is based 5k from Limerick city but with the addition of the extra campus, Professor Barry hopes to encourage greater interaction between UL students and the city.

The plans have been positively received by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, who said it would create more life in the city and that it would be an important part of the Limerick 2030 plans to transform the city. No site for the new campus has been identified yet but Minister Noonan suggested that the empty Opera Centre site is a possibility.

Professor Barry said that the university is currently working closely with the local authority in Limerick to decide where the campus will fit in with relation to the other plans for Limerick 2030 and stressed that improvement of transport between the city and the existing campus will be an issue of high priority.

The plan for the university is set to include a residential facility in the city centre for 400 hundred students with a potential increase to 1000 units in partnership with Limerick Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College which will be subject to funding. The university has a budget of €224 million to spend between now and 2018 and one third of this will be spent on the new city centre campus as well as Limerick University Hospital.

Professor Barry said that no decision has been made regarding which schools or faculties will be moving to the new campus even though there has been much interest. According to the president, any faculties interested will have to show what they can bring to the new location to be considered for the move.

Author:
Fiona McBennett

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BioLogic honoured as Green World Ambassador 2014

biologicBioLogic, a Carlow-based company, has been honoured as an International Green World Ambassador at a prestigious ceremony on 11th November at the House of Commons in London.

This recognition comes as a result of its success in winning a Green Apple Award earlier this year for their “Optimised, Sustainable Engineering Solution” which upgraded a F-rated 1970s bungalow to A1 energy efficiency standard using improved insulation and underfloor heating powered by solar and photovoltaic systems. In fact, the dwelling is now energy neutral over the course of a year with no net electricity or heating bills.

The Green Apple Environment Award, which will be 20 years old next year, is a campaign to find Ireland and the UK’s greenest companies, councils and communities, and the Green World Ambassador status is reserved for winners who also help others to improve the environment. The award-winning project paper has been published and promoted worldwide in “The Green Book”, the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice, so that others around the world can follow their example and learn from their experience.

The award judges commented, “The aim of their project was to convert a pre-2000 built home with solar energy upgrades, both solar thermal and photovoltaic, to ensure that energy performance was at a maximum whilst the costs were at a minimum. They did this with a number of innovative solutions to achieve an A1 building energy rating and in the process achieved energy self-sufficiency and commissioned the first house in Ireland to run on solar-prioritised space and water heating systems.

Furthermore, we developed a more accurate method for predicting and reporting the energy harvest from solar energy systems that is now available to benefit other businesses and home-owners”, said BioLogic’s Managing Director Dr. Douglas McMillan.

The awards are organised by The Green Organisation, an independent, non-political, non-activist, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

About BioLogic

BioLogic is the first and only carbon-balanced consultancy and training provider in Ireland. BioLogic offers a wide range of auditing, consultancy and training services in environment, health & safety, energy, laboratory, quality management, social responsibility and sustainability requirements as well as the design of energy efficient and passive buildings and optimised solar energy systems.

View courses on offer from BioLogic at https://www.findacourse.ie/biologic-cg534.html

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Garda Recruitment 2014

garda courseRecruitment to An Garda Siochana

Applications are now being accepted for the postion of Garda trainee. The closing date for receipt of applications is midnight on the 9th January 2014.

People between 18 and 35 years with a Leaving Certificate can apply for trainee positions before the closing date. While the height requirement has been abolished, candidates must pass a physical competency test.

garda recruitment

Application

Those interested in applying for garda traineeship can do so at Publicjobs.ie – http://www.publicjobs.ie/publicjobs/campaignAdvert/9112.htm

Candidates will first be required to undergo an online aptitude test. If they pass they will take a further aptitude test in an exam-style setting followed by the traditional process of interviews and assessments.

It is expected the period for candidates to apply will be limited to a few weeks so the process of narrowing down applications can begin immediately.

Kilroys Distance Learning Garda Recruitment Course

Kilroys College are currently offering a distance learning course which will help prepare candiates for the assessment stages of the application procedure. The course is currently on offer at half the usual price and details of the course are outlined below.

• Flexible self-tuition home study course
• Approach the test confident of doing well
• Gain ample examination practice
• 300 plus sample questions with model answers
• Enrol today – course delivered tomorrow

With the Kilroy’s College Garda Recruitment course 50% discount you will have the unique opportunity to achieve maximum results on the day of your test.

All you need to succeed in your Garda entry competition is included. Everything you’ll need to know is comprehensively covered in our very well-structured course. Over 300 sample questions with model answers and a complete mock test are included.

On receipt of your enrolment you will be immediately sent your home tuition pack by express mail, next working day.

You can securely Enrol Online and the 50% discount will be automatically deducted from the normal course fee.

Delivery Method: Correspondence
Duration: 20 to 25 hours
Price: €275 €138

(Half Price Offer Ends at midnight, 31st December 2013)

View course on Findacourse.ie at https://www.findacourse.ie/garda-trainee-competition-c941.html

View course on Kilroys College website at http://www.kilroyscollege.ie/course.php?courseid=31&ad=831

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IAESTE 2014 Traineeships

student exchange 2014IAESTE, The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, is an organisation that provides training abroad for students doing technical degrees such as Engineering, Architecture, applied arts or Science. The training is paid work, relevant to the course the student is studying and with over 80 countries involved in IAESTE, there are plenty of exciting opportunities available. The association was set up in London in 1948 and since then it has been involved in the exchange of more than 350,000 students around the world. IAESTE plays an important part in the development of young scientist and engineers and is the biggest organisation of its kind in the world.

Léargas, the National Agency in Ireland responsible for national and international exchange, manages IAESTE in Ireland alongside the Department of Education. Léargas works to help students get work experience abroad as well as working with Irish employers to find work placements for students who come to Ireland from abroad. Through Léargas and IAESTE, students get to learn a new language, immerse themselves in a new culture, experience living abroad and enhance their CV.

IAESTE is open to degree level science, engineering, technology and applied arts students in the second year of study and above. The majority of traineeships take place in the summer months, although longer periods are also available.

The selection process for a traineeship is on the basis of the application form and an interview. Interviews are held in February in various campus locations and, if necessary, by phone. The interviews aim to assess a candidates suitability for the programme and are conducted by IAESTE Ireland staff members. After the interviews IAESTE Ireland selects one applicant for each traineeship, this means that there is only one application going to each employer. 95% of the time the employer accepts the application and arrangements for the traineeship begin. The final decision rests with the employer and in a small amount of cases the traineeship can fall through due to organisational or financial problems.

Applications can be made online by going to www.leargas.ie and filling out the form. Additional documentation such as an up-to-date CV, official transcripts of your subjects and grades and a cover letter are emailed to a specific address. Application fees can be paid through PayPal. For more information on IAESTE visit www.iaeste.org

Author
Fiona McBennett

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Findacourse.ie December 2013 E-News

Findacourse.ie Monthly E-Bulletin
Evening Courses Distance Learning Further Education Fitness Training Business Training Education News Featured Educators
Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter December2013 E-Bulletin
Education NewsMOOCs – An Effective Online Learning Method?
Education News
When Trinity College announced earlier this year that it was teaming up with other international colleges to provide MOOC courses, it seemed to consolidate the growing belief that this was the way forward in providing educational opportunities to everyone. However, there has been growing opinion that these Massive Open Online Courses are generally, not as effective as they had set out to be.

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Featured Educator CMI Communications and Management Institute
Featured Educator
CMI, Communications and Management Institute is a leading provider of part-time night courses offering Graduate Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Diploma and Certificate courses. Based in Dublin city centre, CMI provides nationally and internationally recongised FETAC, ICM, CIPS, CQI, NEBOSH and PMI courses in a range of key subject areas. All courses provide excellent career opportunities…

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Featured Courses
Child Psychology FETAC Level 6

Child Psychology FETAC Level 6, Distance Learning

This FETAC Child Psychology home study course will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to understand child psychology from 4-18 years.The purpose of this award is to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of child psychology relevant to childhood education and care settings. It will help you to develop new ideas and competencies which can be utilised judiciously in your workplace and in your interaction with the children and adolescents you work with.

Course Details ››

Introduction to Drama

Introduction to Drama, Dublin City

This course is a practical, enjoyable and confidence building introduction to the craft of acting and improvisation, held one evening a week for ten weeks. This is our most popular course and is led by experienced professionals who will establish a strong and supportive group dynamic from which key aspects of the craft of acting are explored. This course is useful for those who wish to expand their general communication skills. No previous acting experience is required – only a willingness to participate.

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Category Focus Personal Development
Featured Category
A course in Personal Development can be of benefit in both personal and professional areas of life and there are many areas covered in this category. From assertiveness training to communications skills, from CBT skills to stress awareness and management. If you think you could benefit from learning more about any of these areas then check out our Personal Development Category Page for more details
Featured Article Oracle Certification
Featured Article
Oracle has been leading the development of database software for over thirty years and has changed the face of business computing. Oracle certifications are highly regarded for their standards of excellence and expertise within the IT industry and at a time when the demand for IT professionals is high and the competition for jobs is strong; now is a perfect time to consider a certification that will provide an advantage.

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College Open Days
Open days can be a great way of evaluating a college and getting a flavour of what you can expect in term of facilities, location and class tutors. See a selection of upcoming open days and open evenings on Findacourse.ie

College Open Days ››

Upcoming Open Days
upcoming courses
distance learning courses
Pitman Training
Findacourse.ie, 28 Glenrock Business Park, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Galway
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MOOCs – An Effective Online Learning Method?

online coursesWhen Trinity College announced earlier this year that it was teaming up with other international colleges to provide MOOC courses, it seemed to consolidate the growing belief that this was the way forward in providing educational opportunities to everyone. However, there has been growing opinion that these Massive Open Online Courses are generally, not as effective as they had set out to be.

First set up around 2008 in the US, MOOCs have spread to institutions all around the world and have been hailed as the open door to education for the masses; giving people the opportunity to study in highly regarded colleges and universities without any entry requirements or fees. However, while there have been many praising this new educational system (the New York Times declared 2012 “the year of the MOOC”), not everyone has been in favour of these courses. The education sector have been very divided on the subject, with many predicting its failure. It seems now that those critics could be right.

One of the problems with MOOCs being free (although some courses now require a fee) is that it allows people to sign up for a course with no obligation to take part. In a recent article in the Atlanta, a student who had completed a MOOC said that two-thirds of those who had enrolled in the same course never turned up and as a result the marking system for the exam wasn’t fair.

Even though MOOCs have been cited as a way to allow everyone to learn regardless of educational experience or financial situation, according to research carried out by the University of Pennsylvania; the majority of people taking MOOCs already have a degree and so MOOCs are not tackling those people they set out to reach.

In a recent interview with Sebastian Thrun, the man who invented MOOCs, he admitted that he was not happy with they have developed and felt that they didn’t educate people how he had hoped they would. He branding MOOCs a “lousy product” and announcing his move away from them towards corporate training. So if the creator of MOOCs doesn’t believe in them, is there much hope?

It was once feared that MOOCs would ruin higher education and lead to the closure of struggling colleges and universities, however, after a short burst of success, it seems that MOOCs may already be on their way out.

Author
Fiona McBennett

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The Future Is In The Clouds With Cloud Computing

Cloud computingIf you are a leaving cert student, an IT graduate or somebody about to change career direction and you are heading in the direction of IT; well you might want to think about Cloud Computing. They say that cloud computing is key to the future of IT. Cloud Computing is an umbrella term for a number of different trends, all involving the internet and its’ potential to simplify the way we use computers and extend their capabilities. In everyday life, we witness cloud computing in action via global companies like Google and Facebook. Cloud computing is about putting more of your material out there and less on PCs or servers that a business runs for itself.

On one radio station recently; a cloud advocate told a very intrigued presenter that one Dublin hotel has embraced Cloud Computing. Asked, what benefit it will be to guests; she replied: ‘if you have watched a certain movie in one hotel, the next series or type of movie will be waiting for you in this hotel’. Impressed? Yes, he was.

New economic reports suggest that cloud computing in Ireland could create up to 20,000 jobs in the near future. It has transformative potential for the public and private sector and for small and large companies. Paul Rellis, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, compares Cloud Computing to the electricity grid. Where once people generated their own electricity with a generator in their back yard – now we switch on an off to the national grid, pay for what we use but we have become more productive because of the amount of electricity available to us. Cloud computing will offer the same transformation through a high level of service. ‘It will spawn industries, and revolutionise our lives both socially and economically,’ according to Paul Rellis.

This is one area that Ireland potentially could take a lead on. This is one of those ‘emerging industries’ and it is the one to watch. The plan is that Cloud Services will be made available from Ireland and there will be a demand for cloud developers. The managing director of Microsoft believes that to cope with the shortage of IT graduates – the government needs to look at secondary level, to promote IT as a fantastic career that hasn’t felt the recession. ‘We are still not producing enough computer graduates,’ he emphasised. With the building blocks already in place, it is now a matter of building awareness of it and to address the skills shortage. There is a certain speed and urgency needed if Ireland is going to take a share of the market.

A Goodbodys report outlined the scale of opportunities that cloud computing could give us in financial terms. They estimate the market could be worth up to 110 billion; enough to lift this little Island out of a recession? Possibly. Barry O’Leary, the chief executive of IDA, Ireland, recently made the point that Cloud Computing will allow small and large companies to internationalise their offerings at greater speed and this in turn will create employment growth even outside of the growth within the Cloud Computing sector itself.

The next question is, where can you begin your cloud computing career?

Dublin Business School run a BA (Hons) Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing course. This is a specialised and innovative programme, which has been created to meet the needs of learners who seek to develop their knowledge and appreciation of concepts and frameworks of marketing with digital media at BA level. The programme is academically challenging and the course features a range of Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing subjects in which learners will be exposed to the latest cutting edge ideas, techniques and marketing frameworks through the analysis of industry best practice. The BA (Hons) Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing is aimed towards students interested in building a career in Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing within a technological skill base. Industry research indicates that there is an increasing demand from companies in this area and this degree provides these capabilities. The programme will develop in learners both knowledge and practical experience of Marketing with Digital Media and Cloud Computing concepts. This programme, therefore, represents a rare opportunity for learners to shape their career paths in this exciting arena.

They also offer students the opportunity to study a BA (Hons) Business Information Systems with Cloud Computing. This course is intended to educate and prepare students for employment in information systems or cloud computing.  It will also provide students with a strong IT/IS knowledge, competence and skills in the technologies that underpin cloud computing. In relation to the specific skills requirement in the area of cloud computing, the January 2011 report by Goodbody’s Economic Consultants identifies that ‘the greatest benefit of cloud computing is as a source of exports, growth and jobs for the Irish economy’.  This report also identifies ‘the need for additional marketing, sales and technical staff with the relevant skills for cloud Computing, and a need for training for their current employees’ This new programme, the BA (Hons) Business Information Systems in Cloud Computing will provide students with a solid understanding in the technologies and languages that are used to design and develop applications for the cloud.  They will also understand the fundamental concepts and architecture of cloud computing.  Students will develop key skills in the use and application of current cloud computing platforms and how they are used to deploy web and other client applications to the Cloud.

Dorset College in Dublin run a Cloud Certified Professional (CCP™) nine week course. The Cloud Certified Professional (CCP™) program is dedicated to excellence in the fields of cloud computing technology, architecture, security, and governance. A collection of courses establish a set of vendor-neutral industry certifications for different areas of specialization. Founded by best-selling author, Thomas Erl, this curriculum enables IT professionals to develop real-world cloud computing proficiency. Because of the vendor-neutral focus of the course materials, the skills acquired by attaining CloudSchool.com certifications are applicable to any vendor or cloud platform.

This Cloud Certified Professional Course is suitable for those seeking to exploit the benefits of cloud computing technologies and assess the potential for cloud computing in their organisation. While there are no pre-requisites an understanding of XML Technologies or Enterprise IT Architecture is recommended.

There are also a number of postgraduate courses in various HEIs that prepare you for a career in Cloud Computing. Therefore if you are an IT graduate, this is an area worth researching further. With the continuous global media attention on Cloud Computing and with companies like Microsoft endorsing it; one is best advised to put their head in the clouds in this case. Yes, the future is bright for Cloud Computing graduates.

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CAO 2014

cao 2014On November 5th at 12pm the CAO opened it’s application process for 2014. This year applicants are advised to apply online where possible and are advised against leaving the application until near the closing dates. Other advice includes trying to have it in no later than one week prior to a closing date. The closing dates are as follows: 20th January 2014 for an online discounted rate of €25, 1st February 2014 for the normal application rate of €40 or a late application on  1st May for €50. There is also a change of mind option, with no fee, on 1st July 2014.

So even if the application gets left until a week before the first closing date of 20th January, there is still plenty of time over the next few weeks and months for those important decisions. There is plenty to choose from and every year there are new courses added to the selection. Here is a round up of just some of the new courses that are on offer this year:

Ÿ       Bioveterinary Science (Athlone IT)

Ÿ       Business with Business Psychology (College of Humanities and Applied Sciences)

Ÿ       Languages and International Tourism (Chinese) (DIT)

Ÿ       Creative Music Production (IADT)

Ÿ       International Hospitality Management (Griffith College)

Ÿ       Process Engineering Systems (IT Carlow)

Ÿ       Human Nutrition and Health (IT Sligo)

Ÿ       Culinary Arts and Food Technology (Letterkenny IT)

Ÿ       Industrial Electrical Engineering (Limerick IT)

Ÿ       Digital Marketing with Social Media (Tralee IT)

Ÿ       Criminology (UCC) (NUI)

With all the choice that is out there, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which course is best for you. That is where a school guidance counsellor can play an important role. A lot of guidance counsellors will have already made appointments with each of their 6th years and these appointments are a great time for discussing any questions you may have, as well as your individual needs and plans for the future. It is a good idea to set out a plan for the meeting before meeting with a guidance professional, noting any specific questions you want to discuss, so that you get the most out of your meeting. Of course, there will be the option of scheduling further meetings after the initial one, depending on how sure you are about possible choices. Keep in mind that the guidance counsellor is also there to support you should you feel stressed about exams or decisions.

Open days are another great way to help making a decision as you can get a feel for a college, the course and meet lecturers and students. It can be difficult to choose a course based on viewing a college website or hearsay so sometimes it can be best to see somewhere for yourself to know if it’s right for you. Every college holds an open day at various stages throughout the year and they are well worth going to. Keep an eye out on college websites for details and your school and guidance counsellor will also keep you up to date.

Although the CAO system is the most popular way for gaining entry into third level education; it is not the only way. It is a good idea as you plan your educational future, to have some alternative plans in place as a back up should you not get an offer through the CAO. It can be worthwhile considering studying in the UK by applying through UCAS, the British admissions service for students applying to study. Application closing dates are either 15th January 2014 6pm or 24th March 2104 6pm, depending on what course you have chosen. Check out www.ucas.com for more details.

Alternative options closer to home include PLCs; they provide a FETAC qualification which is internationally recognised and are one to two years in length. A pass in the Leaving Certificate is necessary to apply but it is not based on the same points system as the CAO. Applications are made to the course provider and there is also an interview to determine the applicant’s suitability. Examples of courses on offer are fashion, hairdressing and business studies, with many course giving the student the option to continue their studies in a university or institute of technology. There are also a wide range of online training courses available as well as places in private colleges such a Griffith College, where there are many of courses on offer that are not listed on the CAO.

So get your thinking cap on over the coming months and try to consider all your options, talk to your guidance counsellor and get your applications in on time; the future is yours!

Author
Fiona McBennett

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Computer Programming in Schools Takes Step Closer

computer-programmingThe introduction of computer programming in Irish schools has taken a step forward with the release for consultation of a draft short course in programming and coding, developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in collaboration with Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre.

The draft course is now available for public consultation on the NCCA website at http://www.juniorcycle/consultations. Feedback and comment is welcomed by both Lero and the NCCA during the consultation until the end of November 2013.The aim is that the course will eventually be introduced for first year students in 2014.

The development of the course to date has included commissioned work by Lero, input from teachers, lecturers and industry practitioners. “We believe that it is a major breakthrough that the core components of computer science are coming to Irish classrooms in the form of a short course,” said Clare McInerney, Education and Outreach Officer in Lero. “Its introduction will allow more and more schools to provide an exciting and engaging computing experience to their students and inspire the next generation of software engineers.”

“Because of the lack of a computer programming course in schools, many students are unprepared when they take computing at third level resulting in high drop out rates. This is acting as a block to the supply of much needed computer graduates,” added Professor Mike Hinchey, director, Lero.

Mr Sean Sherlock TD, Minister for Research and Innovation, welcomed the consultation of the junior cycle short course in programming/coding. “Enhancing the awareness and knowledge of computing at junior cycle in our post-primary schools is a brand new endeavour in the Irish education system,” said the Minister. “We are looking forward to seeing students and teachers embarking on this innovative computing journey in schools which will better prepare our children for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Lero (www.lero.ie) brings together researchers in the University of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, NUI Galway, and Dundalk Institute of Technology and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and other Irish and international agencies.

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Findacourse.ie November 2013 E-News

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Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter November 2013 E-Bulletin
Education NewsApprenticeship Scheme Review
Education News
Apprenticeships are a popular method of training for crafts people in Ireland. Aimed at developing the skills needed to meet the requirements of the labour and industry market, the main craft trades are the construction sector, electrical sector, motor sector, engineering sector and printing sector. The training is regulated by legislation and FÁS/Solas is currently the regulatory body.

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Featured Educator Dorset College
Featured Educator
Dorset College offers a wide range of career focused courses. This includes Accounting and Finance, Business and Management, Computers and Information Technology, Multimedia-Game and Animination Development Courses also Web design, Law and Forensic Psychology and Montessori, Childcare and Healthcare courses…

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Featured Courses
Diploma | BSc Science and Technology

Diploma | BSc Science and Technology , Distance Learning

The Atlantic University Alliance (AUA), comprising NUI Galway, the University of Limerick and University College Cork, gives you a new, innovative modular Diploma and Degree programme in Science and Technology Studies. This programme in Science and Technology Studies is the only of its kind in Ireland. Learning is delivered via a combination of distance and online resources, on-campus tutorials and practical sessions, and company-based projects.

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Early Childhood Studies and Practice (Certificate, Diploma, Degree)

Early Childhood Studies and Practice (Certificate, Diploma, Degree) , NUI Galway

The Diploma/BA has been developed to meet the identified needs of practitioners in the childcare sector who wish to pursue further education and training in a flexible manner, complimenting and supporting continued employment. This programme of study builds on practical experience, enhancing the learner’s skills through exposure to theory, policy, research and work-based learning opportunities.

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Interested in becoming a Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer or Nutritionist? If so, why not check out our Fitness and Health Category on Findacourse.ie. Our Fitness and Health Articles also give information on fitness training options in Sports Therapy, Massage Training and more..
Featured Article Microsoft MTA Certification
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An MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certification supplies the expertise and knowledge needed for a specific technology or product and is the recommended starting point for the Microsoft certifications. It provides a solid foundation and with just one exam you earn a certification that will allow you to take your first step towards a career in IT.

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Open days can be a great way of evaluating a college and getting a flavour of what you can expect in term of facilities, location and class tutors. See a selection of upcoming open days and open evenings on Findacourse.ie

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Apprenticeship Scheme Review

apprenticeships IrelandApprenticeships are a popular method of training for crafts people in Ireland. Aimed at developing the skills needed to meet the requirements of the labour and industry market, the main craft trades are the construction sector, electrical sector, motor sector, engineering sector and printing sector. The training is regulated by legislation and FÁS/Solas is currently the regulatory body.

On May 19th this year the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, announced a review of apprenticeships in Ireland so as to develop more of a focus on work-based learning and on the current needs of the labour market. A review group has been created to work on the changes and there is a request from the Department of Education for submissions from organisations or people who have an interest in the area.

While there are some benefits of the current apprenticeship model, such as the high levels of satisfaction between learners and employers within the programme and the provision of an alternative path to higher education for those who may not have completed their leaving certificates, there are drawbacks to the existing model too. Costs when compared to international apprenticeship programmes, the economic downturn leaving many apprentices without the employment they need to complete their course, the limited choice of apprenticeships and the fact that 85% of the current apprenticeships are construction based, are just some of the failings that the government are hoping to address with this review.

On September 27th, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) submitted a document to the Apprentice Review Group, outlining areas for consideration and mentioning two key areas they feel are essential for a successful apprenticeship programme. The first concerns the role of employers; that they are best at determining occupations where the apprenticeship is the best training method, the vocational content and the skills necessary for such employment. The second refers to the ability of the educational and training sector to develop apprenticeship programmes fit for purpose. The HEA are keen to develop a strong partnership between the educational sector and employers so that the two can work together and support economic recovery by providing people with adequate skills for the current jobs market.

The HEA have 25 recommendations some of which are:

• Employers identifying areas suitable for apprenticeship trainings and therefore broadening the current range of choice and better serving the labour market of today.

• Qualifications on completion of an apprenticeship being at any level of the NFQ appropriate to the learning outcomes.

• All the apprenticeships containing transferable skills.

• Distance education forming part of the training as well as alternate periods on and off the job.

• No age or gender limitations on entering but the number of recruits being determined by employment and economic predictions.

The HEA state that by implementing these reforms, future apprentices will be able to achieve their maximum potential and be successful when entering into the labour market.

Current high levels of unemployment in Ireland demonstrate the urgent need for improvement in the education system. The conversion of FÁS into SOLAS, the change from VECs to ETBs and now the review of the apprenticeship scheme are all signs that the government is responding to this need for change. A move away from limited training for jobs that no longer exist, towards a broader selection of apprenticeships that reflect the labour market needs are positive steps towards a more effective education and training system.

Author
Fiona McBennett

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Trinity Implements Pilot Scheme as Alternative to CAO

Trinity College Pilot SchemeTrinity College Dublin is set to try out a new scheme in which 25 of its places will be offered to second level graduates via an alternative system. This alternative selection process, which will be put into action in September 2014, applies to three courses; Law (10 places), History (10 places) and Ancient and Medieval History and Culture (5 places) and is the college’s first step towards a broader and more holistic selection process.

The new scheme means that Trinity will consider three areas; the student’s Leaving Certificate results, how these results compared to other students in their school and the student’s personal information; such as statements from a teacher or guidance counsellor. Applicants will also have to fill out a form of personal information which will require them to state why they are applying and to complete an academic essay. Each of the three areas are to be considered equally and there will be no interviews.

The dean of undergraduate studies in Trinity, Dr. Patrick Geoghegan said that the scheme would hopefully allow the college to match “the right students to the right courses” and that it would open doors to hardworking students in disadvantaged schools. It is hoped that the scheme will be approved by November with details being  released early next year. As the scheme will be trialled in 2014, this year’s Leaving Certificate students will not be affected but the current 5th years will be.

Mr. Geoghegan said that the idea had been talked about in an international conference Trinity held earlier in the year and that the scheme was a move towards international models of college admissions. UCD already has a similar system in place called New ERA, where students from disadvantaged schools are offered a select number of places on high points courses by reducing the points requirement.

The procedure for applying to one of the selected courses in Trinity will be as follows: students will fill out their CAO form in the usual way and this needs to be done by Feb 1st so as to be considered for the new scheme, any entries after this will not be counted. When students enter the course codes ( TR004 Law, TR008 History, TR028 Ancient and Medieval History and Culture) they will be given the choice to opt in or out of the new scheme and if they opt in they will be required to fill out an application form which can be completed anytime up until March 1st.  Applicants will also be entered into the traditional CAO system and will be notified in the usual way as to whether or not their application has been successful.

It is worth noting that these 25 places are not extra and so there will be a reduced number of places available through the traditional CAO system for these courses; meaning that there may be higher demand for the existing places which would raise point requirements. However, considering applicants in a more holistic way that takes into account more than just the points they achieve in their Leaving Certificate is a great step towards more inclusive third level education and a system that will help people in courses that suit them.

Author
Fiona McBennett

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